The holidays can be a rough time of year for those of us who have yet to find the special someone to share our lives with. However it can also be the perfect time to take a chance and meet new people Here are four ways to get out and test the waters.

 Stay Social

Be open to meeting people and make your mark on the social circuit (Being single doesn't mean being a loner). Head to the new hot spot on a weeknight.  Go to the holiday parties.  Keep your activities diverse and cultured: with live music, art openings and gallery tours.  expand your circle of freinds (and not via Facebook request).  And say yes to first dates.

 Spoil Yourself

Embrace yourself - you have years yet to invest, save and scrimp.  For the moment, indulge in the sport of shopping for yourself; girls, go for regular manicures; sign up for a year of Pilates (or better yet, a hunky personal trainer). Guys, get that gym membership you've been putting off, have a massage, try a new hair style.  If you have the means to look and feel your best, now is the time.  No need to justify why you deserve it, you just do.

 Take Off

Being on your own allows you flexibility and freedom to do - and go - as you please, so take this time to travel.  Quick trips to New York City or Toronto are great quick escapes.  Go all out and plan an exotic mid-winter holiday.  It will give you something to look forward to and who knows what (or who!) you'll discover.

 Work It

It's tough to put in overtime at work when someone is waiting for you at home, so focus on your career when the only person you have to answer to is your boss.  Invest some time to make an impression: stay late to finish that report.  Soon you will have way more responsibility than just your job, so concentrate on your career while you can.

by Patti Novak of