Dating can be a confusing journey full of ups and downs. You are traveling towards love, but you don’t know where or when you will find it, and you’ve probably hit quite a few potholes along the way.  Often, singles feel like the process of dating is a waste of time if they aren’t meeting “The One.”  The holidays can be particularly rough and holidate-ing skyrockets because singles want someone to keep them warm on snowy winter days — or they want someone with whom to share those special moments in December, January and February.

Thanksgiving, however, is a time to stop and be grateful for all that we are and all that we have… right now! It’s a time to be thankful for what we’ve learned from our dating journey thus far.  So, here’s a quick exercise to do this:

  1. Create a staircase of all your past relationships and think about something you’ve learned from each one that has made you wiser in love, and better able to choose a compatible mate. Sometimes it’s only through contrast that we become clear about what we want next.
  2. Next, take a moment to recognize all the ways that you’ve grown from dating, and from your past love relationships. Perhaps you’ve learned to tweak what wasn’t working for you, or you became more confident in who you are. Create a list of how you’ve grown.
  3. Lastly, make a list of all that you are thankful for — about yourself, your life, and the many loved ones who are in it. Having gratitude about your life is very attractive. Gratitude and love (according to Dr. Masuru Emoto in The Hidden Messages in Water) have very positive response rates.

Many single clients tell me that they go home for Thanksgiving dinner and their relatives ask them about their love lives, sounding disappointed that they’re still single. This can make them feel like a failure.  Hopefully this little exercise will remind you of how wonderful you are and how rich with love your life is right now so that you can share this with them.  Remember that your Beshert is probably somewhere with his or her family this year, doing the exact same thing!


Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is the award-winning author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ A relationship expert and a licensed psychologist/dating coach, she specializes in singles and couples therapy. For more than 20 years, Paulette changed the lives of thousands of clients, and shared insight with millions more through expert commentary on 77WABC radio and over 30 media outlets including MSN, USA Today, The New York Post, The New York Times, Crains, Newsweek,, More, Fox News, Fox Business, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Every Day Health, Metro newspapers, Men’s Health, True Story, Seventeen, Elle and Complete Woman’ magazines and The Huffington Post. She lives and works in Manhattan as a psychotherapist and offers dating coaching by phone.
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