Find love this Halloween
Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore; instead, it’s an ideal holiday for single parents to meet a potential mate. As a veteran dating coach, I’ve seen more than a few pumpkins lead to romance. Skeptical? A few years back, I threw rice at the wedding of one client who met her future husband on Halloween night while trick-or-treating with her twin daughters. It happens.
On October 31 (and during the week prior), you can be with your kids and improve your love life — call it “multitasking.” You just have to change your mindset, because most single parents don’t view Halloween as a dating opportunity. They are focused on their kids: What costume will little Suzy wear? How can I get Billy’s Batman cape to stop falling off? Instead, I want you to see Halloween through new lenses by considering these ideas.
1. Seek out Halloween festivities.
The week before Halloween is a festive time everywhere: schools, offices, museums, social groups and clubs. Make an effort to attend several Halloween celebrations, whether you accept an invitation to a party, venture out to a “Haunted House” at your local children’s museum, explore the local pumpkin patch, or volunteer to help with your child’s Halloween parade at school. These are all opportunities where you should have your “social antennae” up, even though you’re with your kids. Striking up a conversation with other single parents in these child-focused environments is easy, because simply talking about your kids is a great way to connect. And because of the holiday, people are in an upbeat, friendly mood — both single people who are venturing out and married couples who could well be playing matchmaker for you down the line.
2. Create your own event.
If your mailbox isn’t brimming with invitations to fun Halloween events this season, create your own. Perhaps you could host an afternoon pumpkin-carving contest in your kitchen for parents and kids of all ages. (If your kids are too young to use a knife, host a Halloween cookie-decorating contest instead.) Naturally, you’ll invite any interesting single parents you know (as well as single parents you know aren’t for you), plus married parents. The idea is twofold: to gather lots of people so that you are “top of mind” for anyone who might fix you up on a blind date, and to get better acquainted with other single parents who can become new social/activity buddies.
3. Organize group trick-or-treating.
It’s more fun to trick-or-treat in groups, and as a single parent, you’ve got the perfect excuse to call up another single parent (or several) and ask, “Would you and your children like to go trick-or-treating in our neighborhood with us?” Take this opportunity to call that cute single mom or dad you saw at your child’s school last month; trick-or-treating is your built-in excuse to forge a connection without the awkwardness of asking him or her out to dinner.
4. Don’t forget your own costume!
Most adults don’t even bother wearing a costume, but if they do, they usually try to be “scary” (goblins and witches aren’t exactly attractive, for the most part), or they hastily piece together something from the back of their closets. Not this year! The “trick” to maximizing this holiday is to find something fabulous that looks really good on you that sparks a conversation with someone new. For women, perhaps try a black cat get-up or a fairy tale princess costume. Men can go the pirate route (a bandanna is ideal for hiding bald spots) or try on the Wall Street tycoon look with a sharp business suit and slicked-back hair. If you can’t make the costume at home, you can always rent one at a shop. It’s worth every penny to look alluring, because you never know who you’ll meet that night.
Rachel Greenwald is the author of the New York Times best-selling book, Find a Husband After 35 Using What I Learned at Harvard Business School. She is also a dating coach and matchmaker. She is a frequent guest on The Today Show and has been featured in dozens of magazines.