Holiday Hook-ups: 6 Ways To Save Face (& Heart!)

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’Tis the season—for getting glam’ed up in the hope of finding love that lasts….

What, just through New Year’s Eve?

Or worse, through the morning after the party where you met the guy you thought was The One?

Love begins as chemistry. Its strength is tested through all kinds of situations—none of which need to include self-sabotage.

If you find yourself being a ho ho ho because you find it hard to say no no no to closet quickies, one-night stands and holiday hook-ups, make these your pre-new year’s resolutions:

1: You weren’t hired to be the life of the party.

A party is a gathering of people who want to get to know each other better, in a comfortable environment. But start chugging spiked eggnog to loosen up, and the vibe you give off is “For whatever reason, I’m desperate and I need attention.”

The right message – “I’m interesting, so come talk to me” –is given through a few insightful zingers, which are spoken without you tripping over your tongue. So for the first hour at least, stick to straight cranberry juice in a martini glass.

2: Don’t go looking for love in all the wrong places.

You know who the office bad boys are. No reason to encourage them to make you their queen for a night—and the butt of their vicious jokes for the rest of your life. Instead, hang with guys who are interested in you for all the right reasons: your smile, your heart, your mind.

3: Be the belle of the ball, not the office slut.

There’s a reason for the phrase, “Luck be a lady.” Flip it around: if you’re gracious, people gravitate toward you, and men are enchanted by you—for all the right reasons.

4: If the walk of shame is becoming a familiar route, it’s time to change course.

Your goal is to have fun—not a reputation. No guy is going to want a woman whose sexploits rival—or worse yet, top—his own. If you’re seriously interested in a man, give him a reason to respect you. Yes, you’re worth it.

5: Made a “Girl Gone Wild” mistake? Get over it, and move on.

Everyone slips up once in a while. But not everyone makes a fool of themselves at every opportunity. To paraphrase Forrest Gump, stupid is as stupid does. It’s time for a new mantra. Try “I’m worth knowing, but it will take you some time.”

6: Got great expectations? Lower them. Now.

Your goal should be to meet new people, learn more about casual acquaintances, and catch up with old friends. If in the meantime sparks fly with a particular guy, all the better. Just remember: you can’t learn everything about someone in one hour—or for that matter, in one evening.

The best friendships are strengthened over years. The greatest loves are tested over a lifetime.

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Josie Brown is the author of  the novels The Houswife Assassin’s Handbook and Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, soon to be a dramatic television series on ABC.