I consider myself a catch (I am 38, attractive, have a great career, own my home, am ambitious and sane). Lately it seems I am only meeting women nowhere near my caliber. All I want for Christmas is to find a "normal" woman. Do they exist, or is my Christmas wish unattainable? -Dan

I consider myself a catch (I am 38, attractive, have a great career, own my home, am ambitious and sane). Lately it seems I am only meeting women nowhere near my caliber. All I want for Christmas is to find a "normal" woman. Do they exist, or is my Christmas wish unattainable? -Dan

This time of year can feel like a pressure cooker when you're single! The emotional stigma that coincides with flying solo at holiday parties and having no one to kiss at midnight on New Year's Eve is brutal when you want nothing more than a partner to share it with. The good news is 2011 isn't over yet, Dan. There is still time to meet Miss Normal!

If anyone "gets" what you're asking, it's me. As the owner of a dating service, I interview and screen singles every week. Weeding singles out can be complex and cumbersome. My goal during the interview is to determine their dating goals and absorb all the information I can about them, which helps me decide whether they are date-worthy of my clients (i.e. "normal"). I know firsthand it's not easy to find a perfect match for everyone. My first step is what yours should be: Define what Miss Normal looks like to you.

Create a checklist. By knowing what you're looking for and ruling out what you're not, you can judge more rapidly if you have a hit or a miss. Don't be superficial with your list. Consider the type of relationship you desire and choose essential qualities accordingly (occupation, family values, ambition level, mutual interests). Also look for personality balances. By filtering out what doesn't interest you quicker, you won't feel emotionally drained or confused about the obscurity of Miss Normal.

Now, open your eyes. While first impressions are important, the girl that doesn't fit your mold could ultimately be what captures your attention! I recently took on a new client who was fairly certain of his "type," which mostly centered on physical description and mutual interests. For his second date I tricked him and set him up with someone that I suspected would stimulate him more intellectually than his first. He reported back that he was pleasantly surprised that he was attracted to this person more than the other.

At the end of the day, while it may feel like all you're meeting are crazies and time-wasters, all these women are lessons to be learned from. And who knows? Maybe Santa heard your wish and has a special Christmas in July planned for you.

Nicci Sprouse is the owner of a local dating service. Follow her on Twitter at @AskNicci. And send your questions about love and relationships to infoasknicci@gmail.com.