Dating during the holidays can be a lot of fun. The season is a whirlwind of happy hours, dinner parties, and festive get-togethers. This packed social calendar means more opportunities to spend time with your special someone, but also increased pressure to show up with a plus-one.
There’s always something exciting to do during the festive season and the winter date ideas are endless. But, there are some dos and don’ts to watch out for when it comes to dating during the holidays. Looking for some advice? Check out our top tips below!
6 Important Dos and Don’ts of Dating During the Holidays
1. Do set ground rules
Are you exchanging gifts? Will you be attending any holiday parties with other people? Are you meeting the family? How will you introduce each other? The holidays bring up questions you might not have been ready to answer yet.
Whether you’re ready or not, it’s usually best to address these questions upfront. Try to have an answer to these questions prepared before he introduces you to his mom as his “good friend” or you splurge on a big bottle of her favorite perfume.
2. Don’t get too swept up in the season
The plot of every Christmas rom-com is the same. Boy meets girl, boy and girl take part in holiday-themed activities as snow gently falls, boy and girl say “I love you” and live happily ever after. They make it seem easy.
Life is, unfortunately, not a Hallmark movie though. Real relationships take more than a shared love of ice skating and hot cocoa to last. Try to move at the same pace you would during the rest of the year. You don’t have to do something just because there’s mistletoe hanging above your head.
3. Do be mindful of their time
The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day are packed with grocery shopping, preparing potluck dishes, shopping for gifts, and wrapping presents. Not to mention spending quality time with friends and family.
A lot’s going on, so when you’re dating during the holidays, it’s important to give your partner understanding. If they’re feeling stressed or taking longer to reply to your texts, it’s probably not about you. The best thing you can do is give them space and be mindful of the requirements on their time.
4. Don’t date someone for the convenience of it
It’s nice to have someone to snuggle with during cuffing season. But be honest: Are you dating them because you want to spend more time together? Or because you like having someone to spend the holidays with?
Cosmopolitan coined the term ‘snow-globing’, meaning that “the person you’ve been dating is using the holiday season to con you into thinking you two are more serious than you are.” Moral of the story – if you wouldn’t make time for them in June, don’t ‘snow-globe’ them in December.
5. Do remember to take time for yourself
Festive calendars fill up fast. When you’re dating during the holidays, your list of obligations doubles. That’s a lot of party outfits and late nights making conversation around the punch bowl.
Avoid holiday burnout by scheduling nights to yourself on your calendar. If you’re not feeling up for something, exercise your right to RSVP with a polite “I’m so sorry, I can’t make it.” You don’t need to attend every holiday party, and you don’t need to have a date for each one either. It’s okay to go solo or not at all.
6. Don’t make any big decisions or declarations
You’re on a romantic sleigh ride, dressed to the nines, huddled under a warm blanket as snow gently falls around you. It’s a perfect winter moment and you’re swept up in the romance. You feel compelled to say I love you or ask them to move in with you, but do you mean it?
Dating during the holidays can encourage you to say things you wouldn’t normally say. Wait a few weeks into the new year to see how things are going before you make any major decisions or declarations.
Enjoy the Holidays at Your Own Pace
Dating during the holidays can be great! However, it’s important to be mindful that relationships feel more serious throughout the festive period. You’ll encounter big firsts, like meeting friends and family, that can make your relationship seem farther along than it actually is.
Be open with your partner, check-in about syncing your social calendars, and take alone time for yourself. After the holidays, if your feelings are still strong, it’s a great sign of things to come.