It’s that time of year again: holiday lights are shining, chestnuts are roasting, Christmas music is playing. Sure, it’s impossible not to get into the holiday spirit – but you’re probably wondering whether to bring that new crush you have to the work holiday party, or how you can avoid showing up single to your family Christmas dinner, again.
The good thing is that you’re not alone. This year, we’ve got you covered with our guide to dating during the holidays. That way, you could get your mind off your mom’s pressure, and get yourself a date to kiss on New Year’s Eve.
The Guidebook to Dating During the Holidays
1. Holiday Work Party
Your office is throwing its annual holiday party. There are a few ways to play this, because you need to approach a work party as somewhere between a family holiday party and a typical day at work. There might be unlimited spiked eggnog, but your boss will still be there! Remember that how you act at a work party will follow you back to the office.
Several things to consider:
Coworker Crushes –Yes to Flirting, No to Hookups
Is there a coworker who you wouldn’t mind kissing under the mistletoe? Is that all you want from him or her, or are you interested in a relationship?
If you’re just attracted to your coworker, but you know he or she isn’t for you, mark my words – STAY AWAY. Fine, a little light flirting never hurt anyone. But trust me – there is no way that this situation could turn out to be anything but awkward. You better make darn sure you’re serious about this person (and they are serious about you) before messing with an office romance. Otherwise you’ll just wake up the next day regretting it when you see them at the office (and the day after, and the day after).
To Bring a Date or Not to Bring a Date?
Definitely do not bring a rando to your holiday work party – that’s just weird. Why would you want your coworkers spying on a first date? Also, if you don’t really know this person, you don’t really know if you’ll get along, and you don’t need your coworkers watching your first date go up in flames.
If you’ve been dating someone for a while and you already feel comfortable with them, feel free to bring them. But remember: only bring them if you think they would bring you to a similar event. If you’re not sure, maybe wait it out a bit. You don’t want your date feeling uncomfortable at your work party. Of course, this only applies if other people are bringing their significant others to the party – if not, your date could just end up feeling out of place.
2. Christmas Eve with the Family
This is the one time of the year that your whole family is together. Think twice before giving out too much information you’re not ready to give, or bringing someone you’re not ready to introduce to your great aunt.
How Much to Reveal?
Does your family like to pry? I’ve yet to meet a parent or grandparent that doesn’t try to get us to tell them all about our personal lives; love lives in particular. I’ve heard that those types of families exist, but they seem as rare to me as unicorns.
This situation is a tough one. Your family will never stop asking, but that doesn’t mean you need to answer. Once you get to your late ‘20s, chances are, they’re not just asking to make conversation – they’re starting to get worried that you be a perpetual bachelor or a cat lady for the rest of your life. Maybe you’re feeling a little stressed out. But you know what will no doubt make your even more stressed? Talking to your parents about it! Sure, they mean well. But meaning well does not a merry Christmas make.
So if you’re in a new relationship, it could be a good idea to wait a bit before telling the whole extended family. That way, you will avoid the “What happened?” questions if you two break up early on. Better to give it at least a few months to be sure the new relationship will survive breaking the news to your family.
On the other hand, if you’ve got a sure thing on your hands and you know that it would make your parents happy to hear about that, tell them. Once there’s something to tell, you’ll know.
To Bring a Date or Not to Bring a Date?
Are you insane? What kind of question is that – do not bring a date to your family Christmas. Unless this person is your serious boyfriend or girlfriend, neither of you needs to involve your families yet. That’s some serious pressure.
3. Christmas Day
Once again – unless you’re in a very serious relationship, it’s best for you to spend the holidays with your family, and him or her to spend it with their family.
4. Giving Gifts
To Give or Not to Give a Gift?
This one depends on how long you’ve been dating, or how many dates you’ve been on. If you’ve just been on a few dates with the guy, I wouldn’t get him a Christmas present. If he gives you one, you could decide whether you think that’s sweet or whether you’re freaked out (that will probably also be an indication of how you feel about him). But, since guys are usually more inclined to freak out, keep it breezy and don’t give him a gift.
If, on the other hand, you’ve been dating for a number of weeks and you feel like you’re really becoming a couple, definitely get a gift. Wouldn’t you be hurt if he didn’t get you one?
Another scenario to consider – you have a major crush who hasn’t made a move, and you want to hint at how you feel. In this case, a small gift could be a very cute way to show him you like him.
What Should the Gift Be?
This depends on what message you want to send them. If you’re having fun together, but you’re not sure where this is going and you haven’t developed real feelings yet, keep it simple. Don’t get something too expensive or meaningful – get him something small that you know they’ll like.
If you’re falling in love, but haven’t been together for that long, definitely get them something more meaningful. It doesn’t have to be something too expensive – that could scare them away. Just try to think of how you feel and how you want to convey that through a gift.
5. New Year’s Eve Bash
Your friend is throwing a big house party for New Year’s, full of your friends, your friend’s friends, your acquaintances, and your acquaintances’ acquaintances.
Who to Bring?
If you’re casually dating someone, but have not had “the exclusive talk” yet, do not bring one of them to the party! If you haven’t settled on one person yet, keep your options open – who knows who might be at the party? There could be someone interesting there that you could end up really liking. If you’re not ready to be exclusive with someone yet, there’s no reason to bring him or her to your friend’s party.
If, however, you met someone you really like and want to move things forward, bring them. If they’re who you want to be with when the clock strikes midnight, this is a great way to start it off.
Have any holiday dating tips to add? Share in the comments?
Want to find someone to ring in the New Year with? Check out our list of the top UK dating sites.