Dating and The Holidays

If you’re single or between relationships, you know what “the holidays” means. It’s the time of significant others — family, partners, close friends. It can feel a lot like musical chairs, where everybody scrambles for that last seat before the music stops so that they’re not left alone, crying in their beer — or eggnog.

It definitely helps if you have family nearby or within visiting distance, so you can fold yourself into the comfort of a group you know you belong to. If you don’t (or even if you do, because “the holidays” includes way more than one special day), it’s a good time to have a plan.

I belong to two social clubs, a women’s meet-up group and a professional association, so there’s four parties I can go to right there. If you don’t or can’t do that, it’s time to get creative. Throw your own party, find things to do with a close friend or two, or get out of town altogether and take a vacation from all that oppressive holiday cheer. Maybe visit a long-lost friend.

I once threw a small party at my house on Christmas Day. I was married at the time, but the party included couples and singles who didn’t have plans for the day with extended family. We had brunch and Prosecco, gave each other gag gifts and talked and laughed all day (the Prosecco helped!). It was one of my favorite Christmases.

You get extra bonus points on the character-building scale if you decide to ride out the holidays by curling up with a good book and a hot toddy.

And what if you’re in a new dating relationship and freaking out about where that new person fits in? There’s a lot of strategy that usually goes with deciding when to introduce someone you’re dating to family and friends, but the holiday season, with all its get-togethers, can force the issue before you’re ready.

Have you even told your kids and family that you’ve started dating? Your new or budding relationship isn’t family, you’re not sure if it’s too soon to invite them to a party with friends, and OMG, what about a gift?

Sometimes life gives you an easy out. They have family in another town, so do you. Bye-bye until the family and gift-giving part is over, then you get to regroup for New Year’s Eve, back in the comfort zone of daters.

Think about what you’re prepared to handle (and not). It may sound like a good idea to introduce your new “friend” at a large party, but do you really want to be responsible for them all night because they don’t know anybody? If it’s a family event, do you know how your grown children will respond to this person in your life? Or what your family might do that you’re not sure your date is ready for? LOL.

Whatever you do, use the situation to have a conversation with your new person. It may be awkward but guess what? Getting through awkward conversations builds intimacy and understanding.

Happy Holidays!