Joy to the world…the holidays are here! It’s a fun and festive time of year but can also be a challenging time for new couples. You are still getting to know each other and there are a lot of atypical things at play like unusual schedules, the stress of finding the perfect gift, and the potential of meeting a new love-interest’s friends and family. Here are some tips for surviving the holiday season if you’re in a new relationship or if you’re a single guy or gal.
Holiday Guidelines: Gift Giving
If you’ve started seeing someone regularly (1-3 months), a small thoughtful gift, a nice dinner, or a date that’s a bit more elaborate than your normal dates is a good place to start. Don’t go overboard in terms of spending. Just offer a small gift to acknowledge them as someone special in your life. A nice dinner, concert tix, or something else that’s not the minimum effort, but not the maximum either. Plan or give something that is a step above your normal date.
If you and your love-interest are starting to get serious (3+ months), a weekend trip celebrating the holidays together is a nice holiday plan plus a small gift (something your love-interest mentioned they’d like) is perfect. At this point in your new relationship, an experiential gift is a great thing to share. Instead of just giving an item, you’ll be sharing an experience and creating a memory together.
Holiday Guidelines: Bringing a Love-Interest Home
a. Only bring a love-interest home with you if you are both okay with possibly taking your relationship to the next level. Inviting a love-interest home is you saying that you like where things are headed in your relationship and you want old friends and family to get to know your someone special. If you are not okay with this possibility, you might want to reconsider bringing your crush home.
b. Have a conversation with your love-interest in regards to what this trip means for both of you and the details associated with the trip. Though introducing a love-interest to family is a big deal for some, it’s less of a big deal for others. Talk about your family dynamic and what may or may not be expected by the two of you as well as the family you’ll be visiting. Will you be expected to sleep in separate rooms for example. Who’s paying for what? What titles are going to be used when introducing/being introduced to family and friends? Though sometimes awkward, it’s best to have these conversations before your trip home to avoid miscommunication and a potentially awkward, drama-filled holiday season.
c. Make sure to include your love-interest in all activities. Remember that he or she is on your turf, so it might be a little intimidating for them to meet all the most important people in your life. Do your best to keep an eye on your love-interest so he or she isn’t stuck in an intense political conversation with your hot-tempered cousin for example.
[Tweet “The greatest gift of all is spending time with those you love. #Holidays “]
Holiday Guidelines: Keeping In Touch
If either you or your love-interest are going to be in different cities during the holidays, listen up! Regular phone and text conversations are essential if you intend to keep your love-interest interested while one or both of you are away. It’s naive not to be in touch then expect to effortlessly pick up where you left off after possibly a month of not being together. Not talking to or seeing a love-interest for a few weeks can seem like months if you’ve only been dating your love-interest for a few weeks.
It’s important to touch base every so often, specifically anywhere from every few days to once a week. Remember, even though your love-interest knows that you are away visiting family for the holidays, it’s important to show your level of interest even though you’re away. A short call or text can be enough to keep your love-interest interested. If you mostly text with your love-interest, send a few ‘happy holidays’ texts to touch base. If you usually call each other, a quick call to say ‘hello’ is a great way to stay on your love-interest’s radar.
Depending on the length of time that you are out of touch with your love-interest, he or she may interpret your lack of calling or texting as a snub or lack of interest and consequently decide to move on with someone who is better at checking in. It’s easy to equate silence with disinterest even if that isn’t your intention.
Holiday Guidelines for Singles
Go on a date! There’s a lot of fun holiday-themed things to do like ice skating, festival of lights showings, or even just watching your favorite holiday movies together. Less pressure than if you were dating someone seriously. You don’t have to stress about the other stuff that new couples are stressing about. If you go on a first (even a second or third) date with someone new over the holiday season, you’re main objective should be to simply get to know your crush. You can enjoy the perks of the holiday season without the stress of picking out the perfect gift, talking about relationship statuses/having the ‘what are we conversation’.
If you are adequately prepared, the holidays can be super fun rather than super stressful! Do what you can to have an amazing time with loved ones during the holiday season and do what you can to avoid misunderstandings, drama, and overall holiday unhappiness. Tis the season!