Monday, December 23, 2013

A guide to holi-dating

A friend of mine came to me last week with this scenario: I just started dating a new guy, and he's asked me to be his date at a get together on Christmas Day. We'd agreed no gifts - but now that we'll be together, should I do something?

My advice was something inexpensive, and possibly homemade (candy, cookies, what-not). That way it can be more of a "thanks for the date" type gift, instead of a Christmas gift. The last thing you want is to make a person feel bad for not reciprocating on the gift.

She thanked me for my "dating guru" advice. While one might argue that of the two of us, the one who is date-less this holiday might not be the guru, it did occur to me that others might appreciate my input on the topic of holiday dating. So, as my gift to you, here are my holi-dating guidelines.


I feel there's a window of opportunity when deciding to date someone seriously. That window closes after October 25. If you start dating someone seriously after that, you run the risk of a very awkward holiday. Between wondering if you should buy him a gift - and if so, how much should you spend - and trying to figure out what it means if he doesn't invite you to meet his family, you could ruin your whole holiday. Now I realize that at some point, every relationship goes through this awkward phase. I just don't want it happening when I'm supposed to be enjoying my gifts family.

Does that mean you can't date at all the last two months of the year? Of course not. I say just keep it very casual, so that you don't get to the gift-giving, family-meeting stage until January (or later).

What if you do get caught in the gift-giving conundrum? See my advice above. Stick with something inexpensive, thoughtful, and not too elaborate. You don't want to create another awkward situation if he does not have a gift for you. Like I said - cookies or candy work if you're the "make stuff in your kitchen" sort. If you're like me, and only know where to keep the soda in your kitchen, then maybe a couple of movie tickets, or even better, offer to take him for a night out. That's nice, thoughtful, and gives the two of you time together, which is what a new relationship is all about.
I am so sick of this song.

What if you do get caught in the family-
meeting pickle? I'm afraid it's been a while since I've personally had this come up. In this type of situation, I always think it's best to fall back on good old-fashioned common courtesies. Wear a nice outfit, but be sure not to out-dress his family. Bring a hostess gift (stay away from food, as you run the risk of insulting the cook) - wine, flowers, etc. Offer to help clean up after the meal.

What about New Year's Eve? There's a lot of pressure on singles to find a date for this night. It's almost worse than Valentine's Day. I personally think it's more important to start your new year off on the right foot - which means spending your evening on a bad date is way worse than spending it with no date. But that's me. The good news here is that New Year's Eve dates don't have to be serious - they just have to be fun. So that guy you met in November who you've been talking to casually? He's perfect. My advice though? If it's been nothing but casual, don't assume that a date on December 31 makes it anything more. Sure, it'd be nice if you start your new year with a kiss from your soulmate - but the truth is, your year can start off just as nicely with a kiss from your dog.

Just my two-cents. Happy holi-dating!

1 comment:

  1. I have thought back to those New Years that I've been in a relationship and none have turned out the way I pictured them. It not romantic to have to nudge & whine until your boyfriend gets off the couch to see the ball drop outside your window. And forget the kiss, haven forbid there can be a little PDA at the strike of midnight. I'm much happier if I'm fast asleep before the calendar changes to a new year m