November 21, 2015

  • Date Night With Dr. Mike: Holidating - How to Survive Dating Through the Holidays

The holidays can be a tipping point in any relationship. This is true whether you have been seeing each other for weeks, for months, or even years. This article will attempt to guide you safely through the treacherous waters of holiday season dating.

The New Relationship

You’ve been dating for a few weeks, you like each other. Let’s just leave it at that for now. 

Under no circumstance should you invite a new flame home for the holidays. No matter what the fare, whether it be for turkey, egg nog or latkes, just say no. 

It’s too early in the relationship. An invitation to meet your parents won’t be expected, and at this point it’s more likely to scare someone away than to woo them.

Gift giving is always tricky. At this early stage in the relationship a small gift will be very well received.  Gifts should be kept to under $25.

Over-the-top gifts will be perceived as exactly that and should be avoided.

Try to think back to something (s)he may have mentioned on one of your dates.  The right gift will show that you care and have been paying attention. It may even help bring your relationship to a new level. 

The In-Betweeners

Okay, it’s been at least a few months now, you’re thinking this could be something real. This is perhaps the most uncertain period of a relationship.

There is still no obligation to spend the holidays together, and it may yet still complicate things. But if you feel strongly about it and you really like this person… then go ahead and invite them home for the holidays if you so wish. 

My one condition is that this must be somebody that you have spoken to your parents about. If you haven’t, it either means you think your parents will not be comfortable with your relationship, or that you don’t truly take the relationship that seriously just yet.

In either scenario it would be wise to reexamine things and have a discussion with both yourself and your family. Then you’ll know exactly where you stand when it comes time to invite him/her home for Easter/Passover.

As for gifts… You probably know each other pretty well by now, use that to your advantage to pick the perfect gift. 

You may have even picked up a few hints while walking hand-in-hand together through Barneys or Bloomingdales (or Canal St… wherever, it doesn’t matter). Maybe (s)he stopped to look at a particular item.

I would recommend sticking below the $100 mark.  Enough to show that you’re sincere, but not so much that it says you’re a putz. 

Stocking stuffers might also be a fun way to go.  And if you’re Jewish, maybe you fill a big dreidel with a bisl gelt.

The "It" Couple

You’ve been dating a year or more.  Your friends think you’re the perfect couple.  Strangers envy the fire with which you stare lovingly into each other’s eyes.  You are the “it couple.”

At this point you darn well better invite your darling love home for the holidays to meet his/her potential future in-laws. 

If not, it’s likely time reevaluate whether you really see this relationship going anywhere.  Attraction may have brought you together, but if you don’t envision a future together it may be time to call it quits.

…don’t worry I’m sure the above doesn’t describe you.  And so you are now faced with the task of selecting the perfect gift. 

You’ve been together a while, use your judgement, spend within your means. Try to pick out something you know (s)he would love, but would probably never buy for themselves. 

Maybe you noticed that his wallet is getting worn-out… buy him a new one. Or maybe her ears get cold when you walk outside together… buy her some earmuffs. You get the idea.

Of course ice often accompanies the holidays as well. It may be cliché, but if the time is right then get down on one knee and go for it!


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