Why Dating During The Holidays Is Weird

It’s November, the month that signals the return of red cups at Starbucks, the release of countless Hallmark movies about  female bakers who’ve turned their backs on love, and scary Black Friday shopping. But November also signals something more subtle, the unofficial end of “Cuffing Season” and the beginning of “Awkward Holiday Dating” season.

Starting a successful relationship in November or December can be done, but it’s about as challenging as assembling an Ikea changing table (Trust me, I know). Here’s a list of problems associated with dating in the last two months of the calendar year.

1. Do You Have To Buy Them a Christmas Gift?

Let’s say you like someone, but you’ve only been on six dates with said person. You’ve had adult sleepovers and maybe even spent a lazy Sunday together, but you’ve yet to put a label on it – and you’re definitely not ready to co-own an Instant Pot. So, should you give this love interest a holiday gift? If so, what do you settle on? A big ticket item could suggest you’re coming on too strong, and risk scaring them off. However, a $10 succulent from Costco could appear paltry and insulting.

Of course, you could take a gamble on not getting your new boo anything. However, that cop out will backfire if the possible love of your life pulls off the perfect present. Basically, shopping for holiday gifts in early relationships is harder than a logic game on the LSAT.

2. What If You Don’t See Them For A Few Weeks?

The holidays are a time where almost everyone is over-scheduled. Whether you care about any of the Judeo-Christian celebrations taking place in December, some do involve statutory holidays.That means lots of people are either celebrating with their families, or getting some much need R & R on the couch while rewatching The Office for the thirtieth time. You or your potential partner could easily be going out of town, and a drawn-out hiatus can put a lot of stress on a fledgling relationship.

3. What If You Meet The Parents Too Soon?

Let’s say you decide you like the person you’ve been dating for for three weeks far too much to be separated for several days during the holidays. What’s the alternative? Well, at times like these, it can feel tempting to introduce someone to your folks prematurely. All that festival cheer can make introducing someone to your family feel like a better idea than it actually is. But please resist! Why? Because introducing your relatives – and the politics that entails – can put an inordinate amount of pressure on a new relationship. It’s always best to ensure someone actually loves you before introducing them to Sexist Uncle Bob or dread Cousin Ken, the one who’s constantly trying to sell you knives from Cutco. How on earth did Ken find someone to marry him?

4. What If Your New Relationship Cramps Your New Year’s Style?

Kissing your bae at midnight is a sweet and sentimental tradition. But, you know what else is fun? Heading to a party and making out with random people! If you waste your New Year’s Eve on someone you’ve been dating for less than a month, there’s no guarantee your nascent relationship will endure through Valentine’s Day; however, you’ve still sacrificed on one of the best mingling nights of the year for single folks! Don’t pass up on the opportunity to put on a sparkly dress, slap on some impractically high heels, and flirt with as many people as possible! You’ve earned it!

Sarah Sahagian

Sarah Sahagian

Sarah Sahagian is a feminist writer based in Toronto. Her byline has appeared in such publications as Elle Canada, Flare, Bitch Media, The Toronto Star, and The National Post. She is also the co-host of You Do You: A Dating Podcast. Sarah holds a master’s degree in Gender Studies from The London School of Economics. You can find her on Twitter, where she posts about politics and live-tweets The Bachelor