Tag Archives: holidays

5 Tips to Handle a New Relationship During the Holidays

You started dating someone new. It’s only been a few weeks, and you may or may not be exclusive. If you’re anxious about what to do or worried that you’ll ruin things, here are 5 tips to handle the newness of a date or relationship during the holidays.

1. Relax. Don’t put pressure on a new relationship. “What are we?” doesn’t have to be defined by date 4. This also means don’t read into things or take things personally. Assume face value of what your significant other says and does. There are a lot of opportunities that can potentially lead to hurt feelings. People are busy during the holidays so if your date isn’t as responsive or as available, there’s no need to freak out.

2. Give an appropriate gift. Since you haven’t known each other long, you can discuss an amount limit for gifts. Get a small but thoughtful gift–something that shows you’ve been paying attention on your dates. They say their favorite food is Nutella so you get them a couple of Costco-sized jars…. Or they love wine so you get an inexpensive bottle. Your gift should convey that you’re interested in them, not that you’re head over heels for them.

3. Keep expectations about social events in check. Whether it’s a house party or the office party, go if you’re invited, but don’t get hurt if you’re not. Maybe a plus one isn’t allowed for the company party, they want to focus on networking or don’t want to get asked by coworkers how your relationship is going given it’s so new. Also, tell your date if you need to do any actual networking during your company party and might need to leave him or her alone for a few minutes. Or if initiating conversations is difficult for you, ask for some introductions to people he knows well so that you have people to talk to.

4. Hold off on meeting the family. The holidays might not be the best time to introduce a new love interest to the entire family. Instead, meet a couple of weeks before the holidays and have dinner or drinks with one or two family members. You can also do something special as a couple, like a fancy holiday dinner for just the two of you.

5. Do what works for the both of you. Don’t compare yourself to friends or get hung up on what you think you “should” be doing. There’s no need to rush. It’s easy to get caught up in the romance of the holidays, but it could set you for some unrealistic expectations.

If only it was as simple as putting “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” on your list to Santa. How cool would it be if he or she actually came wrapped in a red bow? From commercials to songs to couples walking hand in hand seemingly everywhere you look, ‘tis the season for romance. But what if you don’t have a significant other? You can still make it the most wonderful time of the year.


Embrace it. If you’re sad about being single during the holidays or dealing with a breakup, it’s ok. You can’t always push away feelings so don’t fight them. Sometimes giving more energy to the fight makes things worse. Set aside time to be sad, even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes a day, and don’t criticize yourself for feeling down.


Say yes! Novelty and variety can cheer you up, so even just meeting someone new or doing something different can put you in a better mood. You might prefer to stay in and lounge on your couch, but say yes to invitations that come your way – or take the initiative and see what’s going on around town! There’s no excuse with so many opportunities this season: office and ugly sweater parties, citywide events, zoo lights, holiday concerts, etc. And you already have built-in conversation starters: What are you doing for the holidays? Do you have any traditions? What is your favorite holiday memory?


Spread holiday cheer. Sometimes the best gift you can give is yourself. Volunteer for a cause that you believe in, or go caroling around your neighborhood or nursing home. Visit a family member or friend who is going through a tough time. Selfless activities can boost your self-esteem, so giving of yourself is a win-win.


Take advantage. When you’re out and about, take advantage of meeting new people! Maybe there’s someone who catches your eye while you’re shopping for presents or at a holiday concert. Make eye contact and smile! Again, the opportunities for conversation starters are endless: ask their opinion about the gift you’re thinking of buying, or ask them their favorite holiday song. Nervous? That can be a good thing – even just doing something that gets your heart pumping can elevate your mood.


Do your own thing. Have you ever said, “I’ll do X once I meet someone?” Don’t wait! Do what you love now. Start a tradition that you can do solo or when you’re in a relationship. Throw a dinner party with your fabulous friends or take a trip to a place you’ve always wanted to go. Whether big or small, carpe diem!


Be your own Santa. If you’re like my clients, you probably take care of others before yourself. Take the holidays for some self-care or treat yourself to a meaningful gift or experience. It’s a great reminder to be aware of your own needs, what’s been missing in your life, and that it’s ok to put yourself first sometimes.


Celebrate you. What’s amazing about you? What have you overcome? Think of all of your accomplishments this past year. Write out all that you have done and completed in the past 12 months and then celebrate. Appreciate what you have achieved. It’s important to recognize your worth whether you’re single or in a relationship.


And if all else fails, just carry around some mistletoe.