(This is cross-posted at BlogHer.)
Should we handle dating around the holidays any differently than we would at any other time of year? I’m sure there are some people who might, but I don’t. I do the same thing I always do: I sign in to my dating site if I feel like it (which means I might sign in every-other day, or maybe wait a few weeks between visits, depending on my mood). I answer emails from new people if they strike me the right way, otherwise I delete them. I might meet 2-3 people in one week, or maybe I’ll go a month without meeting someone new. I’d have no problem meeting someone new on Christmas Eve, as long as I didn’t have anything else planned. Who cares?
I found a Holiday Dating Do’s and Don’ts article that recommends not logging into your dating account over the holidays at all. Umm…WHY NOT? I understand not logging in on a Friday or Saturday night (when you’re supposed to give off the impression that you’re away from home because you’re too popular and desirable to spend a weekend night alone). But refraining from signing-in at all is just silly.
I met a guy online in December of last year, shortly before Christmas, but because of the holidays and our conflicting schedules we didn’t actually meet in person until after January 1st. However, we were exchanging text messages on Christmas Day. Did I think I was breaking some kind of boundary or maybe giving him the impression that I was a loser? Not at all. A text takes a short time to send; it was harmless.
If you refrain from meeting anyone new around the holiday season, you’re putting too much pressure on dating. The purpose of dating is to have fun and meet new people – if you’re worried about whether you should buy someone a gift because you’ve only been dating a few weeks, you’re taking the fun out of it.
If I’d been on a few dates with someone in the weeks leading up to Christmas, there are a few things I might do: If we went out for a drink or dinner, I might grab the check and pay for everything, saying “Merry Christmas!” as I signed the check. Or I could hand him a bag of homemade cookies with a “Here, these are for you! Happy holidays!” Basically, I have no problem spending a little bit of money or a little bit of time, but I wouldn’t hand over a gift that was all wrapped-up, no matter how much it cost (even if the gift cost less than his dinner). I’m sure there are other good ways that people handle this situation, but that’s what I would do.
Are you dating during the holiday season? Pretend it’s spring, summer, or fall. Unless, of course, you feel like stressing yourself out unnecessarily — if that’s the case, have at it. As for me, I’ll be out having fun.
Misadventures in Atlanta: Single-ish During the Holidays
The Frisky: Dating Don’ts: Dealing With Holiday Hell