(Updated on December 17, 2015)
It’s that time of year again when we are celebrating the holidays. But when you’re presently dating someone new, or the relationship is just starting to take hold, how do you handle certain issues when it comes to gifts, family, etc.? At Premier Match we are often coaching clients on these “dilemmas” and would like to share a few of them with you, along with a few resolutions on how to make the holidays the best they can be with your new love.
So, how do you handle:
With holiday dating, the issue of whether or not to exchange gifts can be confusing. If you’re dating casually, you shouldn’t feel obligated to give a gift just because it’s the holidays. However, if you feel you would like to give your date something thoughtful, keep it inexpensive but something they would appreciate. It’s good to pay attention to what s/he likes so that they will know you care and that you put some thought into your gift: perhaps a book on a special topic that was discussed or a bottle of scotch that was tasted and enjoyed. Another great gift idea is pre-arranging a future date together– whether it be tickets to a play or ball game or an evening of skating in the park. Remember, certain gifts are going to imply certain intentions. Giving your gal lingerie will certainly hint at the idea that you’re looking for a more sexual relationship, which may be great or awkward. Be careful about splurging for gifts dealing with grooming or exercise as they may backfire and cause your date to believe that you are dissatisfied with the way they look and want to change them.
When contemplating inviting a date to a family gathering, first consider whether an extra guest is welcome. Is there room at the dinner table and will your family feel comfortable with a virtual stranger joining them? The nature of the gathering can also determine the appropriateness of inviting someone special. If it’s a cocktail party with extended family and close friends, then a date will be appropriate. However, if it’s an intimate gift exchange amongst siblings then perhaps inviting your friend later would be a better bet. Consider your date’s feelings too. Will s/he feel comfortable with off-key family Christmas caroling or being asked by your nosy aunt when you two will be getting married because you “look so adorable together.”
The Office Party
With dinner, drinks, and dancing, why not bring along someone to share in the fun? Having a date can also prevent a potentially embarrassing interoffice hook-up. However, turning an office party into an opportunity for holiday dating presents a few concerns similar to family gatherings. Are dates welcome at the event? If your company is budget-conscious, they may not allow dates to come. Will your date enjoy spending time with your co-workers? Since you’re the only one s/he knows, it’s especially important to make sure you don’t abandon your date during the evening.
If you’re seeing someone that has a different religious belief, holiday dating can highlight conflicts in your spiritual thought process/beliefs. The key to avoiding problems is to be open and honest about your comfort level at all times. Don’t feel obligated to go to your date’s house of worship if you feel uncomfortable partaking in the religious rituals. As long as you are open and communicate your concerns you both can have a better time getting through the holiday season. It may also allow you the opportunity to see if you are both compatible in this area and if your relationship has the potential to last.
Work, Work and More Work
If you find that the case you are working on or the budget deal is cutting into your personal life, hopefully you can steal away and attend at least one gathering that will be meaningful this holiday season. A lot of busy professionals find themselves working against the clock to finish projects before the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s and we are now into another tax year. Try to pace it, get your sleep but find some balance between work and play–it’s important for your mental sanity as well as your emotional well-being.