The holidays can be so much fun when you’re with someone you love. Going to family gatherings, buying presents, office parties… it’s a full month of celebrating to end the year on a joyous note. But what if you’re still in the early stages of your relationship? That can be a little trickier. You like them a lot, but it can still too soon for a lot of the things you’d expect to be happening. It can feel like an impossible task, but I’m here to help! Here are my tips for dating someone new during the holidays.

Don’t invite someone new to your family dinner

I have no doubt that your family is incredible, but let’s be honest… when they all get together, it can be a bit much — especially for someone who’s never met them before. Bringing a new partner to Christmas dinner sounds lovely, but they might feel obligated to come if you ask them and could miss out on their own family traditions. Is it serious enough to make that request? Plus, if things don’t end up working out between you two, your entire extended family will be asking about them at the next get-together.

Instead, invite them to a more casual get together

If you still want your family to get to know your new bae, you could opt for a more casual meeting like Boxing Day lunch with just your immediate family, a board game night, or a Christmas movie marathon. Everyone can have fun and get to know each other without the stress of a formal dinner or the pressure for constant conversation.

Ditch the ugly Christmas sweater (unless it’s a themed event)

Unless you received specific instructions to wear the ugliest sweater you could find to the event, don’t wear it. It’ll look tacky, but not in a cute way. There isn’t really a place for ugly sweaters when it comes to holiday dating unless you’re both on board.

Instead, wear festive colours

Wearing a crimson blouse or emerald green dress will look killer on date night and will set you apart from everyone in their boring black ensembles. Donning a bold red or plum lip will also look super chic and festive. The holidays are not a time for subtlety, it’s just all about how you present it.

Don’t go overboard on gifts

Getting an elaborate gift for someone you recently started seeing is a perfect recipe for an awkward situation. It may be too much too soon, and you run the risk of making them feel uncomfortable if they didn’t get you anything.

Get them something small & thoughtfulHoliday dating

Going for a small gift is a great option to let them know you’re thinking about them this holiday season without being overzealous. You can go with an inside joke, a book about something they’re interested in, or a nice bottle of wine. Whatever you choose, they’re sure to like it because you gave it to them.

Give them space

The holiday season is busy for everyone. Everyone’s got shopping to do, events to attend, and commitments they’ve made. If you’re in a new relationship, you may not have coordinated your schedules together yet. Give your partner time to enjoy with their family and friends while you do the same.

Don’t freak out if they’re being a little distant

We could all do with checking our phones a little less, especially around the holidays. It’s important to be present in the moment and appreciate time spent with the people you love! So if bae isn’t responding to all the cute animal videos you’re sending them, don’t freak out. Once Christmas is over, you’ll go back to texting nonstop.

Don’t read into it if they don’t ask you to their office party

All offices are different. Some may expect that everyone will bring a guest, and others may not allow guests at all. Don’t worry about whether you did or didn’t get invited to their office party, chances are the decision has nothing to do with you.

Be a good guest

If you do attend their office party, be a good guest. Don’t be too reliant on them for entertainment and don’t drink too much. You don’t have to go back to work next week… but they do.

If you follow these tips for dating someone new this holiday season, you’re bound to have a wonderful time full of fun & laughter with your main squeeze!

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