Holiday Dating Do’s and Don’ts

By Christie Nightingale

Single? You’re not alone.

And depending on your point of view, being single during the holidays can be tough…

Or it can be the perfect time to get out and meet new and interesting people.

For those single and searching, here are some tips to assist you in making a love connection during the holidays:

1. Let people know you are single and looking to meet someone new.
It’s the perfect time of year to broadcast to your friends that you single and searching and that you are more than willing to accompany another single person to a holiday event should they need a date. Announce to your family that you’re single this holiday season, and because of that, you might very well invite someone to the festivities who is also single but doesn’t have family living close by to celebrate with. In the end, get the word out and expand your social network.

2. Accept every holiday invitation.
Unless a holiday party is a challenge to get to or you know an “ex” will be present, make a point of accepting every holiday invitation that comes your way – no matter how unusual, farfetched or random. In fact, the more events you attend the more comfortable you will become to step outside of your safety zone and expose yourself to new groups of people.

3. Be prepared for spontaneous holiday cheer.
As a single person, it may be assumed that your calendar is much more flexible than a parent with three kids. Therefore it may not be uncommon for someone like yourself to receive last-minute invites to holiday functions. Make sure you have one or two holiday outfits ready to wear that are clean, appropriate and festive.

4. Reconnect with old friends, and/or bring a date to an event.
If you must have a date for an event, it is perfectly fine to consider an old friend or someone you know that is also single and searching. The evening can be a fun way to stroll around and socialize. Tell your single friend that you’ll be game to be their “date” for the next holiday gathering s/he might be invited to. It’s a great way to network and meet new people!

5. Plan for mistletoe and stolen kisses.
If you are single, there is no harm in hanging around the Mistletoe. This way, you can strike up a conversation about the silly mistletoe tradition and even cop a few great kisses! While many of the recipients may not be what you’re looking for, you never know….. people meet in the strangest places and you might just like someone that has been strolling around throughout the night. Hopefully, you can make eye contact with them and get them to walk over to your locale….under the mistletoe!

Holiday Dating Dilemmas

All this saying “yes” should bring you success–and these welcomed dilemmas, below. Here’s how to handle them:

1. Gifts
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 he likes, so that he will know you care, and that you put some thought into your gift: perhaps a book on a special topic she discussed or a bottle of scotch that he has boosted about.

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.

2. Family Gatherings
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 than 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 my your nosy aunt when you two will be getting married because you “look so adorable together.”

3. 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.

4. Differing Beliefs
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.

5. 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 chime strikes twelve on New Years 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.

Christie Nightingale is the founder of Premier Match. Since its founding, Nightingale has interviewed thousands of single people throughout the east coast and around the country and has grown the company to include fully staffed offices in New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC. She has built a strong alliance network with other independent matchmakers that are located in strategic parts of the United States (Mid-West, West Coast) and abroad (UK, Western Europe) in order to expand the level of services provided and grow her database to now include well over 10,000 members.