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Erika Ettin: Pros and cons of dating during the holidays

Erika Ettin, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

Every year, without fail, the holiday season sneaks up on me by surprise. One minute I’m sitting on the beach, and seemingly the next I’m handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. In a blink, it will be Thanksgiving, ushering in over a month of nonstop activities: holiday parties, shopping for gifts, get-togethers with family and friends, traveling — and adding dating into the mix can be overwhelming.

Being single during the holiday season definitely has its benefits. With your social calendar filling up, you’re even more likely to meet someone new from outside your circle. Maybe it’s a cliche I’ve picked up from watching too many Hallmark movies, but there is always the hope that a night out ends with a kiss under the mistletoe. (With lights and decorations everywhere, what could be more romantic?)

Plus, with holiday markets popping up, ice skating rinks opening, and "The Nutcracker" playing at your local theater, the number of fun date ideas are endless. Not to mention, a lot of people take time off work during the holidays, so a Monday morning coffee meet-up or Wednesday lunch date might be possible when it’s normally not.

However, there are complications that come with the holiday season too. Maybe you find someone on a dating website or app who seems great, your conversation is flowing with ease, and it comes to the point where you both want to meet — but you have your office party this weekend, followed by the end-of-year rush at work, then are traveling for a week, and your match isn’t available when you’re free. It’s a lot to manage.

 

My advice? Be open to situations arising without crowding your calendar. This time of year can be exciting for single people and new relationships, but at the heart of it is time with your family, both those who are blood-related to you and the friends you can’t imagine life without. Make them the priority... and if they happen to have an attractive acquaintance coming to their New Year’s Eve party, even better.

Also, don’t take it personally if someone you went on a few dates with is taking an extra long time to call or text back. It is likely too early to bring you to family get-togethers and holiday activities, and their schedule is just as packed as yours. It’s a complicated situation where no one wants to hurt feelings yet they have other elements of life to prioritize.

This time of year is also a point where a lot of my clients choose to take a break from dating, which everyone needs once in a while. It’s a good opportunity to reflect on the past year, focus on work and family, and be ready to get back on the dating scene in the new year.

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