‘Tis the season to be married, or at least cuffed up—that is if you buy into the plethora of Christmas tunes, TV commercials, and Lifetime movies that beat us over the head with scenes of kissing under the mistletoe, reuniting with past loves or getting down on one knee. Basically, bringing your Tinder reject to the company’s holiday party is always better than flying solo this time of year.
No doubt emotions are at an all-time high in December. I, for one, tear up each time I hear Joni Mitchell’s “River” and don’t even get me started on Die Hard—I mean, if John McClane can find true love, why can’t I?
It’s easy to crack under the pressure that the holidays wrought and lose yourself in carbs and booze and hours of Jingle All the Way (Ah-nold and Sinbad are pretty safe bets when it comes to avoiding romance, amIrite?). So in order to avoid another Blue Christmas, I’ve come up with a Holiday Dating Survival Guide. Keep the change, ya filthy animal!
Avoid Social Media
Stalking your ex online is awfully tempting this time of year—especially whilst listening to Wham!’s “Last Christmas” after consuming a bottle of red (so I hear). But taking a trip down memory lane is the worst thing you could do for your emotional sanity. The last thing you need to see is your old lover shacking up with her new lover and pics of His and Her hand towels. Instead, create your own memories. Get out of the house and meet up with friends. Go to the local soup kitchen and pitch in. Visit the local skating rink and shoot some pucks. Focus on your own happiness, and a funny thing will happen—you’ll actually be happy.
Block Your Ex
When we enter the holiday season, we’re also entering “breakup season.” This time of year—specifically the two weeks before Christmas—is when most couples split. If this happens—or has happened—to you, the first thing you need to do is block your ex. Delete her number and make sure she’s blocked on all social media profiles. Don’t wish her a “Merry Christmas,” and don’t ask her what she’s doing on New Year’s Eve. The temptation will be heart wrenching, but subjecting yourself to someone who no longer belongs in your life is both tortuous and toxic. Remember: your heart will mend, and there is always 2016 to find new love!
Avoid Cuffing Up
The winter months are also known to singles as “cuffing season,” wherein which normally happily single people find themselves desperate to spend the lonely dark nights with someone. Entering a relationship in order to cure loneliness is never a good idea. Dating is healthy, but wanting to be someone only to be with someone—anyone!—is not. If you aren’t really ready to date (and you will know the answer based on whether you feel anxious or peaceful about it), then spend time with friends and family and being your own best bud instead.
Discuss Gift Giving
If you are already in a relationship, or if you are recently dating someone, then it’s important to discuss gift giving beforehand—you know, like, before Christmas Eve. Gift giving can be stressful, particularly for a new couple, so it’s wise to settle on a mutual budget or whether or not exchanging gifts is something you’re both comfortable with. Just a tip: avoid getting her a gift that you would enjoy. For example: sports tickets, tools, or lingerie. If you’re really stuck, ask her friends and family for some helpful hints.
If online dating is something you’ve always been interested in, now is the time to create your profile. Accept all holiday invitations, and keep an open mind. Whether you’re standing in line at the mall or attending your former roommate’s ugly Christmas sweater party, you never know where you might find love. Don’t wonder or worry if someone you’ve recently met is The One or not—just have fun and see where the holiday season takes you.