December 19th, 2012 by Amy Estes

How to deal with a new relationship over the holidays…


Meeting someone special is always wonderful, but figuring out how to deal with a new relationship around the holidays can be tricky. Do you exchange gifts? How much should you spend? Do you go to one another’s family events? Is it too soon for them to be your date to an office party?

Here are a few ideas for how to deal with a new relationship over the holidays.

1. Don’t go overboard on gifts. A few years ago, I started seeing someone right around Thanksgiving. Our relationship was so new that neither one of us felt comfortable having a traditional “gift budget” conversation usually reserved for more established relationships. Instead, I got him a gift card to our favorite coffee place and baked him some cookies, and he got me tickets to see The Nutcracker (with him, of course). It was just right. No one spent too much and we got to have a shared experience. Win-win.

It’s better to do something small and thoughtful than something HUGE and/or nothing at all.

2. Let them take the lead on “their” get togethers. For some, introducing you to their family is no biggie — everyone is welcome! For others, it might be more comfortable after the relationship has gone on longer. If it’s been less than six months, relax. No need to push it at the holidays. It might be better to get together for a low key dinner with just your significant other’s parents as opposed to meeting the entire family.

If you’re concerned about the office, take the same tact: relax. Bringing someone you’re just getting to know to a formal event with all your co-workers is a big deal. Don’t push.

3. Be sure you’re comfortable before you invite them to yours. I introduced an ex to my family way too quickly once and it was disastrous. I didn’t know him well enough to bring him around and as a result, it was incredibly awkward and he didn’t fit in at all. If we’d dated longer, I’d have know he wasn’t a good match but I was so excited.

That said, I brought my current boyfriend to a work event just a few months into our relationship and it went well. People are good in different situations. Use your judgment.

Obviously, every relationship is different. The goal is to find a way to make everyone feel comfortable. Hopefully, this will just be the start of many holidays together. And if you’re single, here are a few reasons to enjoy that during the holiday season.

How do you navigate the holidays in a new relationship?


Amy is a writer & teacher living in Sacramento, CA. She writes at Coffee & Sunshine & tweets at @amy_estes

3 Responses to “How to deal with a new relationship over the holidays…”

  1. December 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm, melissa said:

    well im 21 years old never had a long lasting relationship in my life , i must say i fall in love twice but @ the end i realised i felt alone. ok i have this guy he’s 26 , he used to date my older sister 22, they even have sex once, when my sister told him she has a bf who she ‘s extremely in love with , he was mad , but after a while they decided to become bestfriend. he came to my house to spend a week with my sis bcuz he had some family prob. he told me that he likes me. bla . he even ask me if since my sis always want him to get a real gf. so he gonna tell her that he likes me. but the problem is my sister is too jealous, i dnt know how she gonna take it. but i like the guy tho. we kiss and almost have sex. i feel so embarrace about. i dnt know what to do, i wonder if he likes me or wanna get into my pants or just wanna get my sis jealous. plz i need advice

  2. December 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm, Cynthia ( said:

    This is a lovely reminder that girls (and guys) don’t need to rush anything just based on emotional excitement. Although easier said than done, it’s key to remember how a previous relationship didn’t last because of a similar mistake now.

    The holidays are full of love and passion, it’s hard not to want to enjoy it with a new partner. It should be a new years resolution to try and make it past the gift-giving and family reunions without a snow storm ruining your chances of a long term relationship :)

    • December 21, 2012 at 5:50 am, Elizabeth Marie said:

      Aww, I love that Cynthia! So true!

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