Holiday parties, family gatherings and gift giving are just a few of the things that can build tension in a new relationship this time of year. Emotions fly high and an abundance of social events can cause a great deal of stress.

Salama Marine, in-house psychologist for EliteSingles says:

“Christmas is probably the most stressful period for everyone. Finding perfect gifts, preparing the perfect dinner… the whole month of December is dedicated to this special day. When you add a new partner into the mix, things can be even more complicated.”

Photo: Alice Donovan

Indeed, incorporating a new love interest into your family’s traditional holiday plans can put a lot of time-pressure on the the dating process. And, as Marine points out, there’s some evidence its even more stressful for women.

“Our latest EliteSingles survey revealed that Canadian men and women have different expectations regarding Christmas, especially when it comes to spending the day with a new partner. Compared to men, women don’t want to introduce a new partner to their family during Christmas, perhaps because they already have so much to think about.’’

With that said, its important to remember that there are no rules around when you should introduce someone to your loved ones. Every couple has to decide for themselves if it’s the right time t4o meet the family or not.

“The key thing for people in new relationships to remember is to communicate as soon as possible, and make the decision together so everyone feels comfortable with the situation,” says Marine.

Keep reading for pro-tips on how to conquer common tension-filled moments that many new couples face this time of year, courtesy of Marine.

Holiday Parties

Not sure if you should invite your special someone to a party? You might be intimidated by thoughts of them entering a room of unfamiliar people with inside jokes and shop talk flying around. Would they feel left out?

Consider whether or not the event will actually be a good time for your date. If you decide to bring them, make sure you introduce them, include them in conversations, and make them comfortable.

If there’s any uncertainty as to how they might act in a holiday party environment, or if there is a good chance you’ll have to babysit them all night, hold off inviting your plus one.

Photo: Alice Donovan

Christmas With The Family

Meeting parents for the first time can be nerve-racking. Meeting grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins at the same time can be overwhelming. So, if you haven’t already introduced the person you’re dating to your family, it’s best to wait.

If your partner insists, make it a point to disclose any details they should know about your family first – your Aunt’s cheekiness, your sister-in-law’s nosiness, etc. This way, they can make an informed decision about tagging along.

To Gift Or Not To Gift

Knowing what to gift someone in a new relationship can be tricky. Should spring for something expensive? Keep it small? Or possibly forgo the gift giving altogether? Well, a recent EliteSingles survey actually showed that Canadian men and women are divided on this issue – 67% of men want to exchange gifts with a new partner while just 55% of women feel the same.

Broach the subject with your partner first to see if they would like to exchange small gifts. This will help avoid the awkwardness of surprising them with a thoughtful present and then finding out that they didn’t get you anything in return.

Watch The Rum & Eggnog

Though a hefty dose of liquid courage will help anyone feel less rigid and a bit jollier at a holiday party, it’s best to keep drinking to a minimum. Particularly if you’re meeting your partner’s friends for the first time.

The alcohol at holiday parties is usually free flowing, but if you want to make a good impression, keep yourself in check. Focus on enjoying the festivities and creating special memories with your new partner.

STYLE Canada

STYLE Canada

STYLE Canada is a lifestyle destination that inspires modern Canadians to dress stylishly and live fully.

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