THE BLOG
12/24/2012 02:15 pm ET | Updated Feb 23, 2013

Dating During the Holidays

The holiday season is a busy time for everyone whether you are single, married or in a relationship. Sometimes it's difficult to know the right and wrong things to do when it comes to dating during the holidays. If you are concerned that you might make a faux pas or two, have no fear, here are some rules to help you make it through the season.

1. Establish if you are giving gifts or not. If you have been together for awhile, chances are, you should be giving your beau a gift. However, if it's a new relationship, the two of you need to decide if you are doing gifts.

2. Make sure you have an appropriate party dress to wear to his work Holiday party and/or to his family's home. The right outfit is something festive yet conservative. Do not go with your new uber trendy outfit. And, if you are concerned that it might be too sexy, it is.

3. Don't misinterpret what an invitation to his holiday party means. Sometimes work holiday parties are dated functions and if his has one, chances are he will invite you because he needs to come with a date. Other company's do not allow guests. Don't make assumptions; before you get upset that he hasn't invited you, hint around about whether guests were allowed.

4. Only invite a new love interest to a holiday party with you if you can pay her appropriate attention. You don't want to invite someone to go to an event with you and then leave her alone in the corner. And you don't want to be so busy that your date will feel ignored such that he or she will look for attention elsewhere.

5. If he invites you to his home for the holidays, make sure you bring his mother flowers or a bottle of wine. And then the next day, either call to say what a lovely time you had or send a short note. His mother will notice this and comment positively or negatively accordingly.

6. Make sure to save time for your honey during the holiday party madness. We all get invited to tons of holiday gatherings but do not book yourself so thin that you don't save time for the two of you to see each other. If you see him on December 1 and then don't come up for air again to see him until December 28th, chances are, he won't be around anymore by that point to see you ever again.

7. Figure out if going away together makes sense for the two of you. If you are going away together, that's great but if you aren't at that point yet, make sure you discuss what going away separately means so there are no misinterpretations. And make sure you make a solid effort to be in touch regularly to keep the momentum going.

8. If you are dating a few people casually during the holidays, make sure you remember who you took to what event, when. The holiday season can be such a whirlwind, you need to make sure you don't get so caught-up that you cause an issue for yourself.

9. If you are single during the holidays, keep in mind that this is an excellent time to meet someone. During this time of year, everyone is out and being social, so there are lots of opportunities to meet someone new. Plus, as the holidays approach people tend to take stock of their lives and become more interested in sharing with someone and coupling off.

10. Rule of thumb for a New Year's Eve date, if he hasn't asked you by Christmas, or broached the subject at all, chances are, he is not going to ask you. New Years Eve is a big night and takes some planning, maybe buying tickets to an event, making reservations etc so people tend to lock down those plans as early as possible. If he hasn't said word one by Christmas, make your own plans and then if he does ask you, try to incorporate him into what you are doing. In this way, you personally will be covered either way.

Samantha Daniels is a well-known professional matchmaker and relationship expert. She is the President of Samantha's Table Matchmaking, a bicoastal matchmaking service which caters exclusively to busy, successful professionals who have no trouble getting dates, but who have yet to find that one person with whom to spend the rest of their lives. She is also the author of "Matchbook: The Diary of a Modern Day Matchmaker" (Simon & Schuster). You can follow her on Twitter @Matchmakersd. You can also follow her on her Curator page on OpenSky, where you can get advice and picks for shopping from Celebrities. For more information, you can go to www.SamanthaDaniels.info

Subscribe to the In(formation) email.
The reality of being a woman — by the numbers.