Winter arrived early like an unwanted relative and dumped record amounts of snow as if to announce, "Put away the jeweled flip-flops, Sweetheart, and grab a coat before you freeze your assets."
Because I've been around the block many times in all kinds of weather, I'm here to give unsolicited but helpful advice if you intend to enter into a new relationship. Here are some reasons you should never start dating during cold weather:
1. Shivering is unattractive. Gazing into a new lover's eyes loses a romantic spark if your nose is red and producing enough snot to fill a salad bowl.
2. Bundling is bulgy. If you go out for the evening, you can't wear sexy sandals or else you'll slip on the ice and bruise your ego. Instead, you'll pull on clumsy boots, thick pants that could protect a Sherpa on Mt. Everest, a muffler that sticks to your runny nose, and a parka that's too big to squeeze through the door. And you'll be sneezing into crumpled wads of messy tissue. This is not a sensual look.
3. Don't lose the coat. If you go to a restaurant or fancy event and check your coat, you'll sit with your date and tremble because you're so cold. Crawling onto your companion's lap or pulling the tablecloth around your shoulders for warmth can stifle a genuine return of affection. Keep your coat nearby, and add a wool shawl and portable heater, if necessary. There comes a time when your comfort trumps protocol.
4. Forget strolling hand in hand. Unless you were raised on a frozen tundra, avoid long walks in frigid temperatures. Such an experience could cause your nostrils to freeze and your feet to go numb. Then you'll stumble into the nearest open business, fall onto the floor, and barter your first-born child in exchange for hot coals to be dumped upon your freezing body. This action will cause your date to doubt that you're "The One."
5. Expect to gain weight. We're innocent descendants of our ancestors, and in order to survive the winter they always packed on some extra fat. To honor that tradition, we've been known to add 20 pounds during the first weekend of December. We can't help it. But, that added weight could be a negative when meeting a new beau.
6. Home is comforting. When you're in a new relationship, there's an added stress to be ready for action. The prospective mate better raise the bar if you're going to leave your warm recliner, shave your legs, floss, and find matching socks. Cuddling up at home in your sweatpants with a hot toddy could be a welcome alternative to the dating scene.
7. The other seasons bring problems, also. Don't date in the spring if your allergic rhinitis causes you to wear a nose cap. Beware of summer because you easily get sunburned and can't be touched. And forget about autumn. No one wants to be in a new relationship knowing that the coming holidays could require introductions to your crazy family or the daunting dilemma surrounding gift-giving. Face it, there is no good time.
8. Ignore all these suggestions. You could meet someone and suddenly feel that unique tingle that says, "Shut the front door -- this one's a keeper!" Then by all means, relish the experience and enjoy the fun, regardless of the season.