How To Handle An Unexpected Holiday Romance
Meeting someone over the holidays can be awkward for you both. Christmas is a time when families and friends come together to enjoy food, drink, the opening of presents, and each other’s company. It is a strange time to introduce a person you barely know to people you’ve known all your life, and it is equally weird to be your new girl’s date at her family gathering.
There is a way of dealing with this situation that allows you to spend time with your girl without spoiling the Christmas you had planned. In fact, your unfamiliarity with her may provide an opportunity to have a merrier Christmas than you thought possible.
Here are a few tips on how to handle an unexpected holiday romance.
Christmas time flings are quite common. I have always viewed Christmas as a time to be with the people you love, and the advertising at this time of year would have us all believe that everyone is jolly and happy at this time of year. However, there are a great many people who hate Christmas. The longer I live the more people I meet whose childhood experience of Christmas was hell, and this has left them unable to enjoy the holidays in the conventional manner.
It has also made them—the women especially—especially desirous of intimacy. Sex is used as a substitute for the merriment and celebration that everyone else is enjoying. You must therefore figure out if you and this new girl are having a holiday fling or at the beginning of a relationship that will go well into the New Year.
If she is on your own and you are on your own for the holidays, then the question of where to spend Christmas is easily resolved. The trouble comes when you both have commitments to spend time at the houses of friends and family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
I am not one for going to the family home of a woman I’ve just met on either day. Being put in that situation may compel you to respond to questions you are not prepared to answer. Christmas is a time for rest and relaxation, not stress.
The more sensible option is for you both to carve out time to spend with one another—alone. You don’t have to spend the entire day at the place you had planned to go Christmas Day. And Christmas Eve can be split in two: an early romantic dinner with your girl followed by time with the others, or an opposite arrangement.
People take the religious significance of Christmas with varying degrees of seriousness. The fact is that what we know as Christmas is actually a Roman pagan festival celebrating the winter solstice. The early Christians appropriated the holiday for their own purposes. In my view, the holiday belongs as much to the non-believer as it does to the believer. If you are in the former category, you may be in the habit of celebrating the holiday without stepping foot into a church.
Your new girl may have a different practice. It is certainly an issue that you need to confront straightaway. If she goes to service for Christmas it doesn’t follow that she is religious; many people do it to satisfy their families. The point is to come to some agreement about what each of you intends so that no false expectations are built up.
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About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.