Navigating the holidays when you just started dating someone new

couples during the holidays

It can be tough navigating the holidays when you’ve just started dating someone new.

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Do you buy them a gift? Do you invite them to your work holiday party? Burning questions answered.

Along with sleigh bells ringing and jingle bells jingling, hearts are vibrating this holiday season with every click of a dating app. The popularity of Tinder, Match and Bumble means people are dating now more than ever, with “just for fun” and love matches happening every day. But what are the rules for new relationships when it comes to the holidays? And what’s the deal with gifts?

To keep you in the game and dodging deal-breakers, here are a few of burning questions answered.

I really like this guy/girl. Should I take them to my work holiday party?

The answer is ... maybe. The office party can be full of landmines, so do NOT take the new bae if any of the following apply:

  • You have slept with or have dated any fellow coworker. Talk about a tinder box of drama.
  • Your co-workers are mind-numbingly boring. Your date will have an awful time, end of story. Try to overcompensate and you come off as obnoxious. No and no.
  • You tend to get drunk at work parties and become the office fool. Stumbling, cursing, laughing maniacally, flirting and dancing on tables could spell disaster. Best not let that cat out of the bag.

We’ve only been dating a few weeks! Am I expected to give a gift?

The short answer is yes. It’s always better to play it safe, but this doesn’t mean jump into the deep end and spend $500. Keep the gift inexpensive, simple and personal. Show the new squeeze you’ve been paying attention. Are they a health nut? Check out this gift guide for the health conscious LINK. Noticed they like to doodle or color? Make a gift box with an adult coloring book, a new set of pencils and a bag of local coffee or tea (maybe find something at one of these local art supply shops). No matter what their passions, there is a gift around $20-$40 that matches it.

What if they don’t give me anything back?

Don’t expect a return gift. Remember holidays are about giving, not the stink eye if a present isn’t reciprocated.

What are a few ideas for inexpensive, but cool gifts?

Google Mini: This $29 gift is perfect for romantic evenings and morning-after plans. Ask Google to play songs while snuggling on the couch, organize all of your big dates, and ask for the weather when the sun rises.

Amazon Fire Stick: Speaking of couch love, binge on Amazon originals with this inexpensive gift. Forget expensive movie tickets, bring the popcorn, wine and a blanket for instant entertainment ($25).

Adult Wine Coasters: Keep your new love smiling with these humorous coasters for wine lovers. Engraved birch or cedar coasters include the slogans “I pull out” with a bottle opener, “Screw it” with a corkscrew, and “Sip happens” ($19-$22).


Newly dating gift idea: Punny drink coasters from Etsy.

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YETI Rambler Mug: For the guy or gal that loves to camp and/or mainlines coffee. Keep coffee piping hot with this 14 oz. insulated mug by the most popular company in coolers this century. It comes in six colors from Tahoe blue to brick red ($25).

yeti tumbler

Newly dating gift idea: Yeti tumbler to keep drinks cold or hot.

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Miscellaneous gifts from Moniker General, Liberty Station: Head to this shop for effortlessly cool gifts for the new sweetie. Try the homemade incense from LA-based Maaps to keep their crib smelling as good as yours ($18), candles for mood-setting ($28), and stylish notebooks for leaving an inscription they won’t forget ($16).

2860 Sims Rd., Liberty Station, 619.255.8772,  


Newly dating idea: Candles that will make his places smell as good as yours or vice versa.

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Gift guide: Outdoor adventurers

Gift guide: Spirited cocktail lovers

Gift guide: Health conscious goodies

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