Getting to Know You - Over the Holidays

Seasonal advice from

Starting a new relationship is exciting but stressful regardless of the time of year. "Am I talking too much? Will he call again? Should I call him? Is he for real? How can I lose five pounds by our next date?" Factor in the holidays, though, and it takes the craziness to a whole new level.

Those beginning-of-relationship questions pale next to the seasonal: "Do I buy my new beau a gift? A card? How do I sign a card: 'Love'? 'Best wishes'? 'Here's hoping'? What if he doesn't get me anything? Will he bring up New Year's Eve, and if not should I? What's his take on the Ugly Christmas Sweater controversy?"

Yes, something that starts in December has a whole different feel from a first meeting in spring, summer or fall - or even in January. You're distracted at a time you want to be obsessed (probably a good thing). You're busy with family obligations, with shopping, wrapping, mailing, baking, getting cards out, travel plans...a million and one details that fill your mind as much as a potential new love otherwise might.

All these holiday activities remind you that you're not part of a couple but soon might be. This at a time of year that can make being alone a social stigma.

So don't overthink it. You shouldn't overthink any new relationship, but especially when there are added pressures. This time of year, schedules are out of whack and longstanding obligations overshadow potential plans with a near-stranger - and rightfully so. Relax. Focus on the holidays and your pre-existing relationships, with friends and family.

There's plenty of time to get obsessed later.

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