Or is it too soon?
The holiday season is typically a time to gather with friends, family, and loved ones and share meals, gifts, and good times. Of course, that’s in a perfect world, which none of us live in. For some, the holiday season may be a bit less joyful or a little more stressful. You may have a small family that doesn’t get along, or a large family spread across multiple states or countries. However you typically spend your holidays, everything starts to change once you get into a relationship. And you may begin to wonder how long you should date before spending holidays together and what holidays you should spend together if you do.
While every couple and family is different, here are four things to consider before asking the person you’re dating to spend the holidays with you.
The Relationship Status
Some couples find themselves in a committed, serious relationship three months in, while others are still casually dating after nine months. Deciding to spend the holidays together is less about how long you’ve been dating and more about how far the relationship has progressed. Do you feel the relationship is mature enough to navigate the holidays and everything that comes with them?
Has your partner already met your family? At least some of them? If you have large family gatherings for the holidays, it’s important to consider your partner’s experience. Are you ready for them to meet the family? And is meeting all your aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents all at once how you want to do it?
It may be less stressful and overwhelming if they already know some of your family members. But if they don’t, be sure to talk to your partner about taking this significant step in your relationship. Make sure you’re both ready and that they feel comfortable going into the situation.
The Travel Costs
Traveling during the holidays costs money. And unless your holiday gatherings take place in the city where you and your partner live, it’s essential to think about how much money it would take for your partner to join you for the holidays.
If you’re dating long distance or meeting up with family away from home, talk about the cost to come. If it’s too expensive, consider spending one holiday celebration together instead of all of them or planning a FaceTime call during the holidays spent apart.
Is this relationship going places… like eventually down an aisle and into forever? If not–or if you’re not sure yet–you should think twice about spending the holidays together. The holidays are typically about spending time with your family (or people who are like family to you). If you don’t put your partner in that category, keeping your holiday celebrations separate may be best. Holiday gatherings are intimate experiences, and it can be a pretty big deal to “bring someone home” for them. If you’re unsure if the relationship has a future, celebrating together could send mixed messages to your partner and your family.
On the other hand, if you know this person is “the one” for you, it’s never too soon to welcome them into your family!