(BPT) - Dating can be challenging any time of the year, and the holidays only make it more complicated. Whether you're looking for love or you're in a new relationship, you probably have many questions and may be nervous about navigating the world of dating right now and building a meaningful relationship.
Luckily, Bumble's Sex & Relationship Expert Shan Boodram is here to answer your top three frequently asked questions about dating during the holiday season.
1. Should I even bother with first dates during this time of the year?
Between getting ready for the holiday festivities and gift shopping for friends and family, it can seem daunting to find time in your schedule to go on a date. And if you're busy, chances are your potential dates are just as swamped.
"It may feel tempting to throw in the towel and not even bother, but you might be missing out on opportunities to connect with some wonderful people," said Boodram. "A first date doesn't have to be dinner and a show. This time of year can be stressful, so don't be afraid to make your dates short and sweet. If you're both free before work or during lunch, ask to grab a coffee. It may be quick, but if there's a spark, it will leave you both wanting to see each other more."
2. Do I buy a present for someone I've just started dating?
Navigating a new relationship during the holidays can seem intimidating, especially when the topic of gifts comes up. You may find yourself questioning, "If I buy them a gift, will they think I'm too clingy or moving too fast?" or "What if I buy them something they hate?"
If you want to give your new love a gift, Boodram recommends getting something small but memorable. "In an early relationship, you might feel tempted to get a showy or expensive gift, but before purchasing, consider whether that kind of gift would be reciprocated. If not, remove it from your cart and look for something small but thoughtful, which shows that you're intentional and have been listening to their interests."
If they've been talking about a new book, buy them a copy to read on the plane while they travel to their family's holiday vacation. Give them a gift card to their favorite coffee shop so they can indulge in some holiday drinks. If you're nervous, purchase a holiday card and write a meaningful message.
"The present itself isn't what's important. What is important is showing your new partner that they're on your mind," said Boodram.
3. Should I connect with my ex if we're both back in town during the holiday season?
You're back in your hometown for the holidays, and you find out your high school sweetheart is visiting family. Or maybe you're stuck in the city during the holidays and so is your recent ex. It can be tempting to reach out and see where things stand with your ex during this time. After all, the holiday magic makes everything seem possible.
Boodram cautions that before you make plans to see your ex, you should ask yourself two essential questions:
"Reconciling with an ex over the holidays is so popular that the concept of seeing an ex appear out of the blue around the holiday season has a name: Marleying. There are plenty of reasons why people get back together with their exes, especially around the holidays when you want something comfortable and familiar," said Boodram. "However, you need to be honest with yourself. If the situation surrounding the breakup hasn't changed, meeting up during the holidays can bring false hope or dig up old wounds."
If you find out the reasons for the breakup have changed, it might be worth reaching out. Make your intentions clear, and if they feel the same way, a holiday meetup could lead to a rekindled romance.
If you're looking for love this holiday season, download the Bumble app and take advantage of its many features, including profile prompts, interest badges and profile badges. The app also just unveiled a new look for profiles to enhance the dating experience, so you can now see a person's bio and interests right from the start, including someone's pronouns. These updated features can help you know your potential date better before you decide to pursue something more.
To read more advice from Shan Boodram and other experts, visit https://bumble.com/the-buzz.