Online Dating During the Holidays – Is It Worth It?
Online dating sites can look especially enticing during the holiday season. After all, it seems like everyone around you is snuggling up with their significant other around the fireplace, kissing under the mistletoe, or getting engaged on Christmas Eve.
If you’re single, how can you discern whether to go on a first date between Thanksgiving and New Year’s? Should you adventure onto those online dating sites, even though your calendar is filling up with holiday parties and family dinners?
The holidays are coming. . . should you date or stay single?
Here are few things to keep in mind if you’re navigating the holidays with a single relationship status. Think through these before creating profiles on some online dating sites or asking someone out between carving the turkey and planning your New Year’s resolution.
Pros of dating during the holidays
There are definetly some good things that can come out of holiday dates. Here are a few of our favorite pros of looking into online dating sites or going on some dates during the holiday season.
Someone special to share the moment with
For families that are spread out across the country, the holidays are a great time to reconnect and share memories while creating new memories.
But this time of year is also a great time to create memories with someone special outside of your family. The holidays are a time of rebirth (Catholic Tip: Advent marks the beginning of the Catholic new year!) and renewal. What a great time to share memories with someone who may someday become family!
People tend to be open to new things during the holidays
Even though the holidays are a time of traditions, people are also open to trying something new. You never know, you may go on a first date with someone who’s New Year’s resolution was to be more open to potential relationships!
Your chances of finding a date is higher
According to a study conducted by Match.com, peak dating season for an online dating service starts the day after Christmas and runs all the way through Valentine’s day. Dating websites see more than 50 million romantic messages sent during that time period, and 1 million dates take place. Even though it may not seem like a great time to find a date at first glance, the holiday season offers plenty of opportunities to find love!
You’ll have someone to go to parties with
Office holiday parties and white elephant get-togethers are always more fun if you go with someone you know (or someone you’re getting to know!). The holidays offer so many great opportunities for date nights you don’t have to put that much effort into planning.
Maybe you’re wanting to get to know someone a little better or are looking for something to do in person after meeting someone on online dating sites. Invite them to your parish holiday party or extend the invitation to a party your office is throwing. You’ll have a chance to get to know them while also introducing them to some friends at the same time.
Dates give you a chance to create holiday memories
The holidays are full of great opportunities to build memories together with someone. It could be an outing to a Christmas tree farm or a trip to the ice rink. Regardless of how you celebrate the holidays, dating between Thanksgiving and New Year’s can be a blast!
Cons of dating during the holidays
Dating during the holidays isn’t all roses, though. Here are some cons to keep in mind if you’re considering heading onto online dating sites this winter or asking an old friend out when you’re back home.
Not everyone is looking for commitment
The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year, but they’re also probably one of the busiest times of the year. People travel across the country to visit their family and friends, and holiday commitments pile high in what seems like no time at all.
Not everyone is interested on going on a new date during the holiday season. They may not have the emotional capacity to think about dating, or they may just want a holiday season to themselves. Granted, this isn’t the case for every single person come Christmas time, but it could be for some. Take this into consideration if you’re thinking about logging onto online dating sites in-between cooking turkey and wrapping presents this year.
Dates may take away time you could be spending with family
The holidays are one time during the year that we usually set aside to spend time with family. Maybe your extended family travels into town each year, and this is the only time you see them. Perhaps nieces and nephews are pumped to open up gifts with you and spend some quality time with their favorite aunt or uncle. Regardless of what your family situation looks like, this may be the prime time of the year to spend time with them.
Although online dating sites may seem tempting during the holiday season (especially if you’re feeling particularly lonely), getting to know someone new can take away time from getting to know your family better. If family holidays have been stretched for time lately, that may be something to take into consideration before filling out a profile on some online dating sites or grabbing a cup of coffee with an old neighbor, hoping to rekindle a flame.
Pros of staying single during the holidays
It may not seem like it, but staying single during the holidays does have its perks. Here are just a few to consider before Thanksgiving draws to a close.
You’ll have more time to spend with your family
Forgoing holiday dates and swearing off online dating sites for the time being? You’ll have more time to catch up with your siblings, parents, cousins, and grandparents. This can be a great time to make some new holiday memories with them!
You’ll have more time to serve in the community
There are lots of great opportunities to serve in your local community in the holiday season. One of my family’s traditions involved adopting a family in the community and bringing them Christmas dinner and some gifts. I’ll always treasure the looks on faces of the little kids we helped out each Christmas, and I hate to think I could have missed out on those memories if I’d been on a date with someone.
If you find yourself with a lot of extra time on your hands this holiday season, treasure that opportunity to give back. Or, if time is crunched this holiday season (we all know that feeling!), even intentionally shopping at local spots or spending time with your home-town parish community can be great chances to serve those around you. If you’re not spending time checking for messages on online dating sites or setting up times to meet someone, time may be on your side for great service opportunities.
You won’t have to stress about meeting their family
Some new couples reserve meeting family for later on in the relationship. But if the holidays are upon you and your new date, you may be meeting their family a little quicker than expected. If you don’t want the stress of meeting a date’s family right away, holiday dating may not be for you.
However, if you’re single in the holiday season, you may be significantly less stressed without the prospect of picking up gifts for people you’ve never met before.
You’ll have more time for yourself
We’re all guilty of stuffing the holiday calendar a little too full. Without multiple schedules to juggle, this holiday season as a single Catholic could offer a unique opportunity to get some quality alone time. This can be especially appealing if you’re an introvert, but just as valuable as an extrovert, too.
If you’re single and not so ready to mingle come Christmas time, pencil in some time to go on a walk by yourself. Skip out on the typical hustle and bustle of the Christmas season and spend time in adoration, preparing your heart for the birth of Christ. Don’t feel like you have to cram your schedule just because you have time open. Instead, be intentional with what your calendar looks like this year, leaving time for reflection and relaxation.
Extra time for catching up with friends
If you’re headed home for Christmas, chances are that you’ll run into some friends from the past. If checking for messages on online dating sites isn’t your thing, you may have more time on your hands. Whether it’s catching up with your best friend from high school or spending some time hearing about how life is going for people who you haven’t seen since college, the holidays offer a unique time to pour into friendships.
Cons of staying single during the holiday
Although extra time in your calendar can seem appealing, especially during the rush of Thanksgiving and Christmas, being single can also have its drawbacks. Here are a few things to consider before completely giving up on the idea of a holiday date this year or exiting out of those online dating sites.
You won’t have someone special to spend the holidays with
Decorating a Christmas tree together. Going on an old-fashioned sleigh ride through the snow with someone special. Giving each other gifts for the first time, nervous with excitement. Those are all opportunities special holiday memories you probably want to share with someone you’re getting to know and love. If you’re single this holiday season, those moments alone can sting.
This doesn’t mean you should pursue a holiday date just so you can have someone to decorate the tree with. However, if you’ve been thinking about logging onto those online dating sites or asking that special someone out on a date (and you’re in a good emotional place to do so!) you’ll be able to make memories with them this year.
You may feel lonely
Spending time around your grandparents or your favorite aunts and uncles can leave you feeling like you’re missing out without bringing someone special to Christmas dinner. There’s always a chance you could feel lonely during the holidays as a Catholic single, especially because it seems like everyone and their dog has someone special in their life.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t date because you’re lonely, you should date because you’re in a healthy place to pursue a relationship and discern a vocation.
Should the holidays be strictly spent with your family?
If the biggest hold up about holiday dating that you have is rather you should split time between family gatherings and potential first dates, it’s a good time to ask whether you should spend your holidays strictly with family. Can you spend time creating profiles on online dating sites and get quality time in with the fam?
Not everyone gets a chance to spend the holidays with their loved ones
Maybe your family isn’t available for a lot of celebrating this holiday season, or travel plans make it impossible to see everyone you know and love. If that’s the case for you, it could very well be the case for someone else in your life. Don’t miss this opportunity to get to know someone better, create some profiles on online dating sites, or ask out someone on a first date.
How to make your decision to date or not to date
The holidays offer some great reasons to date, and some great reasons to stay single. Ultimately, the choice is yours whether to set up profiles on online dating sites or ask someone out on a date. But it’s not a small choice. This is something that you should spend time intentionally thinking and praying about.
If you decide to go on that first date this holiday season or you’re ready to put yourself out there on online dating sites, we’re here to help! Check out our online dating app, or create a profile on our Catholic Singles website.
Still thinking through whether you’ll be up for romance this holiday season? We’ve still got you covered. Check out our blog for regular posts on navigating life as a Catholic single.
Chloe Langr is a very short stay-at-home-wife, whose growth has probably been stunted by the inhumane amounts of coffee she regularly consumes. When she is not buried in a growing stack of books, she can be found spending time with her husband, geeking out over Theology of the Body, or podcasting. You can find more about her on her blog "Old Fashioned Girl."