As end-of-year romances start to flutter, be on the lookout for someone that may be out to steal your heart. Just because you are a sucker for snow, mistletoe and mesmerizing lights doesn’t guarantee you are not on the Grinch’s hit list. While chemistry can happen magically over Christmas, we must ask ourselves if the connection is real or if it is just a holiday fling. Both have their merits, but you should know which is which.
Authors Kim Myles and Jennifer Wilcov of Boys Before Business tell daters that it’s important “to stop trying to be the person someone else is looking for and start looking for the man/woman you want to be with.”
Sounds easy enough, but with parties, celebrations and high flying spirits many of our instincts can be blurred by surging endorphins, booze and seasonal good feelings. So here’s how you can distinguish a relationship that’s fleeting from one that may be forever.
1. The Contact is Constant: You know you’re in the zone when those “I just can’t get enough” feelings turn into instant messages, Skype™ sessions and “where are you now” telephone calls. No one likes to deal with holiday loneliness, so be forewarned that incessant communication often fizzles out when reality rings in with the New Year. Want to save yourself from a January breakup? Play (a little) hard to get, set your ringer on mute to avoid interruptions and make sure not to cut other personal plans short, regardless of how tempting the caller.
2. It’s All Under Wraps: Shiny bows and wrapping paper are a festive way to conceal gifts, not people, so don’t get fooled by blanket booty calls. A clandestine rendezvous can be part of the revelry as long as it’s not the only time spent together. Andrea Syrtash, author of He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing) points out that you can tell someone’s interest level by reading his/her “actions (not just the words).” Are they calling when they say they will? Pursuing you and inviting you to holiday events and parties (introducing you to friends or family) or are they just calling you for late night booty calls and last minute plans? You should be able to get a measure on someone’s interest by looking at what they’re doing to show their interest now….If you follow Syrtash’s advice you won’t get tricked into believing the relationship is more serious than it is, just because you’re busy keeping warm in the bedroom. Instead, find another way to channel your spirits and give yourself a chance to enjoy the true meaning of the Holidays.
3. A Strange Case of Magic: When the annoying neighbor down the hall suddenly seems appealing or a best friend appears to have benefits you never noticed, your mind is likely playing tricks on you. It’s flu season, after all, and our weakened immune systems make us more susceptible to the idea of falling in love, precisely the reason why familiar faces bring unexpected comfort. If someone you normally would have avoided starts to creep into your mind, you’re better off taking a shot of Vitamin C than confusing it for chemistry.
4. Forever Comes Too Quickly: Sexy sleepovers, lavish gifts and premature words like “I Love You” should not be confused with relationship staying power. Romances that have a sense of urgency at this time of year are often a stuffer to avoid holiday loneliness. Syrtash stresses that, “one should not know where things are going to go at the beginning of a relationship;” stay present and be open to the process. After all, you are also deciding if you want to be with the person over time! Best advice is to take this sleigh wreck by the reigns before emotions run wild and slow things down!
5. Honeys Away from Home: Wondering what happens if the romance begins while you’re sailing in the Caribbean or skiing together on the slopes? The only real way to know if you have staying power is when you return home from your trip, says relationship author, Lori Bizzoco. “If he calls frequently, changes his Facebook® status and has already made plans to see you again, the relationship could be headed in the right direction. But if you’re going from a passionate affair to a once a week text or numerous excuses for why you are unable to get together, you should probably unpack this as a nice romantic memory,” advises Bizzoco, who reports on celebrity romances in her blog CupidsPulse.com.
When handled wisely, holiday flings can be magical. So be smart (or as smart as you want to be) and savour the moments for as long as they last.