Dating during the holidays can be stressful! Professional matchmaker shares some tips

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MILWAUKEE -- Dating during the holidays can be stressful! Do you introduce the person you're seeing to your family and friends? How do you decide? Professional matchmaker Camille Kostin from It's Just Lunch joins FOX6 WakeUp with some tips.

How do you know if the time is right to invite the person you’re dating to your family gathering?

  • For many couples this time of year, there can be a lot riding on this decision.
  • The first thing you should do is make sure you and your date are ready to take that next step.
  • Have an open and honest conversation and make sure you’re both on the same page. If you’re applying pressure to your date to attend a gathering or you feel pressured to attend -- it could be a red flag that this really isn’t the best time to take things that next level.
  • Ask yourselves if you’re prepared to answer direct questions about your relationship.
  • If you’ve just met and you really don’t know how to handle that situation, it’s probably too soon to meet the family right now

What should you do if one person really wants to meet the folks and the other is reluctant?

  • There’s always next year! If this relationship has “staying power”, you’ll both have other chances to connect with his or her family.
  • It’s best to share in this big moment when you’re both really ready for it.
  • Be careful not to read too much into getting an invitation or not getting one.
  • There can be a lot of reasons he’s not introducing you to his family right now--and they may have nothing to do with you.

Let’s say the time is right to meet the family - what should daters keep in mind?

  • A little preparation goes a long way.
  • Talk to your date ahead of time so they have clear expectations of what the event will be like.
  • What kind of traditions does your family have? Are they quiet and reserved or are they loud and like to have fun? Giving your date a little heads up about what to expect will help calm nerves.

What should we remember if we’re the guest?

  • Put your best foot forward and try to impress!
  • Consider bringing either a hostess gift or a dish to share. Offering to clean up isn’t just good manners, but it also shows respect for your date and their family.
  • A family dinner can be exhausting enough, let alone meeting the extended family during the holidays! Don’t overstay your welcome.
  • If it is a whole weekend, make sure you’re taking breaks to spend time alone or with your date. Taking a breather from family will make it more enjoyable for you both.

What are your tips for how to make a great impression?

  • Always be yourself!
  • There’s nothing more exhausting and awkward than pretending to be someone you’re not and it can be obvious to everyone watching - even people you’ve just met.
  • You’re there to make a good impression, but it isn’t a job interview. Relax and have fun.
  • If you don’t know what to say, ask people questions. Learn more about that person you’re dating by asking their parents about them.
  • As with any holiday gathering - keep the conversation light and avoid talking about politics, religion or other topics that could ruffle feathers.

What’s the key to successful dating through the holidays and beyond?

  • It all comes down to clear expectations! Make sure you’re communicating with each other and respect each other’s time and traditions.
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