The Most Common Holiday Dating Questions, Answered By Match's Chief Expert

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Does navigating a romantic relationship around the holidays fill you with anxiety and deep wells of dread? It's a thing, those feelings — particularly if your relationship is in the fledgling stage. So many people have questions and concerns about love unions during, ahem, the-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year, in fact, that Match is launching a free holiday dating hotline, called, aptly, Holiday Hotline. Meaning, if you wake up in the morning wanting to projectile vomit, tormented as to whether or not you should invite Jess to the big meal with mom and Uncle Rodge, all you need to do is pick up the phone and prepare a question.

Rachel DeAlto, Match’s chief dating expert, tells Bustle that the idea came out of Match's current coaching service for users. Since the holidays are particularly loaded times for relationships, they thought they would kindly open up this service to the public.

So, whether you’re single or partnered, if you need some dating or relationship guidance, for two weeks, from Monday, Nov. 25th through Monday, Dec. 9, you can reach Match's very experienced dating experts at 1-888-302-6224.

They are on call from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST Monday-Friday, and 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekends. They are closed the day of Thanksgiving, though, so do get your questions in before you shove the bird in the oven.

Oh, and as a bonus, Match is giving each caller a free one-month membership to Match if they are single and want one. Not bad, eh?

Below, take a look at DeAlto's answers to some common holiday relationship questions — then get ready to craft your own and call the hotline!


Should I Connect With My Ex If We Are Both Back In Town?


Well, DeAlto gives this question a pretty firm "absolutely not." Even though the twinkling lights of your home town might seem like a perfectly romantic way to rekindle something, as DeAlto says, "Your exes are exes for a reason."

"It’s a rough situation most of the time," DeAlto says. "Typically what I find is that when people reconnect with their ex, not much has changed. We tend to glorify what happened in the relationship the further we get from it."

So, unless something has significantly changed in their personality - it’s best that you leave well enough alone. It's just too slippery a slope.

"Obviously there is chemistry there, but the problem is usually that nothing else has changed," DeAlto says. You usually break up because of things like differences in values or priorities. To go back to that is just opening yourself (and/or them) up to more heartbreak.

"Find me 10 people that worked out well for," DeAlto says, of reuniting with an ex for the holidays, "and then I will change my mind."


Is It Too Soon To Bring My Partner Home For The Holidays?

"Don’t take anyone home unless you plan on them being around indefinitely," DeAlto says. "If someone has been single for awhile — they might have the desire to show proof they've got someone. But unless it is serious, and not something you aren't too sure about, it's safer for everyone involved to wait."

However, DeAlto says that indeed, everyone has to make their own decisions. So follow your gut, and if you definitely want to bring home your person after dating a month, DeAlto says to "understand the why." Meaning, ask yourself why that feels like a good idea, and how you might feel about your choice in January or February if things don't go as planned.

"What’s the harm in giving it a longer vetting period?" DeAlto says.


How Do You Keep Someone Interested Over A Holiday Break?


This one applies most commonly to students, but can be applied to anyone who might be spending a significant amount of time away from people they are seeing.

"If you are separated during holidays, make contact a priority," DeAlto says. There are so many ways to do it from Face Timing, calls, texts, and picture updates of what you're cooking. There are plenty of ways to keep each other involved in your life, even when you have a ton of stuff going on like a long day with family.

"You don't have to be in constant contact, but be consistent, that is the most important thing," DeAlto says.

DeAlto says to keep in mind that if someone breaks up because of a week or a month apart, that's a great sign to move onto someone who cares about your feelings and wants what you want.


What Kind Of Dating Updates Should I Share With My Family?

Well, short answer, whatever you're comfortable with and legitimately want to share. But DeAlto says that it's probably a little better to keep things close to the vest and not open up about everything going on unless you enjoy having tons of opinions thrown at you.

"You can be general about it, say that you're seeing some people, and seeing where it goes," DeAlto says. "Not everyone needs to know your business. "

Ultimately, you have to know yourself and how you are going to react to everyone’s comments or lack-there-of. So go with your gut.


Whose Family Should We Visit During The Holiday Season?


DeAlto says she tends to err on the side of making everyone happy and trying to balance things out.

"It may not be your partner feeling left out [if you don't go see their family]," DeAlto says. It's likely going to be the family that feels neglected. Thusly, you can to try to figure out a way that everyone feels taken care of. She herself is going to her mom's house on Thanksgiving, and her partner's house the day after.

See, there's a hotline answer for everything, my friends.