Don’t Be Scared If you find yourself wondering how you’re going to make it through the holidays, take comfort, you’re not alone


    Depending on who you talk to, October is either a horrible month to start dating, or a miserable time to start dating.

    male and female hand in the form of heartThe problem with starting to date someone in October is that November and December are just around the corner. Shortly after you’ve finally remembered your date’s last name, you’re pressed into a decision: Do I offer this relatively complete stranger a seat at my Thanksgiving table? If I don’t offer now, it’ll be rude. But I do offer, and this goes south, then what happens?

    It’s a predicament as old as the holidays itself, and greater minds have pondered the problem for eons (probably).

    Carolyn Bushong, a Denver-based dating coach and marriage counselor, doesn’t see it as a big hurdle for one simple reason: “There are plenty of people out there doing the same thing.”

    She says there’s a wide world of single people out there who might be hesitant to start dating in October, just like us. And just like us, they overthink it way too much and end up rushing into something.

    The most important part of an early relationship, Bushong says, is pace. It’s so important, she’s written a book about it titled “How To Play The Dating Game.”

    “It is a game, and I don’t mean that in a bad way,” she says. She said that you shouldn’t worry about inviting that person to your Thanksgiving, your family’s Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas — even New Year’s.

    “It’s too soon. People rush into things and that never ends well,” she says.

    The rule of thumb she uses is waiting 2 to 3 months to meet the folks. That’s enough time to vet the weirdos and enough time to get to know someone. If you’re rushing into a relationship, simply because you don’t want to be alone for the holidays, that’s the wrong road to take.

    Same goes if you have children.

    “I say wait two months. Maybe they can meet your friends after one month, and maybe the first month they don’t meet anyone at all,” she says.

    Following that rule can help you pace yourself in the early going when you first start dating someone — no matter the time of year.

    “I say don’t be more interested in someone else than they are interested in you. You can really turn people off that way,” she says.

    OK, but what happens if the topic comes up? How do you politely decline without completely turning someone off?

    “I like to say that I go to my mom’s every year. I’m not lying, but you have to play the game a little and not have that option,” Bushong says.

    Well played. Date on.