OPINION: Dating in December is a terrible idea.

If I am ever single around the festive season, I immediately delete the dating apps from my phone. 

I put my flirting into hibernation mode and I decline any events where I might run into an ex or another age-appropriate single person.

This might sound extreme, but the method to my madness is so accurate, I've convinced all my other single friends to stop dating during December, too.

December does something to people. It makes them feel like "home". The upcoming public holidays mixed with the idea that they're most likely going to be reunited with family and old friends puts them in this weird mood. 

Watch: The horoscopes try dating. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

They're excited because they're going to be eating a lot and seeing their favourite cousins but they're also anxious because their nana and aunt and friend of a friend and uncle who's not really their uncle are all going to be asking one question: "Are you seeing anyone?"

The question every single person dreads, the question that makes the room fall silent as they wait in anticipation.

The sad reality is that whether you love or hate dating - every single person visibly cringes when the answer is an apologetic "no". 


And this right here is at the core of the dreaded December dating scam.

When it's nearing the end of November, you're minding your business and going on reasonably nice first dates. Not many of them lead to anything more but such is the thrill of modern-day dating. However, the last one you go on is perfect! They're nice, funny, thoughtful and they want to see you again. 

Now you're in the beautiful world of a non-exclusive situationship. It's wonderful here. You both like each other, you text non-stop and everything is light and fluffy.

You're still texting Christmas week, telling jokes about the members of your family and learning about their traditions. Your family asks the question and you reply "I've just started dating someone". You show them photos and tell them two fun facts about the person. Your family likes this answer which makes you feel satisfied. 

It's now those dreaded days in between Christmas and New Year's. Your family is starting to annoy you. You're both still messaging each other, trying to coordinate another date but it's too hard during this season and it's too soon to be spending NYE together so you both decide to plan something early in Jan.

But by New Year's Day, something has changed in the way they message. They're taking longer to reply and they still seem super busy even though you're both back to regular programming.

Eventually, you work out a date with them mid-Jan and they say something along the lines of "blah blah blah… work is hectic… blah blah. Not looking for anything serious… blah blah I don’t want to lead you on." 


Basically a non-exclusive situationship's version of a breakup.

Now, obviously this is a theory. But as someone who has gone through three breakups in the last week of January - two on the exact same day (January 20 in case you're interested) - I preach this as fact. 

I'm embarrassed to say I have been both the dumpee and the dumper in this situation but it's the reason I'm a hard conformer to the no-dating rule in December.

Listen to The Undone where Emily Vernem explains more of her 'No Date December' rule. Post continues after podcast.

I believe that single people subconsciously prepare themselves for the question by meeting and dating someone in December so they have an answer they know their family will be pleased with. That says "I'm on the right track but it's too early to give you more information."

After the holidays, when they've managed to remove themselves from their family's insufferable questions, they start to think "maybe I don't want a relationship right now". Then it's New Year's Day and all the "NEW YEAR NEW ME TIME FOR A FRESH START ALL AROUND" business begins. 

Now I'm not telling you to break up with your boyfriend of five years every December. This rule only applies to people who start dating someone around October/November. 

I also want to reiterate that the December dating scammer isn't actually aware that they're doing this so please avoid sending any 3AM texts along the lines of "I'LL GET YOU NEXT TIME YOU DECEMBER DATING SCAMMER, JUST YOU WAIT." 


If you're still not convinced, here is a timeline breakdown of what goes through a December dating scammer's head:

November 1 to 30.

"Wow, I'm really loving hanging out with this super cool, super chill, super fun girl. I can't wait for our next date!"

December 1 to 23.

"She's so funny, her family sounds great."

"Mum is being super annoying, like why do I have to spend Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day at home?"

December 25.

"Aunty Janice asked if I was dating anyone, I said 'No but I've started hanging out with this girl who seems cool.' She seemed happy with that answer."

December 26 to 31.

"Finally away from the family, this girl wants to go on another date but I'm stressed about work and have to figure my life out."

January 1.


January 2 to 15.

"Went on another date with her, wasn't really a vibe, I think she expects a lot from me."

January 20 to 31.

"Oh sh*t Valentine's Day is next month, you can't break up with someone in February, what will she tell her friends about me?!!"

"Broke up with her, feeling a bit sad, but it was for the best."

October 15 to 25.

"Sent her a 'Hey, it's been ages, what's been happening with you?' text. Nailed it."

And thus, the cycle continues. 

So for all my December daters, I will leave you with this warning and a very big good luck. 

I will be thinking of you in Jan 2024.

Feature Image: Universal Pictures/Canva. 

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