The holidays can be a time of serious ups and downs, especially when it comes to relationships. Dealing with a breakup during the holidays—a.k.a. un-cuffing—can make being around lovey-dovey couples and mistletoe downright intolerable. And a survey found that—shocker!—lots of people feel more pressure to be in a relationship around the holidays (it certainly makes it easier to handle all those “are you seeing anyone special?” questions relatives throw at you). Still, plenty of people still see the Thanksgiving-to-New-Year’s period as an opportunity to cozy up as a couple and be extra-romantic—and it turns out, most of those people are men.
A new survey of 1,500 American men of all sexual orientations by the dating service EliteSingles found that men feel more romantic than women during the holidays and are likelier to choose Christmas Day as the worst day of the year to be single. (For women, it’s Valentine’s Day—gotta agree with that one.) Men are also likelier to want to spend the holidays as a couple—43 percent would be happy to celebrate alone with their partners, while just 32 percent of women felt the same way, many of them saying they’d like to be with family.
And while women are the ones who want to be with family, men are the ones likelier to want to introduce a significant other to their family during the holidays: 72 percent say it’s the perfect time, since everyone will be in the same place. Only 58 percent of women agree with this, with 42 percent saying there’s just too much pressure during the holidays. Speaking of pressure—men also have different views on gift-giving than women do. 69 percent of guys say it’s important to buy presents for a new partner, while only 53 percent of women believe the same. Kinda sweet—but again, a lot of pressure for women to return the favor.
If you happen to be one of the women who’s stressing about whether to give someone you’re dating a gift or not, we’ve got lots of ideas—for people who are design junkies, potheads, NBA fans, and more. If you’re more concerned about meeting the parents, here are some excellent festive appetizer and dessert recipes to make and bring for serious brownie points with hungry relatives they’re hosting. And whether or not you’re one of the guys who’s bumming about being single on Christmas or one of the women who’s happy to be spending it apart from her S.O., these party games are a guaranteed way for everyone to have a good time during the holidays—no matter who you’re with.