Hate Being Single For The Holidays? ‘Holidating’ May Be For You

Netflix’s Holidate focuses on two attractive people who decide to date each other just around the different holiday seasons, with practically no strings attached.

But what might shock you is that the concept of a “holidate” doesn’t just exist in the movies. Turns out, it’s a real-life dating tactic that’s literally backed up by science.

Why Does It Suck To Be Alone On The Holidays?

woman on her phone looking unhappy with her head supported by her right hand
Photo Credit: Kev Costello / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Kev Costello / Unsplash

The culture we live in plays on ideas that we worry about expectations around holidays (especially ones at the end of the year).

Cute couples can become overly annoying during the holidays, simply because it kind of sucks to be single during the holidays. Especially when you’re seeing your family and all of them are constantly asking why you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend.

What Even Is A Holidate?

back shot of a woman holding a bouquet of spring flowers outside with a blurred background
Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash

This is probably pretty obvious, but the word holidate is just a combination of the two words ‘holiday’ and ‘date.’

It means someone you’re just dating for the holidays and nothing more. Think of it like cuffing season, but for all of the holidays throughout the year. Easter, St.Patties, Christmas, Valentine’s — the list goes on.

Let’s Get Wordy: The Urban Dictonary Definition

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Photo Credit: Pisit Heng / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Pisit Heng / Unsplash

Urban dictionary defines holidate as the following: “the person, of a romantic nature or not, that you take with you to mitigate the insanity of being near family during major cultural events that require a lot of gathering, eating, and spending quality time together.”

“Examples of such holidays include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.”

The Science

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Photo Credit: Kelsey Chance / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Kelsey Chance / Unsplash

According to Psychology Today, during the holidays, we are supposed to be together with loved ones, sharing holiday cheer.

For many people, the holidays are happy and joyful, full of love and light. But for others, intense holiday expectations can make us feel like we are doing something wrong, almost as if it were our fault that we’re not as happy as other people.

It’s Not Your Fault

couple kissing while holding a card that says merry and bright in front of the camera
Photo Credit: Vince Fleming / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Vince Fleming / Unsplash

Even if you are single for the holidays, that’s okay! We shouldn’t feel any pressure to be in a relationship, even if the families and couples in the commercials really do look super happy.

If you don’t want to be alone, what’s wrong with picking up a cute new boo just for the holiday season?

Forcing Happiness

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Photo Credit: Nik Shuliahin / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Nik Shuliahin / Unsplash

Psychology Today claims that this cultural pressure, along with less-than-joyful experiences in our family, can lead us to look for ways to force our own “happy holidays.”

We don’t like being alone on the holidays, especially in the winter months, so some people seek to spend them with someone special.

So, It’s Kind Of Like Seasonal Friends With Benefits?

man smiling and playing guitar beside short haired woman who is laughing and looking away
Photo Credit Nik Shuliahin / Unsplash
Photo Credit Nik Shuliahin / Unsplash

Essentially, yes. Your holidate is the person that you simply spend time with during the holiday seasons, and it usually doesn’t mean that you are fully dating them.

When it comes to intimacy and sex, there are no set rules on it, except that it’s usually platonic at first (but we all know how that can turn out). If you want to spend the night together after attending a friend’s St. Patrick’s Day party, that’s up to you to decide.

Do I Text Them?

close up back shot of a woman outside scrolling through something on her phone
Photo Credit: Daria Nepriakhina / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Daria Nepriakhina / Unsplash

You don’t call or text each other at any other time, and if you bumped into one other at the shops, you’d probably say hey but not actually stop and make conversation.

Maybe you might contact one another a little before the holidays so you can arrange plans, presents, and dress codes and stuff like that, but that’s about it.

Who Wants To Do This

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Photo Credit: Ian Schneider / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Ian Schneider / Unsplash

Holidating is most attributed to people who are avoiding true intimacy, and who are anticipating with dread the fast-approaching holidays.

If you’re fed up with your extended family CONSTANTLY asking you why you’re single when you see them during the holidays, it could be smart to find a holidate just so you can seem like you finally have it all figured out.

Holidate – The Movie

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Photo Credit: David Balev / Unsplash
Photo Credit: David Balev / Unsplash

So, the idea of holidating has been around for a while, but until Netflix made a movie about it, it wasn’t really more of a pop culture reference like it is now.

Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey) both find themselves tired of being alone for every holiday, so they decide to be each other’s designated “plus ones” to their family gatherings during the year.

Emma Roberts Stars As Sloane

Emma Roberts laughing as she presents British Designer of the Year – Womenswear on stage during The Fashion Awards 2019
Photo Credit: Lia Toby / BFC / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Lia Toby / BFC / Getty Images

Sloane is a 20-something-year-old living in Chicago who HATES the holidays due to the judgment she receives from her family for not being in a relationship.

Having recently broken up with her boyfriend, Sloane’s mother Elaine is constantly trying to set her up with a new man, which really annoys Sloane.

Luke Bracey As Jackson

Actor Luke Bracey in a suit smiling at the camera attends the 2019 Australians In Film Awards in Los Angeles, California.
Photo Credit: Phillip Faraone / WireImage / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Phillip Faraone / WireImage / Getty Images

Jackson is a young Australian golfer stuck spending the holidays with a girl he has no interest in pursuing a serious relationship with and her family.

When he breaks up with the other girl and meets Sloane at the mall, Jackson suggests that they be each other’s ‘holidate’ so he can avoid attachment girls and Sloane can avoid pity from her family.

The Rules

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Photo Credit: Kinga Cichewicz / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Kinga Cichewicz / Unsplash

The two characters make up a ton of different rules about their relationship during the holidays in order to make sure that everything goes to plan

In the beginning, the characters meet up on specific days and times, and they have specific rules about intimacy and declare that there shall be none (take a guess if this works out or not).

Spoiler Alert: Feelings Get In The Way

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Photo Credit: Ryan Jacobson / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Ryan Jacobson / Unsplash

As with most rom-coms that are about two platonic friends, after holidating for a while, the two eventually fall for each other, and after much deliberation, decide to date for real.

Due to its relatively cheesy nature, the film received a solid 44% on Rotten Tomatoes.

You Always Need To Think About Feelings

close-up shot of a man and woman holding hands on the beach
Photo Credit: Pablo Heimplatz
Photo Credit: Pablo Heimplatz

So, holidating may not always go according to plan, because well, feelings. The two characters in the movie have sex and then argue over not sticking to their initial platonic plan.

If you decide to holidate IRL, you’ve got to be prepared for the worst — falling in love. You might end up getting together, and then hey, you’ve still got a date for the holidays anyway, so you both could end up WINNING at life.

Overall, The Movie Kinda, Sorta Sucked

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Photo Credit: Mason Kimbarovsky / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Mason Kimbarovsky / Unsplash

I watched this movie with a few friends when it came out, and I thought that it was cheesy, but alright. I really like Emma Stone, the guy was Australian and hot and they had really good chemistry.

85% of Google users liked it, but it got pretty abysmal reviews in the press, due to its clichée nature and its fair share of bad jokes.

There Are Other Movies Just Like It

Aaron Liggett, left, makes a toast as Thanksgiving dinner is served, spending it with, clockwise from Aaron, brother Austin and his wife Nina, parents David and Robin Liggett and his wife Michelle and son Waylon, outside his parents home on 9th Street in Manhattan Beach
Photo Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

Holidate is not the only movie out there that focuses on two people pretending to be one another’s significant other.

Can’t Buy Me Love (which will be one of my favorite movies until the end of time), Picture Perfect, Easy A, Just Go With It, Love The Coopers, The Holiday Engagement, and Holiday In Handcuffs are just a few examples of movies where characters start fake dating someone for their own benefit, or for the holidays.

Would You Consider It?

two people sitting together on a bench with a blurred background
Photo Credit: Tim Foster / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Tim Foster / Unsplash

That all being said, is holidating a good idea? I guess that’s up for debate, but there are ALOT of different factors that go into it.

You need to make sure that both of you are on the same page at all times.

Holidating Needs To Be Consensual

black and white shot of the upper bodies of two people in fancy clothing who are closely slow dancing together
Photo Credit: Thomas AE / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Thomas AE / Unsplash

Ok, so it’s time for some straight-up facts. If the person you’re seeing right now only invites you to special occasions like New Years’ or on an outing on Valentine’s to take pictures for Instagram, you might just BE a holidate.

If they’ve never discussed feelings, hardly ever contact you or you met them in another city and now they’ve forgotten about you — it’s a holidate.

Final Thoughts

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Photo Credit: Katrina Berban / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Katrina Berban / Unsplash

One could argue that if you’re tired of being single during the holidays, then you should just find a significant other.

But, what if at the same time, you’re just not ready for intimacy at the moment? A holidate sounds like the perfect answer, but there is a chance that feelings may get in the way.