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Ask Ellie: Keep it casual when discussing holiday plans with new love interest

Ask him what his plans are — that’s an innocent enough question that everyone asks

Dear Lisi: Last month I was invited to visit friends in the United States to celebrate Thanksgiving. While there, I met a friend of a friend. It wasn’t a set-up as the friend I was visiting didn’t even know him. Just one of those things.

We hit it off immediately and then found each other at a gathering the next day. We were both very happy because we hadn’t exchanged information. We saw each other one more time that weekend and have been talking daily ever since I left.

I really like him. He’s cute and fun and makes me laugh. We’re both in our 20s, though he’s a few years older than I am. And we’re both single.

The holidays are coming up quick, and I don’t know if I should invite him here (too soon?) or suggest we meet up somewhere (too pushy?) or wait and see what he suggests.

What do you suggest?

Happy holidays

I suggest you ask him casually in one of your daily conversations what his plans are for the holidays. That’s an innocent enough question because everyone asks everyone. See what he says.

He may already have plans as many people book their winter vacation before November, when you met. Don’t be offended; make a plan to meet when he gets back.

If he doesn’t have plans, talk it through. And take it slow. It’s still too soon (less than a month) to really know him. And vice versa.

Dear Lisi: How do you know who to, and who not to, invite to your holiday parties? Or do you have to have several different parties, say one for your work friends, one for family and one for your real friends?

Holiday Stressed

Breathe. Make your lists, one for each grouping. Then decide how many people you can have in your space. And decide how many parties you want to throw. Three sounds a lot to me. But maybe you could mix it up. If your family is large, have them over all together. Mix your friends, work and otherwise, together, if you’re comfortable with those two worlds meshing.

FEEDBACK regarding the divorced woman looking for a partner and feeling left out (Nov. 26):

Reader — “Still Solo” should look back through her own history and see whether she herself was a ‘married [woman] like that,’ i.e., how many single women did she invite to join her and her husband for dinner parties or outings with other couples? and how often did she ‘share’ him? And she might consider, too, whether her couple friends were primarily her own friends or her husband’s — it can make a difference following divorce or death.

“At any rate, not all partnered women are ‘like that.’ I have had the same friends who were single, married, widowed or divorced while I was single, married and widowed. And I shared my husband. If he did minor household repairs or helped them network professionally, I was pleased. And I was even more pleased to send him out for a few hours of sailing or skiing with one of those friends since I don’t participate in those activities.

“In short, I have never felt the need to have an ‘even’ table. But among my friends were some who weren’t frequently included in dinners and outings with my husband, not because I wouldn’t share him but because he didn’t particularly like them or find them compatible. So, while I was close to them, he preferred them at arm’s length.

“At any rate, ‘Still Solo’ can take comfort in knowing that ‘couple’ status changes throughout life — so her conjoined friends will eventually find themselves single again and back on both the dating and buddy markets.”

Dear Lisi: My husband is very handsome, charming and funny. We have a fun, loving relationship, and I trust him. I see the way women look at him, and I’m flattered. It makes me feel good that women think he’s handsome.

But sometimes he makes cheeky comments that are borderline cocky. He gets away with it because the women just laugh or smile. But I find it rude and unnecessary.

I don’t know how to broach the topic without upsetting him.

Hot Hubby

Your last sentence has me wondering why you’re afraid of your husband. He’s upsetting you with his comments. He needs to know. He doesn’t sound like a partner who would want to purposefully upset you. But equally, you shouldn’t be afraid to tell him if he is.

If there’s more behind the scenes that you’re not sharing, please talk to someone. But if there isn’t, find a loving time to discuss the issue calmly.

Ellie Tesher and Lisi Tesher are advice columnists for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationship questions via email:

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