Apr 2014
Evan Holland

WHEN is the best time to begin a relationship?

First off, I want to begin by saying it has been too long.  I want you to think there is some justifiable reason why I haven’t been posting, but there isn’t and the only reason I’m posting now is my Irish Catholic guilt is eating away at me.  I use graphs in this post (thanks Annemarie) to answer the all important question of when the best time to begin a relationship is.

© Annemarie Weiner

© Annemarie Weiner

Often times there are an endless amount of questions surrounding the beginning of a relationship, but I’d argue before the “who” or “why” – and for the people we don’t call our friends that often leave us scratching our heads wondering “how” – we need to establish a when.  When is the best time to begin a relationship?

The thing is if you sit down and think about it (because I did) you can know exactly when to give the young relationship the green light (thanks John Legend) or pump the brakes and cool it down before complicating things for yourself.

We all know of someone or we ourselves have fallen victim to the poorly timed beginnings of a relationship and how catastrophic that can be, so why get off to a rocky start and compromise an otherwise good relationship because of some social protocols that may make things awkward placing you and your significant other in a gray area.

I’m here to end the gray area and create a standardized system of when the WHEN can occur to avoid possible awkwardness.

And not to get all technical on you all here, but thanks to Annemarie, I have graphs and what not, so my ramblings should carry some weight.

Let’s begin on January 1st, it only seems fitting as it is the beginning of the year and people are on the “new year, new you” grind, so why not make the infamous “me” a “we,” but hurry, because you only have until the end of the month.

February 1st enters Valentine’s Day territory and I’m advising you to wait the two weeks to start a relationship.  On the 15th, game on, but between the World Wide Web and I, everyone can also save some dough waiting until the 15th to make sure their “special someone” is in fact special and you are not so hopped up on candy hearts they’re making you see hearts.

March is smooth sailing except for St. Patrick’s Day.  Entering a relationship should involve some forethought and not be a part of a drunken stupor, so take the day off from relationships.

April is crunch time.  First of all, don’t do start a relationship on April Fool’s Day.  No one will take you or your relationship seriously.  Wouldn’t you want people’s first reaction to be “Congrats!” not “Is this a joke?”

Anyways, the end of April does not just bring May flowers, but also final exams and summer.  If you can begin a relationship before all of this happens great, if not, then don’t begin an intimate experience when the two of you could possibly be hundreds or thousands of miles apart for the next three months.  Lana Del Rey can cure anytime summertime sadness you might have.

I’d now actually like to direct you attention to what has been previously marked Exhibit A.  You’ll see on the graph that May, June, July and August are all blocked out with yellow.  This is not a mistake.  Like I said above, if you and your significant other are parting ways for the summer don’t start anything before the summer or during the summer.  It will only put a strain on a young relationship.

BUT this rule does not apply if you and your significant other are living in the same city or relatively close enough that you’re not taking a three month hiatus on a relationship that can still be measured in minutes.

This brings us to my favorite time of year: back-to-school time.  Although, school starts at the end of August, the calendar does not turn back to green until September.  My advice is get acclimated back at school.  Meet your new floor mates, see who is in your classes and, then get back on the horse.

Don’t rush it at the beginning of the year based on some preconceived notion you left with in May.  People at our age can change in three months for better or for worse.

September and October bring warm afternoons, crisp evenings and uninhibited starts to relationships.  You have any number of days to pick from, but be mindful of Halloween.  Costumes need to be the number one priority and there is no greater freedom than costume freedom and in order to secure this you cannot be the salt to their pepper or the Woody to their Buzz.  You need more options, so don’t start a relationship on Halloween.

The beginning of November is also tricky.  We enter the Thanksgiving season and with any Thanksgiving season there’s football, turkey, stuffing and invitations to your significant other’s home to meet their family.

Personally, any relationship that starts at the beginning of November is too soon to bring them home to meet the parents, but my “obvious red flags” post is for another day, so for argument’s sake, don’t start a relationship from Halloween up until a week before Thanksgiving.  I figure inside a week is so close to the day that you’re not getting an invite home even if you do start a relationship.

We all know that the end of Thanksgiving signals the beginning of the Holiday season and there is no better way to celebrate the season than to celebrate alone.  Starting a relationship this time of year means you can’t stand under a mistletoe “unknowingly” or watch your favorite Christmas movies.

Plus, buying a gift for someone you have only been dating for at most three weeks, but maybe as little as a few days seems silly to me.  Wait until the 26th when things slow down.

Closing out the year with a relationship also isn’t a bad thing.  It’s always nice to have a special someone on New Year’s Eve and NYE does not put any added pressure on a new relationship.

This calendar does not account for birthdays, but birthdays are simple.  When you’re thinking about beginning a relationship with someone, figure out when their birthday is and if it is within the next two weeks, hold off.  If it is six months away, you’re all good.

Much of the logic boils down to simple economics and not knowing the right amount of money to spend on a young relationship.  I mean what do you say to someone who is upset with you because you didn’t buy some extravagant gift for their birthday when you have only been dating for three days…technically you are the significant other – I’m not sure for how much longer – but you see my point.

In dating, like in baseball or catching a shuttle, timing is everything, so hopefully you now have a little better understanding of when it makes the most sense to start a relationship.

Oh, and you’re welcome.