four friends hanging out at a holiday party

13 People To Avoid Bringing As A Holidate This Season

Including someone you actually have a crush on.

by Ginny Hogan

You have a stuffy holiday party coming up, and you have to bring a date. Well, no, you don’t, but you’ve used “I have a Hinge date” as an excuse to ditch gatherings with the same people so many times that it only seems right to have something to show for the effort. Besides, no matter what kind of party it is — a family gathering, an office party, a dorm event — there will be mistletoe, and a date gives you an excuse to hide under it.

However, there’s the question of finding one. Plenty of people can make good “holidates,” but it’s still worth filtering a little. Don’t just bring some random dude off the street. (Unless he’s, like, really hot.) In the weeks before the party, start scouring the apps and friends-of-friends for the perfect date, but remember to be selective because you don’t want to find out what happens when Taylor Swift’s entire fanbase comes for you.

Here are 13 types of holidates to avoid:

  1. That guy who works with you. If this is an office party, they’re actually already invited, so this is redundant. Plus, dating co-workers is a huge red flag. Not just because you might break up — but also because you might get married and be obligated to invite your entire company to the wedding. If it’s not an office party, you don’t want to bring work there. That defeats the whole purpose.
  2. That woman you’re interested in dating IRL. If you’re interested in someone, do not invite them to a holiday party. For so many reasons. The food is subpar, it’s way too loud to have a real conversation, you can’t wear your sluttiest outfit, and your aunt is going to tell you she’s mad about that thing you just posted on Instagram. That’s not a good first date. A good first date is one where the conversation is so electric right away that three hours in, your date says, “Oh, my God, I forgot to even ask what you did for work!” Get them on one of *those* dates.
  3. An ex. You want them to see you’re thriving. A holiday party is not the place.
  4. The girl who’s never been to this kind of holiday party before. Her expectations are going to be way off. A few hours in, she’ll ask if there’s ever going to be an available bathroom, and you’ll have to explain that no, at least three people are definitely hiding in the restrooms the whole time. This is a party of people who have never socialized together before but randomly all ended up on the email list for your college’s unicycle club. If she needs to pee, there’s a Starbucks across the street. If she wants to unicycle, she needs to come back next semester.
  5. Anyone employed by a company you might want to work at. If you do get the chance to interview, you’ll want to be able to lie about how successful and respected you are. If you bring them to a weird holiday party with anyone who knows you either professionally or personally, this is off the table.
  6. Travis Kelce. He would have been a good date a year ago, but now, the Swifties will rally against you.
  7. Any and all extroverts. You do not want your holidate introducing themselves to the whole party. Because when they ask your bestie or co-worker for an embarrassing story about you, she will answer honestly. (You confused Jacob Elordi and Austin Butler *one* time…)
  8. That dude who describes eggnog as his “favorite food.” Troublesome for several reasons, as eggnog isn’t a food, and he will get profoundly drunk, which will only exacerbate the “extroversion” problem.
  9. Someone who once took a bartending course. Before long, she will be behind the bar serving the eggnog, probably shaking hands with the people who planned the party.
  10. Any singers. Oof — run away. Don’t bring a singer to a holiday party; they’ll dominate the karaoke. This is not OK. Everyone knows the karaoke machines at these types of gatherings are meant to be seen but not heard. Like cats. Besides, at this point in the party, your extroverted holidate has met everyone, and everyone associates you with them by default. So when they belt out “Bad Romance,” people will think it’s about you. And your cousin will bring it up at every single wedding until the end of eternity.
  11. That man who’s way too ambitious. After wowing the party with his karaoke skills, he will start passing out his resume. I mean, he spent the first half of the party laying the foundation, and by now, he’s met everyone and wants to network. This will go from mildly amusing to absurdly embarrassing just as soon as people start using it as a napkin.
  12. That man who’s actually very qualified for a job. Nope, it won’t get napkined. If it’s an office party (or even a family party — your uncle does own that landscaping business he never shuts up about), the resume will get read, the interview will get scheduled, and someone at this party will hire him. He’ll be promoted three times in one year. Within five years, he’ll be running the company and no one will remember that you were the one who helped get him here in the first place.
  13. Your cousin. I’ve seen this many times, and it ends in one of two ways: You either create a familywide rift, or you accidentally hook up with your cousin.