Remember the holidays are emotionally charged times. People can put too much emphasis on relationships any time, but it seems to be especially heightened at this time of year. Putting things into perspective is really important – it is, after all, just another day. Having realistic expectations can be tough for some. Having no expectations at all is ideal; being in the moment and just allowing things to happen can be extremely effective in attracting a little romance. Being confident and self-assured is alluring to the opposite sex.

A number of lovers find romance on holiday vacations rather than at home. When on vacation, you are away from the rat race, are physically and emotionally more relaxed and are open to meeting new people. Getting away from the daily grind can put you in a space that is conducive for falling in love. Exploring exotic new places with someone new can be quite enticing.

Is holiday romance a good idea or is it opening you up for heartbreak? Holiday romances can last a few weeks, years and sometimes even a lifetime. Here are some suggestions to help you decide if a holiday romance is best for you:

Assess the situation and understand your feelings—do you really want a relationship with this person or are you simply avoiding the pain of being alone during the holidays? Is this person someone you can see yourself spending time with on a regular basis? If yes, proceed, but if not, you might want to reconsider.

A holiday fling can make you feel incredible – like you are walking on air and that you are ready to take on anything. But there can be a downside, too, if he’s invested more emotionally than you have. When that happens it can leave you feeling pressured and sometimes smothered or controlled. It is important to leave this situation as soon as possible.

Honesty is always the best policy. Make your intentions known right up front with your holiday fling. Your honesty may squash the possibility of romance but will help you to avoid a nasty breakup down the road.

If you don’t feel the attraction is mutual, don’t feel guilty about calling it quits. Be a woman of integrity – don’t keep a man around for the holidays so that he can ply you with gifts. It’s cruel to lead someone on or to use them as a crutch to get through the holidays.

If you want the relationship to last after the holidays it’s important to stay connected. Make time for the object of your affection daily; distance can make the heart grow fonder as long as you both commit to communication. Long-distance romances have traditionally been difficult to maintain but using technology can keep the flames of love burning. You can now use video-phone technology like Skype or Face Time on the new iPhone. Writing romantic emails and sexy texts to the object of your affection goes a long way, too. Let him know you are thinking about him. It’s important to plan weekends and rendezvous every 6 weeks or so – if too much time passes, loneliness and resentment can set in. Most of the time, long-distance relationships end due to one partner feeling disconnected. But history has shown that long distance love can last for a lifetime.

If you do engage in a holiday romance and suddenly have a change of heart, know that it is ok. Let him know that you had a fabulous time but that you don’t now want to see him after the holidays. Be kind and tactful, and reassure him that you had a great time but that it simply won’t work due to the circumstances. Be very clear and firm that you don’t wish to continue. Should he continue to persist after your discussion, simply do not respond.

In conclusion, I would just like to add that a holiday romance doesn’t have to be just a fling. Make this special new person a part of your life. Introduce your new flame to friends and family, and see how well they fit into your inner circle. Seize the moment, as this could be the beginning of a life-changing experience with someone special. Is it worth the risk? Only you can answer that question. As for me – I think love is always worth the risk.