The winter months are all about staying warm, watching movies and eating way too much food, usually surrounded by family members you either don’t know or don’t like. Oh, and if you’re unlucky enough to be in a new relationship, there’s that to deal with.

Love is great; love is grand… unless it’s winter. Most singles have to learn this the hard way. See, we figure any time of the year is good for a new fling, but let’s face it: There’s a reason “summer fling” has a nice ring to it. Winter is the worst possible time to try and involve a new man in your life, and here’s why.

1. Gift-giving

In winter, you not only have to deal with Christmas, but there’s Valentine’s Day, too: the epitome of romantic holidays. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been dating a guy for three weeks or three months; when the holidays come around, you must ask yourself, how much is too much? It’s a huge pain to try to figure out what to get a new beau for Christmas. You don’t want to break the bank on a guy you might break up with a month later, but you don’t want to buy him a candy cane, either. Gifts are meaningful. They take some thought, and when you’re just dating, the too much or too little quandary can get you in a boatload of trouble.

2. Forced meeting of family and friends

What if you’re not ready for your one-night-stand-turned-guy-you-might-be-dating (question mark) to meet your family? Too bad. During holiday time, there are copious occasions for socializing with family and close friends, which might force you to introduce a guy you’re not sure of to the people who love you the most… and vice versa. Do you want to meet his mother after a month of messing around with her son? Nope. During the winter months, though, it’s not about what you want. It’s about tradition, and you’re likely to get dragged to an awkward family function way before you’re ready… and it could cause an abrupt and early breakup.

3. You can’t judge his physique under all that wool

Spring, summer, fall: great seasons to shamelessly check out a guy’s bod with his clothes on. Winter: not so much. In winter, men wear layers and big sweaters, so there’s no way to know if he’s hiding a Buddha belly under all that fabric. If you have a mental connection, you might be sorely disappointed once you get all those clothes off. Nothing is worse than a pretty face with a pudgy center, and in winter, even the most discerning observer can be fooled.

4. Hurried religion talk

For some people, Christmas is a commercial holiday about presents and Chevy Chase. For others, it’s a solemn occasion that celebrates the birth of Christ. Let’s say you’ve been casually doing dinners with Mr. Right for a couple of weeks with Christmas on the way. Over appetizers, he might ask, “What are you doing for the holiday?” What if you go to church? What if he doesn’t? The religion talk is one best left to later in the getting-to-know-you cycle (just like politics and gay marriage). Winter rushes this talk and can bring immediate disconnect before you even get a chance to know if Mr. Right is more than Mr. Right Now.

5. Shaved legs requirement

Winter is the one time of year a woman can get away with not shaving her legs. Not if you just started dating someone! You gotta keep those stems satin soft. What a pain.

6. SAD is in full force

During winter, Seasonal Affective Disorder is in full force, otherwise known as “Crazy Girl Syndrome.” Winter is the time of year when the sun hides its shining face. You’re either enlivened or broken apart by the amalgamation of Christmas to New Year’s to Valentine’s Day. You’re probably a balloon about to pop, and your new beau sees this. Frankly, some women are totally different in January than they are in June. The same guy could like you in June and be scared of you in January. Stupid SAD, making us all Glenn Close crazy …

7. You’ve lost your summer glow (and so has he)

This is up there with the too much wool conundrum. By winter, you’re not glowing and tan anymore. Your skin looks more like parchment paper than anything else. He’s the same way. The problem? No matter who you are (unless you’re a vampire), you look better with some color in your cheeks. Winter sucks the light from our skin and turns us into dried-out, flaky remnants of the beach goddesses we were months before. Then again, since he’s pale, too, you might just find your flaky match.

8. Winter weight

All those Christmas cookies? They’ve come to rest at the base of your butt. In winter, you’re a puffy version of yourself, and when you feel puffy, you don’t feel sexy.

9. New Year’s Eve drunken embarrassment possibility

How many messy New Year’s Eves have you had? Don’t lie to me; you’ve had plenty. Thankfully, many of them were spent with single girlfriends who didn’t mind holding your hair back in the public restroom. If you’re dating, you’re probably spending the holiday at a party with your new guy. It’s nice because you have someone to kiss at midnight, but beware of too many cocktails! You don’t want to end up with vomit breath or, worse, crying on his shoulder due to SAD mixed with alcohol over-consumption.

10. Early onset commitment

The holidays make everyone a little needy, especially when we’re single. We want that cute guy to cuddle with by the campfire, so no matter if you’ve only been seeing each other a couple of weeks: Winter hurries the relationship along due to social occasions, the aforementioned forced meeting of family and basically the need to feel loved because the sun has left you behind. You might get serious too fast, which will make the relationship eventually sputter and die. Your infatuation will run out of gas, and by V-Day, you’ll be wondering where you went wrong.