Whether you've been together for years or two months, the stress of the holiday season can take a toll on your relationship. 'Tis the season to be jolly, not fighting in your boss's coat closet, so here are eleven seasonal relationship pitfalls and how to avoid them.
You and your SO have different ideas about holiday fun.
You imagine a holiday season like a Norman Rockwell painting or a scene from Love Actually, but your SO seems more interested in watching football or cursing the long lines at department stores. It's perfectly reasonable to expect your loved one to fulfill some of your dreams of say ice skating hand-in-hand, sharing a hot cocoa, making paper snowflakes or whatever tradition you've exalted in your head. Just don't expect him to read your mind, especially if he's a little more Scrooge and a little less Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life. And don't forget to compromise. If he's not the cheery elf that you are, maybe cut back on the Christmas music a bit when he's around.
Sending a joint holiday card sends a message: we're together forever. Like meeting family, don't rush it. The photo of the two of you dressed up as Mr. and Mrs. Claus can be awkward down the road if things don't work out.
You're indulging a little too much.
Holiday festivities tend to revolve around overindulgence, of both the solid and liquid sort, which can lead to less-than-sober squabbles or tension over derailed fitness goals. If you're an emotional drunk, take it easy during major events, when emotions are probably running high anyway. If you or your SO are worried about weight gain, set aside time to exercise together. (Endorphins help regulate emotions!) And remember guilt and deprivation are what January was invented for.
You're thinking the new iPad; he's thinking a candle.
Especially for newer relationships, holiday gift-giving is a minefield of potential misinterpretation. Try to gauge the situation (and budget) by asking your SO (significant other) what he wants for Christmas. Or suggest the two of you do something special together instead of exchanging gifts. You can also set a spending limit-and actually stick to it.
Holidays don't just happen on their own. It takes time and energy to clean the house, put up 40 strings of lights, wait in line for the new must-have toy, wrap presents from you and from Santa, decorate trees, bake cookies, address cards, cook a 20-pound turkey, and knit a hat for your SO's sister. As the holidays gear up, discuss who gets what job. If possible, eliminate unnecessary responsibilities and obligations.See how else the holidays can wreak havoc on your relationship!
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