The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone, and this stress can wreak havoc on your relationship. The holiday season can cause frustration, tension, a sense of being overwhelmed and having no time to yourself. This does not a positive relationship make. Looking for pointers on how to keep the holidays from ruining your relationship? See below.
Recognize triggers and deal with them before they explode.
You know there are things your guy does that under normal situations make you crazy (and vice versa.) Holiday time is one time to recognize these behaviors for what they are and just let them go. Now is not the time to harp on about his habitual lateness, the toothpaste cap, whatever. One tiny trigger can cause an explosion that neither of you needs right now.
Make time to be alone with each other.
Don’t get too caught up in the whirl of the holidays and wind up ignoring each other. Plan for at least one date night, or even an evening in, just the two of you. This will give you time to talk about any stressful situations that are arising, and reinforce your relationship.
Set limits (or expectations) on gifts.
Holidays can cause a lot of financial stress, and if you or your guy is expecting lavish or expensive gifts, that could cause additional stress. If you buy him some CDs and he gives you a tennis bracelet (okay, not that there’s anything wrong with that) he might think you don’t love him (or like him) as much as he loves you. If you go all out and he gives you a gift basket full of scented bath and body products, well, at best you may think he’s cheap, and at most you may think he doesn’t value your relationship. So set some expectations so they can be met.
Don’t ignore the physical aspects of your relationship.
Your sex life can suffer from the stress of the holidays, but you may also become exhausted from late night parties, too much holiday food, too many cocktails, and other stress on your body. Just like the gifts, try to set limits and expectations ahead of time (only one New Year’s Eve party, not three; Christmas Eve with one set of family members, not both sets of parents, step-parents, brothers, sisters, etc.) Be realistic about what can be fit into one night. It’s okay to split holidays between two (or sometimes three) parties, but after that the two of you are just adding unnecessary stress to your relationship.
Plan a stress busting event to enjoy together.
Whether alone (as above) or with close friends or family, plan a day or night of just being with those you love. Go ice skating, skiing, out for a long, enjoyable dinner, anything that will help both of you relax. How about booking a couples massage, or some other form of pampering? This can give your relationship a stress busting boost that can only help the two of you through the holidays.
And most of all, take the time to remember what the holidays are really all about.