The holidays are upon us, which means sharing meals, exchanging gifts, and spending quality time with the people you love.
If you have a new romance in your life, then this time of year has an extra special meaning.
However, it can also be one of uncertainty, as you both seek to navigate the holidays in a way that’s positive for your relationship.
Plenty of ways exists for couples to navigate the holidays successfully. Many relationships come out at the end of the season, stronger and even more secure than before.
Taking some proactive steps helps. Here’s what I mean.
1. Share What the Holidays Mean to You
First, it helps both of you to sit down and share what the holidays mean for you. For instance, perhaps you enjoy staying close to home while your partner has always traveled somewhere for the holidays.
That’s okay! Learning and understanding the meaning of the holidays to each of you is part of discovering one another. It’s a chance to get to know your partner better and learn who they are as a person.
Remember to keep the discussions going throughout the holiday season. Like with many aspects of any relationship, excellent communication helps you to navigate the holidays successfully.
2. Keep It Simple
Another unique approach to helping you navigate the holidays is to keep it simple. Keeping things simple helps to avoid pressure as well as sending mixed signals.
For example, giving a book or even gift cards (with a touching note) can be more meaningful and thoughtful than an expensive, trendy item. The latter might send the wrong message or cause a lot of emotional and financial pressure.
The best gift that you can both exchange is your mutual love—in whatever for that comes.
3. Do Something Fun
The holidays are an opportunity for both of you to strengthen your connection by doing fun things together, such as:
- Ice skating
- Swimming indoors
- Going to a movie
- Attending a holiday parade
No matter what time of year it is, there’s always an opportunity to do something meaningful together.
4. Make Space for One Another
It may be that your relationship is so new that it might not be the right time to travel across the country to meet your partner’s family, which is fine.
Just make sure to have that discussion before the holiday season begins. If you or your partner wants to travel to see family during this time, allow for that space.
However, when one of you is away, stay in touch. Exchange text messages, phone calls, or instant messages. Even if you are apart physically, you each can still share the holidays.
5. The Holiday Dinner Scenario
On the other hand, what if both decide to attend a family holiday dinner together? Firstly, you must talk about what to expect.
If your partner is inviting you to dinner, decide together whether that’s the best idea. If it is, then get a good idea of the “lay of the land,” per se.
What are the family dynamics involved with dinner? Will this be the first time meeting your partner’s family? Are there topics to avoid discussing? Approach the holiday dinner scenario as you would any other challenge—as a team.
Struggling During the Holidays?
If you and your partner are having trouble navigating the holidays, consider participating in couples counseling.
Even if you are in a new relationship, couples counseling could help you get some clarity during this time of year.
Remember, counseling isn’t a sign that your relationship is in trouble. Instead, it’s an opportunity to ensure that things go smoothly, and you get this right the first time.
To navigate the holidays successfully, you utilize the same skills that you would any other situation. Excellent communication, a sense of fun, and understanding one another are all vital.
Please contact me today if you’re struggling as a couple during the holidays, or visit my page on couples counseling to learn more about how I can help.