People love the holidays, but they can cause a lot of stress. From event planning to coordinating with family arrivals, the holidays demand emotional and mental energy, which can easily deplete. Not to mention, the energy one must exert to entertain can physically drain the body. What does that mean for a relationship at the end of the day?
It’s very common to have a relationship take a backseat to the rest of the goings-on during the holidays. One or both partners may not even classify the relationship as a priority. Additionally, one person in the relationship may gain more joy out of the holiday festivities, while the other person just grinds through them. It’s fine to avoid Christmas music in the car or conversing with specific family members, for example, but it’s not acceptable to neglect the relationship. It’s important to carve out time to nurture the relationship, focusing intently on each party. Learn how to do that during the holiday hustle and bustle with the following tips.
When you’re busy, it’s quite common to be swept up by your own schedule. A busy schedule isn’t an excuse to avoid inquiring about your partner’s day or feelings, though. There isn’t a requirement to ask your partner about every single aspect of their day, but maintaining curiosity can help care for the flame in a relationship. You can always learn something new about your partner, especially if their environment or personality changes. A simple, “Tell me about the best and worst parts of your day,” can go a long way. Not only will you start up a conversation and learn more, but you’ll also maintain an intimate connection.
Skip Some Of The Parties
Some people live for holiday parties. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, the invitations roll in and it can be overwhelming if you try to attend all of them. It’s quite common that one person in the relationship will get annoyed by all the socializing, so don’t overcommit and attend all of the parties. Talk to one another about the parties you really want to attend and the ones that you’d be happy to miss. Sometimes, avoiding the party and taking time for just the two of you is more beneficial. Consider dinner and a movie or simply spend the night at home and relax.
Speaking of spending the night at home, why not turn it into a listening date? Similar to being curious about your partner, sometimes it’s integral to just sit down and listen as intently as possible. Set a time and make sure you put away your phones, so as not to be distracted while the other person is talking. Don’t have the TV on, either! Look your partner in the eyes and listen quietly, allowing them to vent or simply tell you about their day. This exercise helps the person feel heard and it can actually strengthen your relationship.
Create Boundaries With Family
Extended family coming and going throughout the holidays can take a toll on a relationship. Different family dynamics can press all sorts of buttons! No matter how healthy or dysfunctional the family is, it’s important to establish boundaries in order to avoid tension, stress, and hurt feelings. Have a conversation with your partner about being on the same team and make a plan together. You can decide what to do if certain issues come up. It’s impossible to predict what people are going to say, but you can have a plan to redirect the conversation away from polarizing topics. Lastly, each partner should communicate boundaries with their own families, so that that responsibility doesn’t fall on the other person.
Carve out time for fun this holiday season because there are so many activities that can bring joy. One of the best ways to connect with a partner is through laughter, fun, and play. Head to an outdoor ice skating rink or consider a holiday lights tour. You can even go to a mini golf place! If you want to be more low key, you can stay at home and play some cards or walk through the neighborhood holding hands on a cold night. Remember, fun exists even in the most ordinary places.