The holidays are underway, and this can only mean one thing: ‘tis the season for breakups! (Or, if you’re an optimist – time for loads of presents and Starbucks’ holiday drinks.)
Whichever way you see it, the holiday season undeniably has a knack for creating tension in practically every way possible. And for couples, the stress is even more amplified – so much so that the peak time for a breakup is during the two weeks before Christmas, according to a study that tracked Facebook relationship status updates throughout the year. Cruel? Maybe, but true.
Between family drama, money stress, and being pulled every which way through it all, it’s not surprising that many relationships reach their breaking point during the holidays. For some couples, there’s the transition to a long-distance relationship until winter break ends. And on top of that, your S.O. has suddenly decided that it’s the perfect time for a visit to meet the family.
The most wonderful time of the year isn’t as wonderful as five-year-old you thought it was.
The holidays put the heat on a relationship, that’s for sure. The good news? You can take it. When you start feeling Grinchy, keep these tips in mind:
It’s the one piece of advice you hear constantly, but don’t brush it off. It’s cliché because it’s true. If you’re nervous to meet their family, feeling overwhelmed with holiday obligations, or feel like the pressure is coming between you two – talk to each other. It’s simple, and chances are they’re feeling the same way.
Be honest with each other about how you’re feeling. Bottling up stress is never a good thing, especially during a time like this.
Create a budget.
So, she wants $100 perfume and he’s been eyeing a new pair of Jordans. Lack of money is always stressful, but it’s especially true during the holidays. This year, make your boyfriend or girlfriend’s gift one less thing to worry about by creating a budget that works for both of you. Better yet, kill two birds with one stone by gifting something you can enjoy together. Tickets to their favorite play or dinner at that new place you’ve both been dying to try may be just what you need to ease the tension in the air.
Keep the pressure off.
It all goes back to communicating. Don’t feel ready to meet each other’s family yet? Tell them! Worried about money? Tell them! Life isn’t Love Actually - don’t let the vision of a picture-perfect holiday come between the two of you.
Easier said than done, I know. Whether you and your significant other are across the country or across the county from each other, it’s easy to let jealousy get in the way. A hectic holiday schedule doesn’t help, either, but unless they’ve given you a reason not to trust them - trust them.
Set aside time to spend together.
Now is the best time to reaffirm your relationship. No matter how busy you are, make time for each other, whether it’s with a 10-minute Skype date or a romantic night out. Taking a quiet moment away to spend together is the best way to keep your relationship strong amidst the holiday chaos.