Ways your relationship survives the holidays

 


Ah, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is here. The sound of Christmas music greets our delighted ears. Our calendars are packed with shopping, parties, festive family gatherings, food and lots of fun.

For some, that description may ring a familiar, happy bell — while others see it as the kind of setting they only catch a glimpse of when they curl up on the couch and flip the remote to watch their favourite Hallmark movies.

Unfortunately, no piece of relationship advice can help couples fight stress. Because holidays can create more stress than joy in many people’s personal lives.

Data journalist David ​McCandless conducted a study of Facebook posts and found that more breakups occur during the weeks before Christmas than at any other time of the year.

Many relationships standing on faulty ground feel added stress during this time of year for a number of reasons, including:

Pressure from family friends
Work stress
Added commitment pressure
Pressure to purchase costly gifts
A perceived need to "get out" before the new year arrives
To keep your relationship from cracking during the holidays, here are five ways to keep things Hallmark-worthy instead of heartbreak-heavy.

Keep your communication strong

Be sure that you do not let the busy work and holiday pressures keep you from communicating. It is easy for people to get overwhelmed and let things start adding up; then a small problem becomes a large problem.

Don't assume you understand how another person is thinking or feeling. Ask and communicate to be sure you are both on the same wavelength.

Keep your expectations realistic

If you've been hanging out with romantic couples, don't start comparing your relationship or partner to them. Expecting your partner to act differently from their normal behaviour and suddenly take on behaviour like some Hallmark-hero or a friend’s romantic partner just sets yourself up for failure and disappointment.

Chances are those expectations will let you down, creating a breakdown in the relationship. Just keep things real.

Keep the stress off of commitment

Holidays apply pressure to relationships and commitment with all of the family and work events, Jewelry commercials, and well-meaning friends asking things like, "Do you think you'll get a ring for Christmas?” The increased pressure can cause an already rocky relationship to crumble.

Have a conversation before the Holidays that you both agree, holidays are not the time for such big decisions and you just want to enjoy being together. This takes the stress off of both of you. It also gives you a great response to friends.

Keep the romance coming

The holidays can be so hectic that couples often forget the age old relationship advice to take time out for each other.

It's important to schedule a date night that is just the two of you. Something that allows you to have the romantic, quality time together to keep the flames stoked and remind each of you why you fell in love.

Keep practicing flexibility and patience

Due to the demands of family, work, gift buying, and the numerous other types of holiday stress, mastering flexibility and patience with your partner is essential. The easier you make things for your partner, the better your relationship will withstand the stressful holiday season.

Your normally levelheaded partner will return after the hectic holiday. Keep your love life healthy and happy through this holiday season.

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