Christmas truly is a magical time of year, bringing together loved ones and family members for an end of year celebration like no other. The flipside to this wonderfully sociable season however, is the strain all of the extra planning, costs and commitments can place on your relationship.
The stresses of finding and paying for thoughtful gifts, hosting or mingling with family and keeping up with all of the traditions can have the potential to throw you and your partner into turmoil. This is before you combine the pressure to create warm, loving Christmas memories for any children in the picture, adding weight to the wild last month of the year. In fact, in a 2010 analysis of breakups via Facebook statuses, an exceptional increase occurred two weeks before the holidays. So why does this relationship crisis peak around Christmas?
A survey conducted on over 1,600 Australian dating app users*, found that more than half of men and 71% of women said they would rather end the relationship than introduce their significant other to their families on Christmas.
In all of its glory, the holiday season can also trigger moments of critical reflection on where your relationship currently finds itself. The impending new year and family introductions can have you considering those closest to you in a new light and can challenge you to evaluate the longevity of the commitment more critically than you may at any other point in the year.
You might consider whether you want to introduce your partner to your family and whether the meeting would cause you any friction that could be taxing on your Christmas capacity. This time may cause you to reflect on any negatives that your loved one exhibits. Your contemplations could instigate new year visions and perhaps your partner does not fit in the puzzle in the same way they once did.
This is normal and you are not alone in the phenomenon. What you do with this newfound curiosity in your relationship is up to you. You can pocket your reflections, open up a conversation with your partner about your concerns or thoughts, or use what you’ve found as a catalyst for change.
Saddening statistics aside, the holiday season doesn’t have to mean the end. It’s important that you take steps to avoid any stress-induced decision making and remember how much you valued your loved one throughout the other 11 months of the year.
Here are a few tips for upholding your love:
- Be Realistic
Christmas is a very busy time of year, so it’s important not to spread yourself too thin. Perhaps it’s not the best time to adopt that new hobby or finish that book. Focus on separating your time among, loved ones, shopping for gifts and time for yourself, to alleviate stress. Remember, break up constitutes a rating of 73 on the stress scale. As the holiday season only sits at 25, managing your time could avoid the extra 50.
- Budget Together
Everybody loves to give, but sometimes we have to do so within our limits. It’s not always worth the smile on the receivers face if it causes you and your partner hardship afterwards. Consider sitting down with your loved one and setting a budget for the season. You might even consider getting creative together with some of the gifts you give to lower the price.
- Watch the Time
During the holiday season, your and your partners time will be consumed by others more than normal. If there are children from previous relationships, distant friends or relatives that are flying in for the season, less of your time is available for your partner (and vice versa). It is important for you to sit down and evaluate this change as a team so that you can allocate valuable time together within the gaps. Don’t lose each other in the holidays.
- Dealing with Relatives
As we are all aware, Christmas is a time when everyone comes together. At times, you may feel disconnected from your partners family members or you may feel your family is acting harshly towards them. Negative experiences with relatives can elevate stress during the holiday season, as many couples justify their compatibility through the likeness of family and friends. Don’t let any conflicts deter you. Take the time to discuss any issues with your partner and support each other if someone is feeling rejected by the family. Remember your partner is seeing you and you are seeing them, not their loved ones.
The holiday season can be a time for joy and happiness in all areas of your life. Despite the stress it brings, use it to give back to everyone you love, including your significant other. Show your appreciation for them in the way you know they’d recognise it most. Lend them a hand when they need it and support each other through busy occasions. If you ever need any additional support, we would love to listen. Start the new year better than ever.
* Bruk, Diana. “Experts Explain Why There Are So Many Breakups Around Christmas,” Best Life. December, 2019. URL: https://bestlifeonline.com/breakups-around-christmas/