Dating someone cute at the holidays? So much fun! But also? Sometimes it can be a little bit of drama.
The thing is that along with all the popcorn-garlands and presents, the upcoming holidays can put a ton of pressure on your relationship—and lead to fights or even worse.
Don’t let holiday stress tear up your winter romance. With these tips, you should be able to avoid the biggest holiday dating pitfalls and skate away into the new year hand-in-hand.
1. The big gift exchange
Have you ever given someone a present, only to have it rejected by the one you love? I have. It destroyed me because it was D-I-Y from the H-E-A-R-T. You can save yourself the same disappointment by agreeing up front about gifts. Suggest spending only $20 on each other, or decide that you’ll swap handmade gifts. Or even more fun—skip the actual gifts and spend a little money on a fancy dinner out that you’ll remember forever. Whatever you do, talk about it in advance so you don’t have your hopes crushed on the big day.
2. Navigating Chrismukkah
So, you’re down with Jolly Old St. Nick, and he’s Jewish (or some other religion!). His family (or yours) might have a problem with your differences, but you really can make it work. Ask about his holiday traditions, and share yours with him. You don’t have to suddenly join each other’s faith to celebrate the season together.
3. Time Shares
Worrying about your own family is hard enough but during the holidays, you may have to deal with your honey’s as well. If it’s really important to your boyfriend that you have a holiday meal with his family, but your Great Aunt Ida will be in town to see you on the same day, you’ll have to compromise. Talk it out rationally, and let him know you wish it were easier. Chances are, he’s got a crazy aunt in town, too, who he has to see. Prioritize, and then split your time as evenly as you can.
4. Great Expectations
For some of us, this is the most important time of the year. Others could take it or leave it. Don’t assume that your love knows how to or wants to celebrate the holidays the way you do. If your fam gets all Fancypants Island for the big holiday feast and your dude thinks that “dressed up” means jeans and a tee, he won’t know differently until you explain. Communicate, communicate, communicate. This is a magical time of year, but not magic enough to make him a mind reader!
5. Details, Details, Details
The holidays are not really about gifts, tinsel or what you’ll be wearing to dinner—even though it’s super easy to get bogged down into all of those things! This time of year is really about friends, family, each other, joy and love. Focus on how awesome it is to have someone special in your life. Whether you head to a Church, Temple, Mosque, Kingdom Hall or out for Chinese food and a movie, don’t forget to have fun.
Mazel Merry Feliz Kwanzaa-kah! How are you celebrating? Tell us in comments!