Stress-Proof Your Relationship for The Holidays


Those who are in a relationship may want to hold on tighter to their significant others now that Christmas is upon us. ‘Tis may be the season for giving, but unfortunately, ‘tis also the season when you could suddenly become single!

An infographic created by two London based journalists based on Facebook status updates reveal that breakups tend to peak right before the Christmas holidays. The basis of their findings may be somewhat flimsy, but is it so hard to imagine the stresses of the holidays triggering the uncoupling? Throw in all that exhausting shopping and entertaining, gift giving, spending the holidays with each other’s families or in-laws, and lack of quality time spent with each other into the mix and even the strongest of couples could indeed buckle under the pressure.

Don’t fancy having your relationship unceremoniously nipped in the bud, leaving you drinking yourself to oblivion alone on New Year’s Eve? Take these tips to heart.

Spend the Holiday with Just the Two Of You.

Holiday pitfalls are harder on newer relationships, so if you just started dating in November, spending the holidays with his or her family may not be a good idea. The two of you have not yet established enough rapport with each other to go that route.

Also, putting your significant other under the glare of overly curious, nosy, and sometimes fault-finding relatives will not do your relationship any wonders either. Imagine him being put on the hot seat fielding uncomfortable questions such as “When is the wedding?”, “How did you meet?” (you met on Tinder), and the most dreaded “When are we going to hear the pitter patter of tiny little feet?” Cringe.

Consider Each Other’s Interests When Making Plans.

You want to sunbathe and watch the sunset in the Mara, but he wants a beach Christmas in south coast. Learn to find a middle ground to keep both sides happy. How about splitting your vacation so that half of it is spent wherever the other wants to go, and the remaining half where the other fancies spending it? It means more expenses, but hey, if you both think the other is worth it, why not go the extra mile?

Prepare Before Meeting His Family.

Your boyfriend wants to bring you to meet his family during the holidays. Now, before you freak out, pat yourself on the back first because this is definitely a good sign that he is serious about you. Then the scary part: What will you wear? What if you run out of things to say? What if they don’t like you? Why did you even agree to this meeting in the first place?!

Dress simply but elegantly. Outfits with plunging necklines that expose three-fourths of your breasts are a no-no. No gigantic dangling earrings that reach up to the armpit (okay, we exaggerate, but you get the drift). Your makeup should be a bit understated but still enhances your best features.

Do some sleuthing about your boyfriend’s family ahead of the meeting. Familiarise yourself with their names, work, hobbies and interests, etc. Imagine being able to say to his beloved Aunt Meg, for instance: “Oh, your nephew speaks so highly of you! He says you’re the best cook in the family and that your matoke is to die for!” That’s brownie points.

Be Genuine.

Make no mistake about it: His mama has made a career out of assessing every girl her son brings home as a potential daughter-in-law and mother to her grandkids. She can see right through you, so be authentic.

By being yourself, we mean being your best possible self. If you are borderline alcoholic and tend to chatter aimlessly when drunk, of course, ‘tis not the season to get sloshed and engage in nonstop babbling. Don’t be robotic either. Turn on the charm and humour. A little quirkiness can be endearing.

Bring A Small Gift.

The gift doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be seasonally appropriate. A bottle of fine wine or a teapot set, or a gift basket would be lovely.

Cut Each Other Some Slack.

You bought him an expensive gift and you’re livid that his gift looks cheap and not well thought of. You splashed out on a new hairstyle and sexy wardrobe and he seems oblivious to it. Due to perceived unmet needs, couples can be more critical of each other at this time of the year. Manage expectations and establish boundaries but resist the urge to cut each other down for the smallest of things.

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