The holiday season is often filled with traveling and spending time with family and friends. Sometimes, it is the first time when we introduce a significant other to extended family and share in new experiences and traditions. In an attempt to arm you with some tools before the holiday season begins, I’ve listed some tips below (in no particular order):
- If one of you is traveling and the other is not, talk through a plan for communicating while apart. Does one of you like to check in after work on the way home? Are there times that might be more or less convenient based on both of your schedules? What about times when you may not be reachable?
- Consider ways to be thoughtful and meet each others’ needs for closeness/togetherness in a time when family and friends may limit your alone time together. Have an open dialogue about what each of your preferences are for social time with others vs. time to yourselves. Find a way to schedule that in to your holiday plans. Additionally, in the spirit of the season, if you decide to exchange gifts, think about what might be meaningful and get creative. It may not have to be a gift that is expensive as long as it is something that is special and speaks to your partner’s personality.
- Before each family or friend event (ie: Thanksgiving dinner, the work holiday party, New Year’s Eve, etc.), discuss what each of your expectations are for the event and of each other. If this is the first time you are introducing your partner to friends and/or family, discuss what information you want to share and what you want to keep private. If you both have been with a group of people before, discuss what each of your needs are. Do you need to come up with a signal for when it’s time to leave? What about giving each other permission to potentially leave early or stay late while making sure the other person gets home safely?
- Plan a date night, a weekend alone, or some other activity to do just the two of you and schedule it for after the holiday season is over. That way, you will ensure that there will be a time to re-connect after a long (but hopefully fun) few months.
- Remember to relax, unwind, and have fun!