Contributed by Lana T.


The holidays can wreak havoc on romantic relationships.  There are so many expectations about having the perfect holiday that the pressure can break things apart. But most of the drama can be avoided.

Gift giving. You spent a month thinking of the perfect gift. It is a little expensive but you buy it because you are sure she will be pleased. He opens it and is blown away. He tells you how fabulous it is. Then you open his gift to you and … are disappointed.  It looks as if he gave no thought to it what so ever. Worse yet, it is so far away from anything you would be interested in.  How can you help but be disappointed?

  • Solution. Talk about it before hand.  Ask if you are exchanging gifts or if you would like to do something special together in lieu of gift giving.  If you are going to exchange gifts, discuss interests, wants and a budget. Then stick to it.

Holiday plans.  Soon it will be the holidays and you imagine you and your partner snuggling by a tree drinking hot chocolate, opening gifts, kissing under the mistletoe. Then he announces he has plans to spend time with his family and you are not invited.

  • Solution.  Don’t make this situation all about you.  The holidays are about family and while you may think you are a part of his, you do not know the situation. Instead of planning how things are going to go in your own mind, be sure to talk over plans with your significant other. Don’t assume anything.

Verbal faux pas.
Let’s say you are invited to your partner’s family get-together and, at first, things are going swimmingly. Then all of a sudden you say something out of order.  It was a joke, but it is not taken as one.

  • Solution. Before going to the gathering, be sure to ‘interrogate’ your mate—not in a rough way of course. Find out what is expected and what topics to avoid. If you end up insulting someone anyway, apologize right away to avoid any resentment and keep your partner from being caught in the middle.

Have you had any experiences during the holidays that negatively affected your relationship? We invite you to write your comments in the box below.