With the holidays upon us, your relationship may be the last thing on your mind. The stress of gift buying, family gatherings, or time with the in-laws can put many of us on edge. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Read on to discover how you and your partner can stay strong over the holidays this year.
1. Start a new tradition for just the two of you
If you want to find a way to be closer to your partner this holiday, consider starting a new tradition just for you two – something without the kids, friends, or extended family. It can be as simple as getting hot chocolate, a late night gift exchange, or watching your favorite holiday movie together. Starting a tradition can help you reconnect. Create a new tradition that is both relaxing and fun!
2. Give each other space for selfcare
We need to take care of ourselves before we can devote our best selves to the relationship. And for some of us, alone time is a crucial part of that. Take time to practice self-care, such as a massage, exercise, meditation, reading a good book, or journaling. Remember to respect your partner’s wishes if they ask for some alone time after a stressful day or before an upcoming holiday party.
3. Stay committed to weekly date nights
Date nights are essential for couples in long-term relationships. After a period of time, things can become routine, causing you to forget the importance of the romantic aspects of your relationship. Commit to and keep up with weekly date nights for the perfect opportunity to reconnect as a romantic couple. Spending quality time together is crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship, particularly through the potential stress of the holidays.
4. Discuss your priorities in advance
Because the holidays are often stressful, they can spark conflicts between you and your partner. One way to reduce tension is to discuss your holiday events and budget beforehand. Consider your expectations and share your expectations with each other. See if you can mutually agree on a general plan. Talking about these matters ahead of time can reduce stress between you and your partner and prevent unnecessary conflict.
5. Remember to ask your partner about their day
While this sounds simple, this is easy to overlook. Asking your partner about their day lets them know you truly value them. Make a deliberate habit of discussing the events and emotions about the day each night. Take turns listening and speaking to one another during this time. The Gottman Institute, formed by relationship research psychologist Dr. John Gottman, refers to this daily conversation with your partner as the stress-reducing conversation. Regularly asking your partner about their day is known to improve intimacy and communication. Keeping your emotional connection strong will make navigating the holidays a whole lot easier.
Maintaining a solid connection with your partner over the holidays can be challenging, but it will be well worth it if you put in the effort.
Start a new couple’s tradition, keep up with date nights, and never forget that the courtship should always continue beyond the honeymoon stage of a relationship.