Celebrating the holidays will bring you closer together or drive you apart. Where do you stand?...
As much as I enjoy the enormously busy season from Halloween through New Year's, I'm relieved just as equally that it's over. I managed to make it through constructing another homemade costume that kept me up more hours than I can recall. I survived a massive food overhaul that provided enough leftovers to stockpile the fridge for at least a week thereafter. My finances were pinched yet wisely managed when it came down to the annual gift purchasing, wrapping, and eventual dispersing among friends and family. Everything came to a final mellow end as I watched The Ball drop over glasses of grape sparkling cider and delicious beer on a couch alongside my boyfriend, his mother, and her sister. It was one of those serene evenings few are lucky enough to have or even enjoy during the chaotic mess that holidays typically create. For the two years prior to this latest year, my dating relationships didn't make it to Christmas. As it turns out, many studies have shown that at least two weeks before Santa makes his rounds, couples happen to cut ties and go their separate ways. The same goes for certain occasions like Valentines Day (how ironic), and even Spring when the flowers start blooming and clothing becomes an optional affair.
While being a plus one has its' advantages, we tend to hold even tighter onto our loved ones when the last few months of the year approach. The celebratory events spur higher levels of nostalgia and romance, and in turn, an unexpected amount of high expectations. Whether you've been together for a while and are hoping that this will be the holiday when a proposal will finally arise, or you're still wavering the new stages of coupledom and are unsure of how to go about shopping for your partner, emotions run great and feverish which can cause a good or disappointing outcome. Sometimes, even a slow and steady brewing fallout finally surfaces and your relationship comes to a screeching halt and you find yourself starting over on the path to love once again before the clock strikes twelve on January 1st. I've noticed that this last year has been that exact case for more than I expected to witness (or wanted to for that matter). While being solo can be adventurous, it can also be a drag during the holidays. Every commercial revolves around a family base or a jewelry purchase for that special someone. So when you find yourself newly broken up or still in dating limbo, it feels like relationship karma just isn't on your side once again and you are ever hopeful next year may be the year it will change it all. Is it the pressure of gift giving that causes so much conflict and breaking up, or are we genetically programmed beyond our control to just call it quits at the last minute?
The break up before my last was my own doing. You know those light bulb moments people talk about having when a genious idea arises from thin air? Yeah, for me it was one of those, and it just so happened to occur right after Thanksgiving. It was a now or never push that my gut couldn't subside. And the year after that, I was dumped just days after Halloween, so Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years were celebrated at home solely between myself and my daughter. While they were quite memorable and low key, it was difficult not to wonder what it was about myself that prevented having a special someone at my side by the time the end of the year approached. I'm aware that different circumstances create this popular trend of failed unions; pressure, cheating, laziness, the desire to play the field once again, etc., but when does that nagging urge for more and more (perfection that does not even exist) subside? What happened to working through the trials and tribulations that seasons bring? What's worse yet, is when you begin to see the crumbling of relationships around you during this common period, does it make your own unions' solidity at stake?
Like pregnancy and engagement announcements, break ups come in large and restless waves. Once a couple publicly announces a split, others are soon to follow. As someone who has infamously made a name through being dropped over the last decade by more men than I care to give name to again, I was compelled to bring a discussion to the table about why couples are giving up so easily into temptation, or are just giving up in general instead of riding the inevitable bumpy tides that everyone experiences at one time or another. Even if you feel stressed beyond your limits come October-December with your partner now, unless you can remain happily single for the rest of your days, you're bound to cross rocky paths with another romantic interest someday. I can understand that if the zsa zsa zsu isn't there, it isn't, but why not be honest with yourself and with the one you supposedly love long before the mistletoe is hung and relatives are making plans to visit?
I'm the typical emotional Libra; my world revolves around relationships, marriage ,and family....it's been this way for as long as I can remember. However, I've managed to bring my dreams to a more realistic level over the years and have lessened the pressure on myself and the one that I'm with. It's still there of course, I can't make my hopes and dreams evaporate into thin air. I know what I want for myself and for my daughter, but I won't demand it of anyone or beat myself down greatly when it doesn't happen. I am incredibly fortunate to be with the man I have today. While we were not together for our birthdays, we appropriately figured our schedules around the rest of the year and made it through the end intact. As I've gotten older, it's become more and more apparent that sometimes, things just can't happen when you'd like or want them to. When you understand and accept that fact, the disappointments are fewer and fewer. If you never wish to have to work through any hard times a single day in your life, then my recommendation is to stay away from romance completely. There will always be an obstacle, a fight, some bump in the road that will make you want to walk away from your relationship at one time or another. Unless that reason is an absolute dealbreaker, what excuse do you have to not try and work it out for the best?
It saddens me to hear about or see others in the same position I had been used to living in for over a decade. People become quitters far too fast these days. So is the miniscule fight you had with your girlfriend really worth the cheating? Is having the pressure of moving to the next level in your relationship cause for dropping them out of the blue? The amusing thing is, as long as you involve yourself with another, holidays are inevitable and there's no escaping their arrival. Just because it's Christmas, doesn't mean you have to put a ring on their finger, but more than likely, someone has progression in the back of their mind, even if it is only to talk and see where you stand. A new year will mean either moving further ahead, or starting anew with a clean slate. Just because I am involved today, I don't take for granted that it's guaranteed tomorrow. I can't control what my other half feels, does, or wants. He is his own developing person, and all I can do is continue being there for him how I have been all these months. For now, I can see that I am still very much loved and wanted by his appreciation for my affections towards him. A holiday may come and go, but solid respect and honesty is what stands the test of time. So whether you find yourself in shoes similar or starting over yet again, don't lose faith that your time is coming. We will all get what we rightfully deserve down the road...and the same goes for the ones that bail when the going gets tough.