5 steps to protect your relationship from post-holiday season breakup mayhem.
Expectations are high during the holidays, especially around gift giving. You may be thinking it's time to receive diamonds, and he gives you a CD and a 2013 calendar. Or you may think he's going to propose with the big diamond ring, and instead he gives you a pair of earrings. And how about the person who buys a gift for the ex, causing you to feel less-than? The possibilities are endless for massive disappointment, any of which can lead to the January breakup.
And the last big reason for January breakups is making a fresh start. It's the beginning of a new year, the relationship hasn't been going well, and it's time to make new resolutions. But often the person breaking up blind-sides the other party. Putting it off is just, putting it off. It isn't a better breakup because you wait until January.
You can avoid most of this drama by doing one simple thing: communicate. Air your expectations before Christmas, and you might uncover the truth about your relationship in time to do something about it. You can't over-communicate at this time of year, but you can seriously under communicate. Here's how to make it happen, using these five steps.
1. Plan time now for just the two of you. Make time to go out to a quiet place, have a glass of wine, and talk. Don't put this off. The biggest excuse people give for not making time to talk to their mate is "I'm too busy." But all the parties in the world won't help you get over the consequences of neglecting what should come first — your love and connection.
2. Plan your conversation around these three themes: gift giving, family time, and couple time. For each of these themes, talk about your individual expectations and find out your partner's expectations. Set your intention to listen more than you talk. It's not easy to do, but it's vital if you hope to uncover any hidden issues that need to be dealt with.
Gift giving. This topic is one of the most sensitive, especially if your relationship is fairly new or if you haven't yet reached the stage of solid commitment. It’s also sensitive if you've been together for a couple of years or more and you're wondering when the proposal is coming. Don't set yourself up for massive disappointment by waiting and hoping. Instead, ask questions to uncover where he is with regard to these issues. Questions such as "what are you thinking of for a gift budget?" and "are we talking sweaters and music for gifts or something more?" should get the ball rolling. Continue reading ...