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How to Get Through the Holidays with Your Girlfriend

Mary Gorham Malia
Mary Gorham Malia Updated:
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It’s right here and right now – we are deep into the holiday season. Hanukkah has finished and now we move on to the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa and New Year’s.

If you’ve recently started dating an amazing lesbian, the holidays can be a wonderful time or a very stressful season.

Here are five tips to help you forget about the stress and enjoy your lovely lady no matter what your holiday traditions are.

Start by letting go of your expectations!

It’s a new relationship and it probably hasn’t really been tested. If you want to survive the holiday season as a couple, then letting go of your expectations will set you up to still be a couple on the other side of 2014.

Five holiday expectations that turn into problems:

1. You think she wants the same celebration as you.

This is one big projection of yourself on to her and that’s always a problem. Step back and ask her what she wants and listen deeply. Lean into listening so you can learn about her.

She’ll talk about what her family does and does not do. She’ll talk about what she expects, and it’s going to be different from what you expect. Listen, learn and respond instead of react.

2. What do you do about gifts?

This expectation can be a bank-breaker and a relationship-ender. Talk about it. It’s the season to give gifts, but if you’re just recently dating, keeping it simple is best.

Don’t overspend or “over gift” in a new relationship. If it doesn’t last, you’ll both be sorry and mad. The one who received the overly expensive gifts will feel guilty and the one who gave too much will feel used or just plain stupid.

Agree to a budget or to a gift like cooking a special dinner. It’s your chance to show each other you can make a promise and keep it.

3. Is it time to meet the relatives?

Probably not. The heightened expectations of everyone during the holidays can put extra stress on new relationships.

Attending a family party where you are both being inspected as a couple and your date is being evaluated as to her worthiness for you isn’t easy or fun for many. This is one more crucial breakup factor for the holidays.

Think about meeting family when there are fewer family traditions that have to be met, including a Saturday night dinner or a Sunday football game.

“You can be the exception

to the holiday breakup rule!”

4. Will you go to her Sunday service?

Or will she go to your pagan solstice event?

This can be another place where the relationship can hit a big speed bump. Can you honor each other’s religious beliefs? This expectation gets heightened during the holidays.

If you’re dating and don’t have similar religious beliefs, eventually this has to be discussed and some sort of an agreement must be reached. Many people only attend a service during the holidays, but for others, this is the peak of their religious observances.

The answer is talk about it before it becomes a pressure cooker discussion. Get it out in the open because this one isn’t going away – just like the relatives aren’t going away.

5. Who is in the closet and how far in?

With parties, family traditions and religious services happening, how much your date or you are in the closet can also become a big problem for a relationship.

As a new couple, say six months or less, this issue will make or break your relationship.

If your girlfriend is not out with her family but you are, then the only course of action you have is to step back and decide what you want in your life and if she’s worth it.

Many women will come out for the sake of their lover. Is she that sort of person? Or will she always chose to hide for reasons she believes are important, whether valid or not?

This can be a deal-breaker, so figure out how to handle it now.

If all of this conversation means you’re not spending much time together during this holiday season in order for you to each meet your obligations, my best advice is to take care of your self and decide to be OK about it.

It’s just this year. Next year will be very different if you are still together.

Make plans with friends. Cover your emotional bases so you’re not left feeling deprived or lonely on a holiday. Don’t ask your girlfriend to be your end all and be all for making you happy on a holiday.

You’ll end up a lot happier and your relationship can last through Valentine’s Day while you watch a bunch of your friends breaking up.

You can be the exception to the holiday breakup rule!

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