I’ve by no means spent Thanksgiving with my S.O. of 4 years. We solely have one shared Christmas to our names. We each get alongside nice with one another’s households, we have now the means to make the journey to one another, however, however, we simply don’t see the necessity to make the vacations about Us, a Romantic Couple.
I didn’t understand this was odd till I introduced it as much as different coupled adults — and incurred fairly the line of questioning.
“Doesn’t your loved ones hate that? And what about his?”
“Don’t you get lonely?”
“When do you change presents, then?”
These are truthful considerations, if somewhat nosy. I had by no means requested myself these questions earlier than, however listening to them sparked a good bigger concern: Does celebrating the vacations with out your associate spell doom for the connection?
In a phrase, no. However, Matt Lundquist, LCSW, a psychotherapist and therapist primarily based in New York Metropolis, tells Refinery29 that you must nonetheless give your causes for spending the vacations aside a more in-depth look.
“Some see holidays as extra concerning the household they got here from than the associate or new household they’re creating,” Lundquist says. Whereas others, he provides, won’t discover the vacation season significant to their relationship and don’t thoughts flying solo for his or her household gatherings.
In case you rely your self among the many latter group, as I do, it could be helpful to consider what time of 12 months is significant to you and your S.O. Vacation traditions are sometimes upheld inside as a result of sharing traditions generally can strengthen a relationship. Lundquist says nobody is required to uphold a apply that they don’t deeply care about, however having an occasion or celebration which you can look ahead to along with your associate can convey you nearer (and make your resolution to do separate holidays simpler).
In fact, figuring out and agreeing upon your cause for spending the vacations aside is simply step one. Subsequent, you’ll should share your plan with family and friends.
In case you come up in opposition to criticism to your alternative, Lundquist says to make your causes as clear as attainable — particularly the truth that your vacation plans are the results of an settlement and never one particular person calling the pictures. “Speak concerning the resolution as a shared one,” Lundquist says. ”[One] that each companions made collectively and stand by.”
However, past normal scrutiny, there’s an opportunity that your loved ones (or your associate’s household, for that matter) takes your absence significantly poorly. Probably, Lunquist says, this is because of a distinction of values: Possibly your dad and mom imagine holidays are an necessary a part of any relationship they usually’re upset that these views aren’t mirrored in the way you and your associate do issues.
Preserve this in thoughts if any conflicts between you and your loved ones come up. Somewhat than responding defensively to their considerations, “acknowledge that you just and your associate could merely do your relationship otherwise than others are used to,” Lundquist says. Acknowledging that you just don’t place as a lot of an emphasis on the vacations as others will assist diffuse the problem and make it extra a couple of distinction of opinion than something too private.
My associate and I’ve been fortunate sufficient to keep away from any familial conflicts (partly as a result of we be sure to see one another’s households all through the remainder of the 12 months). However that doesn’t imply our alternative goes unquestioned. Up to now, I’d skirt the problem out of concern of offending somebody. This 12 months, I plan to take Lundquist’s recommendation and inform anybody who asks, “You don’t have to know it, however that is how we do issues, we don’t imply any offense, we really feel nice about our relationship and also you’re simply going to should deal.” After which I’ll promptly have my associate’s reward shipped off to his dad and mom’ home.