The first year of a relationship is filled with love and sex and romance… and compromise. So much compromise. One of the tougher compromises is figuring out how you two are going to celebrate the major holidays as a couple. It’s hard because there’s a lot of expectation and pressure from families around holidays. So, here are four tips to help you negotiate this compromise a bit more easily during thanksgiving.
Know your non-negotiable
You get one non-negotiable during this conversation. For example, it could be spending Thanksgiving together. Or it could be celebrating T-Day with your family. You can make this non-negotiable anything. But, it can only be one thing. For example, you can’t be inflexible about two big points, like being together on Thanksgiving and being with your family for the holiday. That’s totally boxing your partner in and not giving them any wiggle room in this conversation. Figure out what your non-negotiable is and then be open to creative solutions and compromises for every other element. It’s not easy to be flexible about so much, but that’s what a relationship is!
Talk about it early
Please go talk to your partner about this right now if you haven’t already. Nothing makes a sensitive conversation more tense than a time crunch. Do yourself a favor and avoid that. Start talking about Thanksgiving now. Even Christmas now. A head start gives you guys enough time to process your emotions and figure out what compromise works best for your relationship. And if you’re afraid of bringing up Thanksgiving or another holiday a few weeks or months in advance because you’re not sure if you’ll be together then, maybe you shouldn’t be spending your holidays together at all. Hard truth to hear, I know. But, it sounds like you’re not quite at that point in your relationship.
Of course sensitivity and empathy are qualities that help just about every conversation you have with a partner. But, this one especially. Try and be mindful about the stress and pressure he’s getting from his family. Think about how comfortable he’d be staying at your family’s home for an extended period. And really keep finances in mind. Travel around Thanksgiving is super pricey and you could be asking for a lot more than you realize when you demand a last minute trip.
Holidays are about traditions, but they’re also about being with the ones you love. And sometimes that means breaking old traditions to start new ones that work for your loved ones. After all, traditions have to start somewhere. Be open to starting something completely new with your partner—and only your partner, no family—this year. That might be the best solution for both of you. You’re both in unfamiliar holiday territory and both getting a lot out of the experience. Plus, if you two have kids together, you’ll now have this tradition you can pressure them to bring their future partner to! The circle of holiday guilt!
No matter what your boo and you decide, I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving that’s full of love, gratitude and lots of eating!