The month of December brings many joyful and traditional moments where one can reconnect with old friends and cherish old memories with family members. Although many enjoy the holiday season, this is the time of year when hidden stresses arise. With the gift buying and the forced small talk with an aunt you barely know, sometimes we wish December could hurry up and pass so we can move on to the new year and back into our daily lives. New problems with relationships arise from this change in pace. Often, many couples choose to take breaks during this time because of the high stress. Due to the gift giving, meeting of the family members and overall expectations that follow this time of year, it is difficult for a couple to survive if they are not already strong before these months. Although this might cause serious heartbreak, it might not be a bad idea to focus on you and your needs during the time of giving.
During this season, many couples feel they should stay together due to the expectations that society has placed upon us. With images of cozy fires, sparkling lights and drizzling snows, we often wish to share these experiences with another. No one wishes to be lonely, and the holiday season makes it difficult to let go. But with those special moments comes the expectations that many couples must face. For instance, a majority of couples must meet with family members where their relationship is often questioned and diagnosed. Although these relatives are genuinely interested, it might be difficult to pinpoint your relationship if it has not already been discussed with your partner. For the one meeting the family, it could be difficult and awkward. But, they must endure this for their loved one. Because of these feelings of expectation and awkward situations, couples find this time to be a struggle.
If a couple is struggling before the holiday season, it might be hard to pretend everything is going well when meeting the family. If a couple must pretend to be happy, it is a sign that they should take a break. Although this might be difficult, it could be beneficial. Because there is so much family time and gift giving, many never have the time to focus on themselves and what makes them truly happy. Once the holiday season is over, and the stresses that come have dissipated, the couple could consider picking up where they last started.
Another reason why dating during the holiday season can be difficult for a couple is for college students who live in different areas. It could be hard to see each other often during the break, and traveling from one Christmas dinner to the next could be tiring. If a college couple takes a break during the season, they can focus on their old friends and family and begin dating again once the new semester has begun.
We have many years ahead of us to share special moments with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Now is the time to focus on oneself and take a break from school. If a relationship is not strong before the Christmas break begins, consider taking a break with your partner to truly see what matters most in life. If you both decide you are willing to endure the awkward family settings, gift giving and other expectations that follow with the holiday season, then you have moved into another step of the relationship that will hopefully prosper.
— Samantha Trueheart is a sophomore in communications. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.