Relationship specialist, psychologist, and award-winning author Maryanne Comaroto understands how uneasy the holidays can be for new couples who have yet to discuss and decide where they plan to spend their time celebrating. The topic of family can be sensitive, and bringing up the conversation can feel awkward.
“People say timing is everything, particularly when it comes to discussing sensitive matters. I call them Matters of Consequence. That being said, sometimes it feels like there is no good time to talk about family and the holidays, especially if you are in a new relationship and you suspect this may be a sensitive subject. While there are countless scenarios for new couples facing the holidays together, here are a few guidelines for creatively broaching where you will be spending the holidays as new partners,” said Comaroto.
Comaroto first suggests self-reflection on what is personally meaningful. If someone has yet to discuss holiday plans with a new partner, it is critical to create self-clarity on what is most important about the holidays. A partner should express hope in participating in events that are meaningful or sit close to the heart, such as a particular family tradition.
With that in mind, partners should also be open to considering one another’s personal family scenario and reality. Remember, teamwork makes the dream work, and partners in healthy and loving relationships are supposed to act as a team when finding answers and solutions.
When nailing down a plan becomes a game of dodgeball, a partner can simplify the situation by scheduling a sit down to discuss holiday plans.
Maryanne Comaroto suggests saying this to a new partner: “Let’s talk about what we want to do for the holidays. When is a good time for you?”
When the conversation occurs, try to avoid having it over the phone or through text. Real face-to-face, in-person communication is the best practice to express care and empathy more effectively while discussing holiday matters.
When going into the conversation and through its length, Comaroto says individuals should stay in their hearts. She means that simply talking about where to spend the holidays is the first proactive step, and the next is staying generous, open-hearted, and curious while exchanging dialogue with a partner.
A way to guide the conversation to be productive is for both people to agree to choose one thing you each want to take place during the holiday season. That way, you both understand something the other wants and can take the first steps toward achieving these desires together. Successfully completing small steps as a team that meet the wants of both parties involved will help fuel a relationship to more remarkable future accomplishments.
“Trust the flow. Magic can and does happen when we have courage, pure intentions, and are generous and open-hearted. If you find you cannot get on the same page or things get too uncomfortable, try to pause and find some common ground again. Even if that means that agreeing how to spend the holidays together is hard,” said Comaroto.
Finding common ground is critical when solving the new-couple holiday puzzle, and trusting the ability to do so is just as important.
About Maryanne Comaroto
Relationship specialist and psychologist Maryanne Comaroto, Ph.D., leads individuals to better self-understanding and healthier, more fulfilling relationships. The award-winning author of Hindsight: What You Need to Know Before You Drop Your Drawers!, Maryanne is also a clinical hypnotherapist, certified Vedanta meditation teacher, speaker, and popular media personality. She is the founder of the nonprofit the Queen of the Jungle Foundation.