One of the hallmarks of a couple creating a life together is the inevitable times of negotiation and compromise. When two people share everything, it stands to reason that some aspects of their single lives will change or evolve. Some gives-and-takes, however, are easier than others. Holidays and the traditions surrounding them are often difficult for a person to give up or alter. Doing it the wrong way can lead to lasting consequences in a relationship. It is important to approach the art of negotiation in a fair, practical way so no one feels slighted. With any luck, your future traditions as a couple will be even better than you imagined. Read on for advice on this tricky process and a special datebox coupon to help get you started!
Share Everything and Hold Nothing Back
The only way to move forward on this journey of couplehood and make the two of you as happy as possible is for the both of you to be honest with each other. Both people in the relationship need to have all the information to work with. Have a truthful and complete conversation, laying out every single tradition and holiday that is important to you, your family and your friends. Even if you think you sound selfish or unreasonable, it is better to say how you truly feel rather than automatically conceding and making private sacrifices. Doing so will lead to resentment and frustration, which is much worse than the sacrifices themselves.
Your partner should understand your point of view and you should make a concerted effort to do the same. Having an honest discussion of this nature will allow you to have an honest, safe space to bring everything to the table. Once everything is out in the open, you may discover that you prefer some of your partner’s traditions more than your own. Ultimately, this conversation should lead to eliminating the aspects of holiday traditions that neither of you care about, focusing on the ones that you both agree on and creating some new ones.
After everything is said, heard and mentally cataloged, prepare yourself for moments of impasse. There will likely be holidays that you both equally value and equally dread changing in any way. Often, these types of unnegotiable traditions involve travel, families, planned meals or even special outings you don’t want to miss. If neither of you are willing to budge, the best option is to alternate that holiday each year, so each of you has the opportunity to celebrate exactly how you want to. Although on your off-years you will be making a sacrifice, time will fly faster than you think, and before you know it, it will be your turn to have the holiday exactly how you want it.
One suggestion to consider on your partner’s “off-year” is to incorporate some of his or her holiday traditions into your traditional celebration. That small act of compromise will help your love enjoy the day more. Plus, your gesture will be appreciated, and there’s a good chance the favor will be returned in kind the following year.
Be Understanding and Say “Thank You!”
If your partner is the one making the sacrifice, be mindful of your sweetheart’s feelings, and understand if it takes a while for your love to get into the spirit of the day. That understanding will make all the difference, not only for your future holiday celebrations, but also in your relationship. The goodwill you show to your partner during these times will pay off down the line. The little gestures like showing appreciation of your love’s sacrifice will help keep the foundation of your relationship strong.
Show your gratitude by expressing your thanks to really bring the point home. It can be hard to remember simple pleasantries when you are comfortable with your partner and you assume the unspoken thoughts and feelings are automatically understood. Actively look for times to say or show your appreciation.
It is easy to get all caught up in the magic and excitement of your favorite holidays. But, getting caught up in the celebration can make it easy to forget that it takes lots of planning, coordinating and good fortune for a holiday to go off without a hitch. Family and friend dynamics can create awkward situations. Money might be tight. Always take these real-world hassles into account when negotiating holiday celebrations with your partner. Otherwise, all your hard work may be for nothing.
Chances are, most of the time you won’t get exactly what you want and neither will your partner. Trying to find a happy medium through compromise is the best way to alleviate potential frustration. There are plenty of ways you can compromise when it comes to celebrating holidays with your sweetheart. The key is to find the best compromise that works well for the both of you. At the end of the day, you both want to be happy and have enjoyed spending the holiday together.
Don’t be Afraid of Change
The conversation you have with your partner about how to celebrate the holidays can reduce stress in your life, even if you didn’t realize you had it. Take an honest look at the traditions you and your partner have participated in year after year. If there are any that either of you truly despise, or even moderately dislike, consider kicking them to the curb. Holidays are meant to be special times that make people happy. There is no rule that says you need to continue with traditions you don’t like. Feel free to mix it up, and try coming up with some new traditions together to replace the ones you get rid of.
Learn to Let Go
Holidays certainly come with their fair share of stressful moments. Everyone wants holiday events to be perfect by his or her own standards. When couples plan holiday events, it can be easy for one partner to feel overlooked, slighted or ignored, even when it is not the case. At this time of year, it is crucial to remember that everyone plans and acts with the best of intentions and no one is out to hurt anyone else’s feelings. When disagreements or misunderstandings occur, it it likely a result of miscommunication. So, keep an open mind and open heart during the holidays and let go of any residual hurt. Always keep in mind how much you love your partner and how much you are loved in return. Petty arguments over holiday celebrations are generally brought about by trivial matters and you should not let them ruin your holiday or your relationship.
Create New Traditions
During the holiday season, you and your partner have the opportunity to create new traditions and celebrations, which is exciting. Get creative, get indulgent and think about what both of you would enjoy. There are so many possibilities when you let go of your expectations of what holidays are supposed to be. As you forge ahead with your new traditions, make sure you carve some time into the hectic pace of the season for the two of you to spend some quality alone time together.
Don’t forget, you don’t have to keep holiday celebrations reserved for the days marked on the calendar. Every couple has special milestones in their lives that are causes for celebration. Use these occasions to make up a few of your own holidays. Special occasions are special because the meaning you attach to them. The bank does not have to be closed, and decorations don’t have to be up all over town for you and your sweetheart to create your own traditions.
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