Spending the holidays together for the first time
3 December 2018 LIFESTYLE
By: Natasha Archary
The holidays are approaching with ferocious speed. Yup. There’s no avoiding the festive season decorations, that have sprung up at every public space in the country, any longer. ‘Tis the season after all.
This time of year puts added pressure onto couples, however new or well into the relationship you are. Couples are expected to do “couple-y”things, like cooking classes and morning hikes. And, planning the holidays together.
Nothing sparks anxiety with lovers more than the festive period. Well, surprise pregnancy aside that is. Do you invite your partner over to Christmas lunch or New Year’s Eve? What are the expectations if you’ve just started dating?
How soon is too soon?
You may have butterflies coming out your aural cavities, but if you’ve been together for less than six months, it’s too soon to be spending the holidays together. Family dynamics, however, does contribute when deciding whether to include your person as a plus one to any family planned activity this season.
Link to: Meeting the family for the first time https://www.kayafm.co.za/how-to-survive-meeting-the-family/
If you have not introduced your partner to your family previously, don’t do it during the Christmas lunch or dinner that has been a family tradition for years. There are too many people around, it’s not your average family night and there are just so many scenarios for this introduction ending badly.
Often couples focus on whether their partner’s family will accept them, never the other way around. Do you ever wonder whether your partner will look at your family and rethink this entire thing with you?
Could it all go pork belly up?
You know your family better than anyone else, what do you think? Immediate family dinners and planned outings are one thing, extended family and all the awkwardness that brings something entirely different.
You have no control over who’s going to say or do something inappropriate to your partner. If you have a really big family, chances are you and your partner will be separated at some point. Are you willing to risk the new love finding out “How you never really got over your high school sweetheart Melanie and how the two of you still have lunch on her birthday because that’s the day you started dating,”from your aunt?
Any scenario where there’s alcohol involved and a social gathering with people who know you, the real, uncensored and unedited version of yourself, is a recipe for disaster. Then of course, there’s the family expectation that if you bring someone home for the holidays that this is it.
This is who you’re marrying. The norm for the average South African family. Not every family is as open to the concept of you dating around, testing the waters or whatever the cool kids refer to dating as today.
So, no you don’t want to introduce every partner you date to your family over the holidays. This is one meeting that should be reserved for that special one, the one you are without a shadow of a doubt planning on spending many more family holidays with.
It could make or break your relationship
Introducing your partner to the family is daunting, doing so during the holidays is a whole other ballgame. This could really change the way you view your partner and their family. It’s usually when many people realise that the person you’re with isn’t the person you want to be with.
Their social persona comes through, you see firsthand the traits they may have been withholding. It’s a risky move for any relationship and not necessarily something every couple overcomes.
There are loads of couples who split after Christmas dinner with the family and go through New Year’s Eve alone. Then there are of course, those couples who end up having many happy years of family holidays together.
You will know when it feels right to spend the holidays together. If it feels comfortable and that your relationship can survive your family fueled holiday then go for it, if not don’t rush or force it.