Relationship problems that can arise during the holidays and how you can deal with them

Don't fall prey to the break up season!

26 December, 2023
Relationship problems that can arise during the holidays and how you can deal with them

If rom-coms are to be believed, then the holiday season is all about romance, fairy lights and hot chocolate. Unfortunately, real life is slightly more complicated and convoluted, especially for new (ish) relationships. Sure, the end of the year is a blissful time but with all the joy comes unwanted obligations and pressure to meet expectations. This time of year is a real make-or-break situation for relationships. Numerous studies have shown that the holiday season is also when a lot of couples decide to part ways. 

So, to prevent you from falling prey to this year’s breakup season, we’ve listed down a few common problems that might arise in your relationship and how you can deal with those effectively. 

Your relationship moves faster than you might want

There isn’t an exact formula for how fast a relationship should move. Some might start fun and fiery and then slow down as time progresses while others might move at snail’s speed since the beginning. However, the holiday and end-of-year season has an uncanny ability to push relationships and force most couples to become more serious than they are. For instance, one minute you are casually hanging out and the next you are attending parties or weddings as a couple and discussing whose house to celebrate Christmas in even though you aren’t ready to take that step. The holiday season also amplifies any problems you might be sweeping under the rug in the form of arguments and ultimatums. 

While some couples snap under the pressure and go their separate ways, others work hard to weather the storm. And if you’re feeling nauseated (figuratively, of course) or taken aback by the sudden shift in gears, you need to draw boundaries. First things first though, communicate this in a way that doesn’t sound like a blame game (unless they’ve done something to deserve blame). Then take a step back and give yourself some breathing room. It’s okay if this means that you don’t see them for a while or don’t attend a few events.  

Lack of personal space  

In theory, the more time we spend with our partners, the more we should fall in love with them. However, reality is a whole different story. Sometimes (more often than not) after spending a considerable amount of time with our partners, we require some space to recharge. And contrary to what movies and shows have led us to believe, this is not a bad thing. However, around the holiday season, taking a step back becomes very tough and this eventually leads to fights and arguments over things that can easily be resolved calmly. 

The solution to this problem is pretty straightforward—tell your partner how you’re feeling and prioritise yourself. And do it without guilt or how you’ll be perceived. If you don’t have days, a few hours to yourself can help take the edge off. 

You may feel pressured to take things to the next level   

The holiday season is also the peak wedding season. As soon as you open social media, you are flooded with images of your friends, acquaintances and even celebrities tying the knot. This might cause unwanted pressure on you and your partner to do the same if you are in that age bracket. However, if one or both of you are not ready for this next step, it can cause a make-or-break situation. In cases like this though, it’s wise to just stick to your guns and communicate openly. Have a conversation about expectations and where you see the relationship going. Do not take any steps in haste out of pressure. If you do decide to get married, make sure it’s because you truly want to and feel ready for that big a commitment.  

You may start spotting numerous pink flags  

Pink flags are warning signs that are sometimes harder to spot than red flags. These are things that could potentially lead to toxicity in the relationship. The thing is, it is very interesting to see how your partner operates during the joyful time of the year which is also arguably the most challenging. Here is when you see if you are truly compatible and if your expectations align. It is also when red and pink flags are clearer than ever. 

Are they suddenly more irritated than usual? Are they unwilling to make even the smallest compromise to their holiday plans for you? Are they drinking excessively? If your relationship is fairly new, are they making efforts to introduce you to their friends and family? These are all things you need to keep an eye out for. And if the flags start stacking up and go beyond what you can and want to handle, bounce before it’s too late.