How to help your relationship survive during Christmas

For couples, Christmas can be one of the most wonderful times of the year. 

From fairy lights to gift giving to special days out, there is romance in the air. 

However, despite this, Christmas can be a particularly stressful time. 

Extra pressure can be put on relationships, whether that be in a material sense or by family matters. 

With this in mind, Lovehoney has partnered with a relationship expert to give couples some tips on how to navigate relationships during the festive period. 

Why do couples argue more than usual at Christmas?

Arguments can spring up more easily at Christmas and relationship expert Ness Cooper of The Sex Consultant says it’s for a number of reasons. 

‘During festive periods there are a lot of expectations and activities that divert us from our normal day-to-day life,’ she explains. ‘Couples argue more due to how their normal routines are disrupted and there are not only hopes for making it perfect, but pressure from other family and peers to fulfill expectations to make this time of year magical. 

‘These expectations can go against our individual beliefs and strain can emerge between a couple’s worlds colliding and differing. On top of this Christmas adds an extra financial burden which can result in extra conflicts and worries.’

To combat this Ness suggests following 10 tips that will help your romance thrive and survive.

Develop new Christmas traditions together

‘During Christmas we have our own traditions that are often separate from our partners,’ she says.

‘Forming new traditions together can help you bond more over the festive period.’

Keep some Christmas activities just between you and your partner

Ness says: ‘It can be tempting to fulfill every festive social event, but making sure that you and your partner are able to enjoy some festive time just between each other will help keep this time of year special for both of you.’

Don’t compete with presents

‘When giving gifts, it’s not how much someone spends on another that makes it special,’ Ness notes.

‘It’s actually the meaning behind it. Competing on the price of Christmas presents can not only mean you may receive less personal presents but it can cause conflict and tension. Remember it’s not about the price of something but how you share affection when giving gifts that counts.’

Have some you time

Ness advises: ‘Remember that having some you time is still important, and doesn’t make this time of year any less special when you take a moment to yourself.’

Try not to overindulge too much at Christmas

‘Too much drinking, and too much food, both can affect our judgement and performance,’ Ness explains.

‘If you’re planning on some festive bedroom explorations make sure you don’t overeat or drink beforehand so you both can fully enjoy it.’

Don’t let your family talk down to your partner

‘I hear about this one a lot from couples, where conflict starts with other family members,’ Ness says.

‘If your family is treating your partner negatively, speak-up rather than let it continue. Generally, family members will treat them nicely afterwards and you will gain extra relationship points with your partner.’

Share the Christmas tasks

‘If arranging Christmas feels a bit one-sided see where you can step in more to help,’ she advises.

‘This not only will stop arguments and stress, but it will reduce tiredness, meaning you can put that extra energy towards some extra personal activities later on.’

Communicate

‘Make sure that you take time to talk about things other than Christmas. Also if conflicts do surface, take a moment out of festive activities and chat about it to see how things can be changed for the better.’

Make time for intimacy

Ness says sex is important. ‘You’re scheduling festive events, family activities, and everything else to do with Christmas, but this means sex can be forgotten. During this busy season scheduling in sex can help loads.’

Don’t get jealous of other couples’ Christmas

‘It can be easy to look at other couples’ Christmases and feel theirs are better, whilst they may be different, one couple’s Christmas is no better than another’s,’ Ness says.

‘Stepping back and being mindful about you and your partner’s Christmas can help you see that your Christmas is just as good as others.’

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