How to Survive the January Breakup Frenzy
5 steps to protect your relationship from the epidemic of post-holiday splits
Another issue is the stress that comes with the holiday season. People often break up in January because the stressful holiday season brought out issues that caused them to rethink their commitment. It's supposed to be a time of love, joy and connection, but it's also a time of reflection and re-evaluation.
The fact that expectations are high during the holidays—especially around gift giving—doesn't help either. You may be thinking it's time to receive diamonds, and he gives you a CD and a 2013 calendar. Or you may think he's going to propose with the big diamond ring, and instead he gives you a pair of earrings.
Luckily, you can avoid most of this drama by doing one simple thing: communicating—both before and after the holidays. Here's how to make it happen:
1. Plan time now for just the two of you. Make time to go out to a quiet place, have a glass of wine and talk. Don't put this off. The biggest excuse people give for not making time to talk to their mate is "I'm too busy." But all the parties in the world won't help you get over the consequences of neglecting what should come first—your love and connection.
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2. Listen more than talk. It's not easy to do, but it's vital if you hope to uncover any hidden issues that need to be dealt with. Plan your conversation around these three themes: gift giving, family time, and couple time. For each, talk about your individual expectations and find out your partner's expectations.
Gift giving: This topic is one of the most sensitive, especially if your relationship is fairly new or if you haven't yet reached the stage of solid commitment. It's also sensitive if you've been together for a couple of years or more and you're wondering when the proposal is coming. Don't set yourself up for massive disappointment by waiting and hoping. Questions such as "what are you thinking of for a gift budget?" and "are we talking sweaters and music for gifts or something more?" should get the ball rolling.
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