The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time when we thrill to giving and getting gifts and spending time with our loved ones.
In theory, that’s what’s supposed to happen anyway.
But in reality, the holidays are often a very stressful time when many people get lonely, and when even the most civil families can clash. And holiday time can be extra stressful for those who are in a queer relationship – especially if your partner isn’t out.
We turned to the OneGoodLove.com’s Date Doctor, one of our new Gay List Daily contributors, for advice on surviving the holidays.
Respect Your Partner’s Family and Your Own
Family get-togethers are often the most challenging part of the holidays. Don’t get too bent out of shape about what judgmental relatives have to say. When they chime in with inappropriate comments, it’s okay to defend yourself respectfully, but keep it short to simply make your objections known. You’re not likely changing anyone’s mind that day.
Then there’s the challenge of dealing with your partner’s family. Your partner’s family may not know about or respect your relationship. Whatever the situation, grit your teeth and bear it for the holidays. This is not a time to force confrontation, be argumentative or demand that your partner come out.
Get Together with Your Chosen Family
Many of us choose to not get together with our families. Instead of spending the day alone, gather your chosen “family” of friends together to celebrate the holiday, watch the big game or do some early Black Friday shopping.
Accept and Manage Stress
Understand that as much as you’d like to be stress-free for the holidays, it not a realistic expectation. Simply do your best to avoid stressful situations, and don’t forget that the holidays aren’t just about everyone else in your life! Take time for yourself: Pop into a local yoga studio for a class, watch a DVD, get a mani-pedi and, most of all, be sure to close your eyes, breathe deep and remind yourself of all the good things you have in your life.
Date Doctor is presented by our friends the dating and relationship experts at OneGoodLove.com.