It’s holiday season and we know all too well what that means; mushy Hallmark movies, delicious Starbucks drinks, Mariah and Bublè serenading Christmas shoppers as they fight over the last Christmas ham and the inevitability of... break ups.
Yep, just when you thought Covid had taken the title for “Most likely to ruin Christmas”, it turns out the stress of the holidays does more damage than sending us face-first into bowl after bowl of Grandma’s Christmas trifle.
So what is it about the holidays that often spells doom for the most devoted couples? Relationship expert and author Simone Milasas thinks she has the answers. And she should know, as Simone and then-partner Brendon Watt wrote the book Relationship. Are you sure you want one?.
Statistics show that December 11 is the day most couples break up.
“My sense is people look at their life and what they’ve achieved this year, as well as what their goals are heading into the new year. This is healthy but also confronting, and the pandemic has impacted that too,” Simone says.
"I know some couples that didn’t make it through lockdown together, while others thrived due to the intensity and intimacy of the situation."
Simone says it comes down to many couples asking themselves the tough questions, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing - 'Is this someone I want at my family gathering? Is this someone I want to be kissing at midnight on New Year’s Eve?'
These questions become all the more important as the world opens up, families are reunited and the holidays approach.
Three top tips to holiday proof your relationship
So with the “D Day of Dump Month” fast approaching, how can we steer our relationships through the stormy holiday season without both parties crying into their leftovers while listening to Taylor Swift’s 10-minute version of her breakup classic All too well?
Simone has you covered.
Let it go: “You may hate it, but if something’s not working, let it go. You only get one life, this isn’t a dry run. Be honest about your goals and how or if your partner fits into them. You can let go with gratitude and honesty.
Focus on Intimacy: All good relationships, Simone says, should encompass the 5 elements of intimacy. “Gratitude, trust, allowance, vulnerability and honour. Show your partner kindness and gratitude. Practice the generosity spirit. Meet them with less judgement and honour your partner for who they are and the choices they make.”
Don't forget about yourself: “Value the relationship you have with yourself, regardless of whether you are currently in a relationship. Ask yourself what you’d like your future to look like and honour that.”
So what if you still end up dumped right before the holidays? Who will you give that air fryer you bought in the Christmas sales to when you already have one?
Simone has some sound advice for you too.
“It’s not personal. Some people get really righteous about being in a relationship or being single. The break up doesn’t mean you have been broken," she says.
"There is a light at the end of the tunnel. If someone has broken up with you, apply the 5 elements of intimacy to yourself and ask yourself; 'What if there’s something greater for me out there? What would I like to create for my future?'"
And if all else fails, your girls Taylor and Adele have got you...
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