Holidays and Relationship Priorities: 3 Tips for Staying Connected as a Couple

The holidays are upon us! They supposed to provides us with the opportunity to feel more connected, closer, and have a greater sense of belonging.

Yet, the holidays can be the exact opposite for couples.

Why? Because there’s trying to meet all kinds of family obligations (meals, services, etc.), buying gifts and getting them delivered to loved ones on time, or extra household tasks such as setting up decorations.

Plus, you still have to take care of work, the kids, and everything else you do for the rest of the year!

So it makes sense that you feel a little disconnected from your partner during this time of year.

Here are three tips for staying connected as a couple during the holidays.

1. Enjoy Something That’s Just for the Two of You

First, it makes sense that in order to stay connected, you need to be spending quality time together. Even with a busy holiday schedule, it’s still possible to do things that are just for the two of you.

For example:

  • Going to the movies
  • Holiday ice skating
  • Attending a fireworks or holidays lights show
  • Exercising together
  • Getting outside to ski, hike, or bike

Perhaps the simplest—yet extremely effective—way to spend quality time together is sharing a meal that you both helped to cook. A home-cooked meal is delicious, certainly more affordable than eating out a restaurant, and requires that you both are in the kitchen together.

It doesn’t have to be a complicated meal with a two-hour prep time. Consider recipes that can be cooked in 30 minutes and which you can eat in another 30 minutes. That’s an hour that you get to spend together doing something you do every day.

2. Be Just a Text Message Away

Sometimes you’re both working long days and not getting to see each other much. Why not send a kind or funny text message? It doesn’t take that long to do, but it can mean a lot to your partner. Bonus points for including an emoji or GIF!

better, why not try the old-fashioned way of sending a message by writing your partner a note? Leave a card for them on the kitchen table when you leave or perhaps a note on the bed stand. These are great ways to show that you care about each other and are thinking of one another.

3. Do Your Own Thing

This year are you and your partner planning on attending a big family holiday event? Why not plan your own holiday celebration that’s just you and not everyone else?

For example, if you are expecting to be a part of a big gift exchange with the family, exchange gifts to each other first. The idea is to have a holiday tradition that’s just for you. Otherwise, getting sucked into everyone else’s celebrations—whether that would be parties or family functions—can feel more like obligations. When in doubt, keep it small, authentic, and meaningful.

What to Do If You’re Struggling to Stay Connected

If you try the above ideas and are still struggling to stay connected with one another during the holidays, consider seeing a therapist.

Granted, this might be the last thing that you want to do during this busy time of year. However, if your relationship is really having trouble, then it’s important that you both do something about it right away. If nothing else, therapy can at least be a safe place to vent those frustrations and hopefully get back on the right track.

The holidays are definitely when you prioritize the things that matter to you most—and that’s NOT the flashy new gift or toy. Rather, it’s the people and relationships that you value and cherish.

If you would like professional support to keep first things first and maintain a strong connection as a couple, please feel free to contact us.

AuthorJoshua Howell, MS, LPC, NCC, AADC, ICAADC, SAP, SAE

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