Saving the Holidays: How to Manage Multiple Obligations as a Couple

When you were single, figuring out your holiday plans wasn’t so complicated. Even if you had to travel far to see your relatives, you only had to worry about yourself and spend time with your own family. Now, you’re in a committed relationship. You’re excited to enjoy the holidays with your partner. Yet you didn’t realize that planning out your schedule and deciding where you should go would get so complicated! Between trying to fit in gatherings with your family and visiting your partner’s family, you’re just not sure how you can possibly make it all work.

Every couple has to make their own personal decisions about how they’ll spend their holidays. These guidelines will help you and your partner come up with an arrangement that’s fair to everyone!

Start Making Plans Far In Advance

Don’t wait until the holidays are already upon you to start making plans. Next year, take a look at your calendar by October at the latest and think about how you’d like to spend the season. That way, you’ll be able to book any necessary flights, rental cars, or hotel rooms well in advance. If you want to invite your loved ones to stay with you, this makes it easier to gauge who will make it to your house, and who won’t be able to come.

Plus, you’ll be able to communicate with both of your families to find out what they’re thinking about in terms of holiday plans. No one will be caught off guard when you let them know about your own schedule.

Divide Your RSVPs Fairly

If your family and your partner’s family don’t live in the same area, you’ll need to divvy up your time fairly. This might mean spending one holiday with your family and another with your partner’s family. It could also mean spending a couple of days with one family during a particular holiday and then traveling to another family’s household afterward. Think about what works best with your schedule and budget, and make sure you’re splitting your time up in a way that feels fair to both parties.

Communicate Openly With Each Of Your Families

You’ll need to share your plans with your own family, and your partner should talk about your plans with their family. It’s not one person’s responsibility to handle communicating with all of your relatives. Make sure that you both reach out to your families well before the holidays. If your family pushes back on your plans, you can each handle the conflict with your relatives.

Consider Switching Off Between Families Each Year

What if you just don’t have the time or money to see both of your families around every holiday? You may want to spend the holidays with one of your families this year and the other next year. Many couples swap who they spend time with each year. This can often be a more convenient approach!

Remember, It’s Okay To Split Up Sometimes

Yes, you might want to attend as many events as possible together. But what if you have two important gatherings scheduled for the same day? You physically can’t be in two places at once! It’s okay to split up to attend different events. Just make sure to let the host know in advance if they would normally expect both of you! Additionally, you can plan to leave one gathering early and head to another afterward.

Are you struggling to manage all of your obligations as a couple during the busy holiday season? A therapist can help you cooperate. Reach out to us to go over your options for booking a session for couples therapy.