Q: I have a new boyfriend and we've grown very close. Now we have the holidays approaching and I'm feeling awkward about how to spend them--I'm not that close to my family, and have never brought a boyfriend home before. I don't even know if he wants to spend the holidays together. I'd like to enjoy a holiday season NOT being single for once, but am stressed out by this. Any suggestions?
A: Your stress is because you are thinking that 1) you cannot stand being single one more holiday and you recognize that 2) it is not a good idea to force the situation with your boyfriend or your family. So,
to reduce your stress, you can do one of two things: Change your perceptions or shove your agenda down the throats of your boyfriend and your family. If it were me, I'd pick the change of perception -- it's so much easier! So, let's go with that...
First of all, if you have a boyfriend, you are not single. Even if you spend the holidays on opposite hemispheres, love can provide emotional connection. Believing you are single if he is not physically with you will lead you to act desperate and clingy. Change your belief and your actions! Remind yourself of your connection to him and do something loving for him each day, even when he is away.
As for the holiday itself, either spend it with him or spend it with your family, but don't mix the two! If you choose your family, then schedule a special celebration just for your boyfriend and you. But before you make any decisions, talk with him! If you are as close as you say, then see where he stands with this holiday mess. And take comfort that the holiday season will come again in just 12 months. So, get to know him better, then schedule a non-holiday visit with the family to meet him. Then, if you are still together next year, you may go home with him for the holidays and everybody will know what to expect. -- Greg Cason, PhD