6 common relationship traps to avoid during the holidays

Staying in a relationship simply because of festive commitments is never a good idea. Our relationship experts share six common relationship traps to avoid over the holiday season.

Relationship traps to avoid during the holidays
©iStockphoto.com/Svetlana Damjanac
Holly, jolly Christmastime – it’s either full of warmth and love or makes you crave more warmth and love, depending on your relationship status.

When it seems like everyone else is living in a warm and fuzzy world, it’s nice to have someone by your side at holiday events. But if that person is not there for the right reasons – either from your own perspective or from his – it’s not nearly as comforting as you think it might be, and it can lead to trouble as soon as the Christmas tree is curbside and life gets back to normal come January.

Kimberly Moffit, a psychotherapist, author and relationship expert based in Toronto, says it’s important to examine your relationship outside of the holiday season. If it wasn’t Christmastime, would you be doing things differently? And if so, why? You shouldn’t let once-a-year events dictate your romantic relationship, she says.

According to Moffit there are a few holiday-related relationship situations that come up time and time again. Fortunately, “just because you've fallen into a relationship ‘trap’ doesn’t mean you can’t get out,” says Moffit.

Here are six of the most common relationship traps you might encounter over the holidays, plus what you need to know about each one.

Holiday relationship trap No. 1: Starting a new relationship to make the holidays more bearable

“Many of us will let our fears dictate our behaviours,” says Moffit, but it’s important to fight those fears. Don’t let the prospect of showing up at a Christmas party solo outweigh the awkwardness of bringing someone you don’t really care about. Think about how you might feel after the party.

The same goes for New Year’s Eve, the day when people tend to take stock of their lives and reflect on the goals they set (and achieved) over the past year.

“If you haven’t quite accomplished what you want in life at this point, it’s that much easier to feel depressed about not having a relationship,” says Moffit, which also makes you more likely to get involved in a relationship with Joe Blow – even if he’s not really what you’re looking for.

So go solo. Know that the right person will come along – just maybe not until after the holidays.

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