YOU waited all year for it to reach a conclusion and soon you will be able to put your feet up, your mind at rest and work can go to buggery for a while. It is time for the festive season, with no hassles, spending time with family and friends over summer. Some of us are also not spending time with family and that is okay for good reasons. But we can all make sure this festive season is both gay and happy.
There will be pressure to spend time with people your partner wants to see but you don’t. There is a lot of 24/7 time spent with partners that usually is not the case. There is a lot of present buying anxiety where you can’t think of what to buy whom. There will be a lot more time spent drinking alcohol in the sun. Then there are the many expected things to organize where one partner thinks they are doing it all. The festive season can be overwhelming for most people and place great stress on gay relationships.
The best thing to do to ensure you have a happy and gay festive season is to make plans with your partner beforehand. Make a list of all the things to do and place an initial against who does what. If you are the type of person who feels your partner can’t do things then later you will feel resentful about doing it all – believe me. Delegate!
Discuss handling potentially difficult social situations before going. Sharing the handling of difficult people will make you feel heard and less alone. Having a combined strategy like; agreeing with difficult people or a changing the subject when things get sticky is a healthy approach.
Most of us are going to drink more and most of us can handle it but some can’t and they might not be you. If your partner tends to get very slushy and difficult have an alcohol plan in place. Drink water between drinks, fill glasses up to 1/3rd, not holding the glass when talking to people, drink some beer first. Have a code word to tell your partner that they are getting too slushy, as they won’t know. Agreeing to a plan is a sharing, non-blame thing to do. It takes criticism out if the plan is made beforehand.
For those unhappy about spending time alone during the festive season plan to have a healthy party for one with good food and entertainment. Maybe you can find some other singles in a park to share time with, ring absent friends for a chat or even still do some charity work. There is nothing better for the soul than doing charity work.
If you are a couple who have been together a long time maybe you have agreed not to buy each other presents at Xmas. I say, go on buy something little for each other. Being considered by another, especially you closest friend – your partner, makes you feel great. Maybe the present is something you can enjoy together like a dinner.
I wish you all – the best gay and happiest Xmas you can have. Protect your relationship from any threats with some healthy planning beforehand. (Finding another you can sit with and have a sense of companionship is a rare find.) And for those not spending time with friends or family, be good to yourself with a healthy party for one organized. Take care.
Gerry North is a gay couple’s counsellor and also treats depression, anxiety, panic attacks and addictions. Email: [email protected] www.gaycounselling.vpweb.com.au