Dear Suri, For various reasons, I spent Thanksgiving apart from my live-in girlfriend of seven years. Nothing is wrong in our relationship. She just wanted to see her family in one area of the state, and I wanted to see mine in another area. So we “split” the holiday.
It was no big deal, really. We both ended our ‘stay-cations’ early, so we could be together for the last two days of the four-day weekend. Now, it looks like the same thing is going to happen for Christmas.
The problem is, my dad got kind of upset when he heard about this. He says that “couples should be together for the holidays.” He says it looks odd when we keep spending the time apart like this, and said that eventually we are just going to not want to spend any time together at all. I think just the opposite!
We see each other every day, Suri. It’s not like we are just dating and then not wanting to be together, and it’s not like we have kids or anything. We are both young and just want to be able to enjoy ourselves, and sometimes that means doing so alone, or at least separately.
Anyway, I told her what my dad said, and I guess now her mom feels the same way. I don’t want to make a big issue out of it with her family or mine. I also don’t want either of us to not have as much fun as we could, or wish we were someplace else, just because we feel like we “should” do something or other. I just feel like people are making an issue out of nothing. Neither of us care, so why should they?! — Chuck | Ackley, Iowa
Dear Chuck, Whether they “should” care may be a moot point, as it appears both families have made their opinions on the matter clear.
Could you not make a sort of holiday schedule? Perhaps next year you could both spend Thanksgiving with her family and Christmas with yours, then reverse the order the following year. A third year, you could opt to spend the holidays together, with your respective families, or even enjoy the ‘alone time’ you have mentioned.
Notwithstanding your (and her) laid-back attitude toward the holiday ‘split,’ a compromise such as this may be enough to satisfy all parties involved. ~ Suri
About Suri Says™
Suri Syrtauwnya is the resident advice queen at Residential Life Magazine. Her unique insight into “pickles and predicaments” (as she puts it) has helped many of us sort out even the most difficult of decisions. Now, we’re sharing this valuable resource! Submit your questions for Suri.