4 common holiday spats and how to avoid them

What's the definition of a Christmas miracle?  Making it through the season without having a fight with your significant other.

The holiday season can be one of the most challenging times for couples.  But, you can have a time of good cheer with these tips to help doge some common disagreements, brought to you by Relationship Coach Val Baldwin.

WHY DID YOU DITCH ME AT THAT PARTY? OR WHY DID YOU CLING TO ME AT THAT PARTY? When a quiet type falls for an extrovert, this argument is practically guaranteed. That`s because one person is more comfortable being around strangers than the other one is. So you`re going to have to compromise. Try spending the first 30 minutes together, and then do some solo mingling. Or agree to hang out as a couple until the shier of you two gives a signal it`s OK to separate, like a wink or a nod.

WHAT AM I DOING ALL THE SHOPPING? In a lot of relationships, men get to stay in kid-mode and see the holidays as nothing but fun - while women shoulder most of the responsibility. In the beginning it might be a little exciting that your boyfriend trusts you to pick out a gift for his mom, but eventually, you`ll end up feeling resentful. To avoid this, the two of you should make a list of everyone you're buying for and come up with a firm budget. Then you can divvy up the shopping, or better yet, do it together.

HOW COME WE ALWAYS HAVE TO CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS WITH YOUR FAMILY? This is probably the biggest seasonal-related issue for serious couples. Together, you need to come up with a policy. An easy example would be to visit your family one year, and their family the next. Or you can figure out which holidays are most important to each of you, and plan accordingly. Remember, if there`s an occasion that you both really want to spend with your own family, it is ok to split up every once in a while. Just be sure you explain why you`re solo to your family, so they don`t think your partner would rather not be around them. It`s easy for misunderstanding to get started this way.

WHY DON`T YOU EVER GIVE ME THE GIFTS I HINT AT? Ladies, this one is for you. Admit it - you hint, but here`s the problem: If your man doesn't pick up on your hints throughout the rest of the year, this mind-reading ability isn't going to suddenly kick in during the holidays. You simply need to state what you want. If you see something great, send you man a text with a photo saying 'If you want to buy me a gift, I love these earrings.' You can buy them at...... Because getting something you know you`ll like is a lot better than getting surprised with something you don`t - or nothing at all. Besides, men like it when they don`t have to guess. You really are doing them a favor when you just tell them what you want - it makes their job much easier. So what if you tell your guy what you want and he decides to surprise you anyway? Be thankful that he took the time to find a present he thought you`d like. Remember, a gift isn`t about the actual object, it`s about the thought and feelings behind it.
You can find more from Val at: valbaldwin.com.

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