Whether this holiday sees you travelling together for the first time, negotiating crazy in-laws or arranging the festivities, prioritise your love by keeping your physical intimacy alive and your emotional connection strong. Here's how...
1. Plan your time, form your team
If you need to schedule your time and sync your calendars to make time for each other then do it.
Facing challenges together will bring you together and the holiday season is nothing if not a challenge.
Whether you're travelling, negotiating crazy in-laws or shopping malls or throwing a party together agree to go into the challenge as a team.
And it is your team against them, where ‘them’ is everything else from Christmas shopping to ratty in-laws.
2. Set boundaries
There are usually two major boundary issues in family dynamics over the silly season.
The first is the free-for-all attitude to your space and time that family – and sometimes even friends – seem to assume.
The second is your family's opinions about your life choice that they feel compelled to talk to you about.
You are allowed to tell people when and where you would like to see them; you are allowed to tell people what you want to talk about. Even if those people are your parents.
Noisy, invasive and opinionated family can have a very negative effect on your relationship. So be clear about where your priorities are and what is acceptable to you. Support each other in this.
If you know your mom has a problem with your boyfriend or your brother thinks your girlfriend is an ass, put your big girl panties on and tell them to respect your decision and keep their opinions to themselves.
Brainstorm solutions to tricky situations with your partner and decide how you will support each other.
This could mean that you agree to steer away from problematic conversations, leave the lunch after two hours or refuse to be alone with family members who abuse their position in your life.
Top tip? Resist the urge to moan or bad-mouth family members that are frustrating you. If you need to express your feelings, confide in your partner and make him or her your ally.
3. Take it out the bedroom
Different routines and new holiday environments make it easier to snap out of a rut and play more. Take this opportunity to click the reset button on how you and lover get your kicks.
Do you need to catch more quickies (keep the lube on stand-by!) or do you need to use the lazy, work-free mornings to linger over your love-making?
If it's a choice between stress shopping and some sex time, choose your relationship over the malls.
4. Gift each other a sex wish
'Tis the season to be jolly, so get your jolly on. You know that thing your partner is crazy for, but you've been too shy to try?
Give them the gift of being game to try something out of your comfort zone – you never know you could find you actually like it!
Remember, you also get to call on a sex pressie of your choice.
5. Take some time out
Yes the holidays are about family, but at the core is you and your partner, so take the time to strengthen the core.
If you have kids, use all the resources available to you to get time alone with your honey – use babysitters, family, holiday play centres, friends, play dates … there is no reason not to make some time available for your primary relationship.
6. Don't overstretch yourself
Trying to be the best, bestest, bestester at everything will stress you out. And stress kills – not just you, but your love life. That's science.
Of course it's great to pull out all the stops for an impressive, year-end blow-out, but if that means losing sleep, getting into debt (which will stress you out more) or becoming edgy and argumentative is it really worth it?
Think: manageable expectations, team work, less stress, less friction between you and your partner, better vibes and sweeter loving.