The holidays could be considered a stress test for relationships. From shaping holiday traditions as a couple to meeting each other's family and friends, the holidays can open your eyes to issues you didn't even know existed.
"Because the holidays can be like a relationship pressure-cooker, they may give you new insight into the long-term potential of your current romantic relationship," writes Theresa DiDonato, social psychologist and professor at Loyola University Maryland, for Psychology Today. "[You] may begin to question whether the costs balance out the benefits of the relationship."
Here are the three questions to answer during the holiday season; what DiDonato calls the "holiday relationship test."
Are your compromises really compromises?
A true compromise does not involve suppressing your own needs, but rather validating each other's. "When holiday-related decisions are not truly made as compromises, it's a potential concern," explains DiDonato. "True compromise is predictive of a host of positive relationship factors, like satisfaction and respect."
Do they fit in with your family?
"Building a positive rapport between your partner and your family is important, especially if your relationship could lead to marriage," explains DiDonato. "If your partner gets along with your parents, such harmony is predictive of marital stability and relationship satisfaction."
Can you openly express your needs this season?
Communication skills are thoroughly tested over the holidays, as toggling between two separate social circles takes center stage. "It's natural to have expectations; the question is, how does your partner respond?" she writes. "When partners don't offer interpersonal responsiveness, their partners might feel inadequate or like a burden, signs of an unhealthy relationship."
Head over to Psychology Today for more, and share your thoughts on DiDonato's test below.