How to Handle Those Sticky Holiday Dramas

holiday couple

Lives of Style’s DatingSpeak ™ ©2015 addresses questions about dating, relationships and communication.

Our Lives of Style authority–Laura Pugliese, shares must-know dating “Do’s and Don’ts” that will help you find success in your relationships.

Lives of Style: I’m pregnant and my husband keeps accepting holiday invitations for us without asking me. I’m due at the end of January so I don’t feel that great right now physically. I don’t want to get into a fight with him but I can’t keep up to my normal schedule. What can I say to him? And I know his response might be that they are all work parties and he has to go for networking purposes. How do I respond to that if he says it?

Laura: You can say, “Honey, I want to talk with you about something that I am struggling with right now. Is now a good time?” Wait for him to say, “Yes.” Then you can say, “I completely respect and understand that it may be in your best interest to attend all of these holiday events for the sake of business. I certainly do not want to hinder that in any way, but I am really struggling with feeling poorly and exhausted. I don’t want to disappoint you, but it is just not comfortable for me at this stage of pregnancy to be so socially active. What are your thoughts about what to do in order for us both to be comfortable?”

Lives of Style: My new boyfriend and I had a few couples–who were his friends– over for a holiday party and overall the night was fine but at the end one of his friends wives got drunk and made some hurtful for comments about me to my face. I didn’t know what to say and stayed there while she told me that she thought that the party wasn’t up to her standards and that hopefully I grow into a better hostess. What can I say if I am ever in this situation again and should I tell my boyfriend. He knows that I got hurt by her but not exactly what she said because I was embarrassed.

Laura: Anyone who would say such things and is fueled by alcohol is unhealthy minded and most likely also jealous of you. It is probable that you could reason with that mentality.The best thing you could do is to say, “Thank you for sharing your opinion with me You have every right to think that way. (Insert boyfriend’s name) hasn’t said anything to suggest that there is anything he dislikes about how I am co-hosting this party with him, but I am sure if there is something that he wants me to do differently we will discuss it and work it out. If there is something that I could get for you now that would help you to feel more comfortable please tell me, and I will get it for you before I go to check on our other guests. So, is there something I can get for you before I excuse myself to go do that?”

Lives of Style: I’ve been set up by a few friends recently at holiday parties and have been feeling so disappointed because I have no chemistry with the men. Is there anything I should say to my friends to let them know what I am looking for or just let them just set me up with people who they want me to meet?

Laura: It really can’t hurt to meet new people, and you can sometimes be surprised and have chemistry with someone unexpectedly. I say this from experience. When I look back on my early adult life there are a couple of men who stand out as two of the best men who I was blessed to be loved by. In both of these cases I had the opportunity to get to know them over time as friends before we dated, but I never thought of either of them in a romantic way during the friendship. They both possessed incredible qualities and each of them demonstrated to me very consistently the beauty of how a real man acts when he truly loves a woman. Their leadership and loving ways invited me and created the space for me to feel safe and secure to love them. I am grateful to have shared such precious time with both of those men, and I am a better woman for having been open to both of those experiences. Ironically, if someone had pointed either one of those men out to me when I first met them and said, “You will be in a romantic and very loving relationship with this man,” I would have thought they were crazy. Keep an open mind, and take some time to think about the qualities that are most important to you in a life mate. Be sure to tell your friends the qualities you are looking for.

Lives of Style: I have gone out with this man for three dates and I enjoy his personality and his company. He is successful, smart and funny. The only thing that I notice is that he drinks a lot at all of our dinners. At least 3-4 drinks. Should I say anything or just keep dating him?

Laura: There could be a problem, however you stated that you have gone out with this man on three dates without a mention of the time span between these three dates. It is during the dating process that you have the opportunity to gather information and process how you feel about the experiences you have with each person. Not everyone who has a few drinks socially has a problem with alcohol, however when someone does it will reveal itself. If your three dates were very close together and on weekdays that could indicate a possibility that he drinks a fair amount very often. On the other hand, if it was once a week or less and on a weekend night, then it’s certainly possible that he may drink socially on weekends. It is completely up to you to decide what your comfort level is regarding how much this man drinks. I’m not an addiction specialist, but I’ve had experiences with men who were active alcoholics. If you are seeing evidence of negative behavioral patterns or any mistreatment by him when he drinks, then I do not believe it is in your best interest to continue to date this man. Think about all I have mentioned, and ask yourself honestly if you are seeing red flags. If the answer is “no” or you are not sure, then give it a little bit more time. It would also be in your best interest not to sleep with this man until or unless you have enough information to believe he doesn’t have a problem with alcohol AND you have an agreement that you are in an exclusive relationship. If the subject of having sex or becoming exclusive comes up while you have concerns about his drinking, I suggest you make contact with someone from a reputable AA facility to discuss your concerns and get some professional input about it before getting so deeply involved.

Lives of Style: I met with an ex-boyfriend last week who I hadn’t seen in a long time after he texted me that he wanted to see me. We had a nice chat. He didn’t bring up anything serious and I didn’t either because I was following his lead. It was fun but I don’t know what he is thinking and I don’t want to get hurt. He tried to kiss me at the end and I pulled away and said that “it feels too soon.” I didn’t know what to say. I don’t know if I will hear from him again or not. It’s so confusing. Is there anything I should do or say in the future? Should I try and contact him to smooth things over?”

Laura: There is nothing for you to smooth over. You didn’t do anything wrong. Also, you didn’t close the door. You said that it was too soon when he kissed you, but you didn’t say, “I don’t want to kiss you.”  I don’t think there is anything you need to do at this time until or unless he contacts you again and makes an attempt to kiss you or tells you what he wants. If he makes an attempt to kiss you, and you do not feel ready you can say, “I am still attracted to you, but I want to be honest about something that feels very sensitive right now. It was painful for me after you walked away from our relationship, and it took some time for me to heal and feel like myself again. I am open to the possibilities of us reconnecting, but right now I would feel most comfortable if we could spend some time together and reestablishing a friendship before being romantic in any way. What are your thoughts about what I am sharing with you?”

Lives of Style and Lives of Style’s DatingSpeak ™ ©2015 want to facilitate answers to questions.  While authorities such as Laura may not be able to email each of you individually, select questions will be answered. 

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