Enitan Bereola Offers Tips On Surviving The Holidays With A New Love

November 26, 2014  |  

Suppose a lady wants to spend the holidays with her guy, but the conversation hasn’t come up. How would a Gentlewoman initiate this conversation? Or would she initiate it at all?

Absolutely. There’s always talk about what to say and when to say it. If there’s something that you feel is important, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t have the gaul to ask someone who is important to you about it. If it’s what you want, don’t wait on him to suggest it because you may end up upset. Just ask. “What are your plans?” And sometimes we don’t like too much questioning because we feel like we’re being cornered. So adding “I was thinking” helps. “I was thinking maybe we could get together for the holidays, but XYZ.” And then maybe, “I don’t know what your plans are,” and allow him to fill the rest out.

I’m always one who feels you should say what’s on your mind, but also know that the way you say things always matters. “We need to talk” is not a good approach. It depends on his personality, but it’s always good to be inclusive and to disarm. Hug up on him a little bit. He’ll know that you want to be a part of it.

Women generally tend to view the holidays as a time to assess where she stands in her relationship. Do you feel that this places too much pressure on things?

It does. I think the intimate nature of the holidays makes people feel lonely. The holidays remind you of family, closeness and intimacy. I think it’s important in life in general not to wait for moments to happen. You don’t have to wait on a date to eat well or wait on marriage to start living. Sometimes you got to pick your own flowers. You can’t wait for anybody to love you before you do.

If you truly have concerns about the advancement of a relationship, that should be discussed way before the holidays. We don’t really want to hear that around that time because it’s just so expected. It puts pressure on us as well and that’s a step that a man naturally takes free of pressure. The most important decision in the world—to marry, to get engaged, to even enter a relationship—must be free of it. So speak your mind before the holidays. It’s like those text messages that pop up: “Hey Stranger” right after January 31. Like, what?

We already have our radars up and our antennae up around that time, so just pass the pie.

Any advice how ladies can take the pressure off of themselves around this time of year?

You can still enjoy the season as if you were in a super romantic relationship. You can still take yourself out. Don’t wait on a guy to take you ice-skating if you want to go to Rockefeller Plaza. Just go! Call your homegirls. If they don’t want to go, just go. You can’t live life on other people’s terms. You’ve got to enjoy it. And what’s interesting is that when we see you out there doing that, we find that attractive. Seeing a woman across the room enjoying a glass of wine and just enjoying her own company, it’s beautiful. That’s very attractive to a man because she enjoys herself. She enjoys life. Maybe we will as well. If you don’t enjoy your own company, you can’t expect anyone else to.

Are there any rules to bringing a partner to the office holiday party?

Make sure whoever you bring…uhh…make sure the etiquette is there. That’s your job. Jobs, for the most part, aren’t personal playgrounds. A holiday party, you may see a personal side of things, but you got to go back to work on Monday. A lot of people talk and gossip about the Christmas party all the way through April. Don’t give anybody anything to talk about. It doesn’t have to be all that serious. Sometimes a lady just wants to go out and have a good time. It doesn’t have to be super significant. Just be sure he knows how to behave and carry himself in any type of environment. And lay low on the alcohol too!

In your book you sort of discuss women who fail to use common sense in relationships. Why do you think that is?

There’s no brain in the heart. Love is patient, kind, forgiving. It’s not jealous. Love is the opposite of every single thing that is common sense. Even though I talk all of that common sense stuff, I do understand that love doesn’t work like that all of the time. It’s tricky.

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