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He didn’t show up at all for Christmas. You invited him to dinner with your family or maybe he didn’t invite you to spend any of the holidays with him. He didn’t call or text to say he wasn’t coming by or even to wish you a Merry Christmas. You’re now wondering if you can really call it a relationship when the man you’re dating doesn’t even care to acknowledge you on Christmas day or New Year’s. While it may be a hard pill to swallow, you might be overreacting.

It’s important that we all understand that there is no set book of rules and procedures for a relationship. Each one is different in their own sense and anyone professing that they know what the proper protocol is for the holidays is lying through their teeth. Know that in 2014 the relationship roles of friends, friends with benefits, boyfriend/girlfriend and husband/wife have been blurred as much as possible. People want to be part of the family before they’re actually part of the family. They play house when it benefits them or they play house because they see other couples playing house. The fact of the matter is if you have said to yourself, “He should have spent Christmas with me because we’re dating” you’re actually in the “not exactly” zone.

It would be nice if significant others spent the holidays with each other, alternating between whose family they will join for dinner and greetings but it’s not a requirement. There are several reasons someone may not want to spend each holiday together and everyone should have the ability to make that decision for themselves without being guilt tripped into any action.

One of the reasons someone may be reluctant to invite their significant other to holiday family gatherings may be their family. Everybody’s family is different and everybody in your family might not be someone you want to bring your significant other around until you absolutely have to. The family may be wildly inappropriate and lack filters that should be common sense for most people. You can’t choose your family but you can choose to not let them affect your personal life.

Another reason someone may be reluctant to invite their significant other around may be because they don’t want to send mixed signals. As men we have to be very careful of the mixed signals we send. If you’re still taking your time and navigating the relationship it’s probably not a good idea to give off the impression that wedding bells are coming soon. This may be why he didn’t arrange to exchange gifts with you or be your first kiss of the New Year.

Lastly, you could be dating a scrooge. Keep in mind that if you’re dating a scrooge it doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for you. It means he doesn’t care for holidays in general and if that’s something you care for greatly a compromise will need to be made.

Let me be honest, a seeming disappearing act this time of year can be hurtful to experience — especially if you planned on seeing your guy or at least hearing from him. However, there are tons of reasons that have nothing to do with the failure of your relationship that could have caused the distance. The best approach is to talk prior to holidays in order to plan for them. Most of the times when there’s a breakdown around holiday expectations it’s because expectations were made without discussions being had. Save yourself the stress and just go ahead and have the conversation. Even if you get news you don’t want to hear at least it’s better than hearing nothing at all.


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