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Dear Stella: Christmas is a Mess!
My girlfriend and I have been dating for over 2 years. We are both in college and dating long distance, very long distance. This year she went to London to study abroad. It has really cut down on our talking time. We won't end up seeing each other until the winter break, about a month long. My girlfriend wants to spend as much time together as possible during the break.
My problem comes with taking trips to visit relatives. My family takes 2 trips to visit both sides of the family, one before Christmas for about 2 days and another after Christmas for around a week. I really want my girl and I to spend as much time as possible together, so I invited her along for either of our family trips, especially the longer one.
She wants to spend time with me as well, however she does not want to do it, because she AND her parents feel that she should not come with me on a trip if I am not willing to go on a trip with them during Christmas. So to solve that problem, they invited me on their 1 family trip that occurs during Christmas eve and Christmas day. (The two days I normally spend with my family celebrating our own Christmas).
I really want to spend time with her, but I know my family will not be happy with me skipping Christmas with them. So I have to decide: either only spend 2 weeks with her, (which I can live with, but is unacceptable to her), or skip Christmas day with my family so I can go with her (just so she can come with me and we can spend more time together). My family will not be ok with this decision. No matter what I do someone is going to be upset, and I can't believe my girlfriend is putting me in this decision.
What are your thoughts about this matter?
Dave, Dave, Dave...
You need a major realignment of your priorities! You are a grown man now and need to look at this whole matter from a different perspective. "MY family won't be happy", "HER family has decided"... What about the two of you?
Gosh, Christmas should be a peaceful, happy time, not a source of obligations, resentments and arguments. You have made the choice to let it come to that.
If you REALLY want to know what I would do, this is it: tell BOTH your families that because you two have been separated so long, and for such a distance, that you are going to do something different this year... and do it.
Now think. Don't you have a friend who can let you guys stay in their house while they are away for the holidays? Are there some seasonal rentals nearby where you could rent a cottage for a month and just spend some delicious time ALONE? Just because you have traditionally done the holidays a certain way during your childhood is no reason for you to feel obligated to do it the rest of your (adult) life. Your girlfriend should come first with you, not your parents. And until you come to that absolute must for true love, you will never have a happy long-term relationship with a woman.
And how can you even say that you resent her for putting you in this situation! You should be happy that your girl still wants to spend every available day with YOU. Sometimes college brings new "interests" and relationships can change and end. She obviously still wants YOU.
Time to cut the cord and make a new life for yourself apart from your family, and make decisions that will ultimately make YOU happy and successful in love, regardless of what your folks want.
Sorry to be blunt, but if you step back and look at this situation with an honest eye, you will understand what I am saying here.
Oh, and it goes both ways. It sounds to me like your girl needs to grow up a little, too, and put YOU first before her parents wishes. Good luck to you both.
P.S.-- If you are not brave enough to say NO to both families, and make the big escape, then go on the trip with her family, miss Christmas with yours, and end up with more time together. They'll ALL get over it...