Spiked eggnog. Dirty Secret Santa. Drunk bitches grinding up in my dude’s space. All signs that the endless parties of the Christmas season have begun. So here’s my question: at the time of year when it’s not only acceptable but expected to spread holiday cheer, how ‘cheery’ can you be when you’re in a committed relationship?
Both my dude and I are at fault of being a little too friendly with the opposite sex from time to time. Part of this is because we have a sick and twisted group of friends whose favorite pastimes include inappropriate groping, dorky hand holding and hair petting, and yelling GOTCHA while boob-honking (and the boys are bad too). Usually both my boyfriend and I are totally cool with putting each other’s bodies on exhibition as long as it’s for a good cause, but once in awhile jealousy catches up with us (read: with me).
For example, at a Christmas wedding the other year I was feeling particularly insecure about my appearance. The multiple batches of shortbread cookies and plates of consumed Nanaimos hadn’t been kind, and I felt bloated and awkward in my beautiful new dress. Because of this I wasn’t my usual, extroverted, chicken-dancing-self which apparently led some of the girls to believe it was acceptable to move in on my man and get all hot and heavy with him on the dance floor.
I spent the evening nursing my screwdriver while shooting him daggerous looks from across the room. Hours later when we finally left the wedding I gave him the total silent treatment until eventually snapping at him on the cab ride home. The next morning I had a good cry-fest about my insecurities while he reassured me, and then we went on our daily lives even though I never really felt the situation was resolved.
Now, a year later, I found myself testing the boundaries in front of him with some of his male buddies as well as exploding on him for harmless flirtation with mutual friends. I trace a lot of this anger back to evenings like last Christmas when something really bothered me and I avoided bringing it up.
So how can this trap be bypassed, especially over the holidays when party minefields are lurking around every corner, just waiting to blow your Santa Hat off?
1. As soon as you feel uncomfortable, take him aside and ask him to cool it. I often play the part of the martyr so I can rack up ‘points’ in my favor. Not only is this a bad idea because I’m trying to establish a relationship based on honesty and trust, but it also diminishes my self-esteem and doesn’t teach me to stand up for myself. If I had a do-over I would have pulled my dude aside within those first few minutes of Santa Baby and told him that his happy feet wouldn’t be quite so happy if he kept his behavior up. I have no doubt he would have respected my request, no muss, no fuss.
2. Give the finger to your insecurities, go out there and claim your territory! Back off – get your own man-wich! (Anyone remember that commercial? Anyone?) I find re-seducing your man all over again is the most empowering and sexy solution (and trust me – so will he). It’s also a great way to reaffirm you’ve got it going on, regardless of those few extra holiday pounds you’ve acquired. It’s all in the tude dude!
Bottom line: when things piss you off, speak up – at Christmas or any other time of year.