Attempting To Plan A Holiday Season With My Significant Other

Attempting To Plan A Holiday Season With My Significant Other

I'm new to this whole "relationship during the holidays" thing, and I just don't get how it's supposed to pan out.

Not only is it the most wonderful time of the year, but it's also the time most people find themselves being cuffed.

Yes, boys and girls, it's cuffing season. For many, that means finding their seasonal bae to walk through pumpkin patches with, or drink hot cocoa by the fire, or kiss under the mistletoe. But for some, it ends all too soon, just as the holidays come to an end.

I was lucky enough to beat the start of cuffing season, by getting cuffed towards the end of the spring. At that time, it wasn't getting cuffed, it was getting into a relationship, which happened at a time that I thought I was going to be alone forever, as a form of karma.

Now that I have a boyfriend, Brandon, it will be my first holiday season with a significant other. When I was little, that meant spending every waking moment with that person, decorating Christmas trees, riding around in a horse-drawn carriage through a snowy forest, and kissing each other as the clock strikes 12 on New Year's Eve. Oh, how wrong was I.

Brandon and I have been trying to plan our holidays together since October. He hails from Winter Park, a good four hour drive from my hometown, Miami. Well, apparently, it's hard to defy the law of physics and be in two places at once for the holidays.

My family is split, so I used to live with my mom and stepdad, and visit my dad and stepmom on the weekends. For the holidays, it would switch off as to whose house I would be at for whatever holiday. I usually spent Christmas Eve (Noche Buena, which means "The Good Night") with my mom's side, then Christmas morning I'd open presents with her, go to mass, and then rush to my father's house to open presents with my little brother. My boyfriend's family is also split, so he's known the struggle of racing to one parent's house with his brother to open presents and spend some time with them for the holidays.

Now, as "grown-ups", we have to decide how to spend the holidays with four families, in two different cities, while also abiding by our work schedules. Brandon has only been given eight days off for the entire holiday season, none of which match up with what we had planned for the holidays. We have to plan to spend time in Winter Park with his mother and father, respectively, then drive to Miami to spend time with my mom and dad, just the same. Meanwhile, we'd be traveling with a car full of presents for each other and our families.

I've begun to wonder how couples who are from different cities, sometimes different states, manage to spend the holidays together. It must be a lot of compromise. Although Brandon and I are rather good at that, we're still trying to figure out how we can spend equal time with the multiple parties while still enjoying time with each other.

I've never had a serious boyfriend for such an important time of year, and it seems that planning any kind of time together and with family is going to be quite the challenge. I applaud those that have figured out a way to see family and their significant other over the holidays. I wish their wisdom and planning skills would rub off on me.

Even though this is all very stressful and rather exhausting, I couldn't have asked for a more special person to share this time with. The holidays are a time to reflect upon all that you have, and all that you are blessed with, and I am blessed with Brandon. I'm sure our holiday season will turn out just right.

Cover Image Credit: Elisa Nuñez-Rodriguez

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13 Summer Struggles Only Thick Girls Understand

Chaffing. So much chaffing.

Summer is a lovely time. A time of cookouts, swimming and sunny weather. But if you're a " thick girl," summer sometimes brings more unpleasantries than it does for slimmer women. No matter how beautiful and confident you are in your body, it can bring some struggles.

1. The living hell that is shorts shopping

Step 1: Find the biggest size the store has.

Step 2: (If you can even get those on): Realize your stomach is being squeezed into the top, your butt is falling out of the back and your thighs are having the life squished out of them.

Step 3: Realize why winter isn't so bad.

2. And dealing with them even after finding a pair that "fits"

Nothing like taking a pair of shorts home you remember fitting you okay in the store and then walking for 45 seconds and pulling them out of your butt or crotch 17 times. Truly a magical experience.

3. And every bathing suit you try on shows more skin than you'd planned

Even the most conservative bathing suit turns into cleavage-city and a non-cheeky set of bottoms turns into a thong. I promise, older people glaring at me in my sexual bathing suit, I didn't mean for this to happen!

4. Chaffing. So much chaffing

No better feeling than 4 minutes into wearing short shorts realizing that your inner thighs are literally tearing themselves apart. Body Glide and baby powder are a thick girl's #1 necessity.

5. Loving rompers. Rompers not loving you.

Rompers are made with short and skinny girls in mind. Heaven forbid you're not short, and heaven forbid you're not skinny. Rompers are like a mystical article of clothing that, no matter what, always just barely doesn't fit.

6. Imagining wearing a sundress with a strapless bra and just laughing

Of course, not all thick girls are well-endowed in the boob department, but if you are, you understand how hilarious the thought of you wearing a strapless bra truly is.

7. And bralettes are a thing of fantasy

Once again, bralettes are designed for a very specific body type. One that I do not fall into.

8. Feeling like you need to constantly defend yourself for dressing like you want to

There are so many posts and tweets and just general ideals that people have that certain sized women can't wear certain clothing. You shouldn't feel the need to defend yourself for wearing a cute crop top or a bikini, but you will.

9. And always feeling looked at when you're rocking your swim suit

Yes, I see your judging eyes, and yes, they are making me feel like shit. It doesn't matter how confident you are in your body, people looking at you like you just killed somebody just because you're wearing something typically made for smaller women doesn't make you feel good.

10. Did I mention chaffing?

I just felt like something so horrible couldn't just be mentioned once.

11. Online shopping for cute summer outfits and then none of them fitting you correctly

There's always the dreaded "one size fits all" for plus-sized women. As if there's just one way to be plus-sized. No matter how much they promise online that it'll fit well, it won't.

12. Seeing tiny girls complaining about losing their "summer bodies"

So many tweets talking about choosing food over a summer body. So many profile pictures of traditionally skinny women. I'm not saying that thick girls are the only ones who can complain about their summer bodies, and thick girls do not have a monopoly one not feeling confident in their bodies. But it is hard to see those posts knowing that those women would be glorified in their swimwear while you'd be gawked at.

13. The "you go girl!" comments on your oh-so-brave bikini photos

Compliments are nice, and positive comments while wearing a bikini go a long way. But the dreaded "you go girl" comment just seems so condescending. Just treat me like anyone else you'd see wearing a bikini. I promise, I'd like to feel like that.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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10 Times I Love Returning Home To Suburbia Maryland

What are yours?

During the summer I temporarily part ways with the concrete jungle of NYC and return to my home childhood home in Maryland for a few months. I miss the Big Apple dearly during this break, but there are a few little things I can only do in suburbia, that I don't have the ability to enjoy when I'm back the city.

1. Driving

There's something invigoration about driving your own car and not having to depend on the subway or an Uber to get around town.

2. Friends

I'm really blessed that I have so many good friends at home. I miss them all A LOT during the school year, so it's nice that I'm able to come back and pick up exactly where we left off.

3. My queen-sized bed

I think this one is self-explanatory.

4. Drivethru

This goes along with driving, but I LOVE being able to order a McFlurry and fries from the comfort of my own car.

5. Movies (with reclining seats)

The average movie ticket costs about $17 in New York, which gains you access to a packed theater with tiny seats. In Maryland, $12 gains you access to a movie theater with seats that recline to the point that you are laying almost horizontal, for an optimal viewing experience.

6. Nature

I'm not even the outdoor type, but it's so nice walking outside and seeing actual green grass and trees without having to ride the train half an hour to Central Park.

7. Wild Life

This might just be because I live near the woods, but I see all type of wild animals on the daily. Most of the time its deer, but I also sometimes get glimpses of bunnies, fox, squirrels, birds of all sorts and horses occasionally.

8. Baths

I don't trust dorm bathtubs so there's something about coming home to all my bath bombs and shower jellies to taking a nice relaxing bath.

9. Annoying my baby brother

Okay, well, he's, like, 14 now, but still messing with him (out of love) is one of the best things ever.

10. My parents

I wish I could go back in time and tell my high school self to spend more time with my parents because they're really amazing people and they're probably the biggest thing I miss when I'm at school.

Cover Image Credit: Tessa Dobrow

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