Seasons Greetings from Momma Kyle!
I hope everyone is ready for their shopping escapades, time well spent with family and friends, and the merriment that the holidays can provide. I know not everyone is always in the mood for the “Christmas Spirit”. I’m one of them. There are moments during the holidays that I find myself incredibly thankful for my community, my family, and my friends. However, the holidays can also be one of the hardest times of the year for some people. My message to everyone this season is to be joyful and kind and share that with others because you never know who may need it.
This is the first year that I’ve had a partner during the holidays and I’m a little nervous about how to navigate this unfamiliar situation. I’m completely out to my family, but my partner isn’t out to theirs. We’ve been dating for less than a year, so they’d be more than welcome with my family, but I don’t think they want me to go with them to see their family. Their openness with their family isn’t my problem, it’s more thinking about where I “fit” in their life if they’re not willing to share who they are with those around them.
Do you have any advice for how I should approach bringing any of this up? I don’t really want to force the issue, but I want to know where I stand and where this is all going.
Complicated for Christmas
Dear Complicated for Christmas,
This is not uncommon for our community, so I just want you to take a step back and figure out what is MOST important about WHY it matters to you. Do you think the amount of time you’ve been together is driving this curiosity? Or perhaps do you think they’re not proud of you and your relationship? The reason for this is to release the doubts you have about yourself and your relationship and focus mostly on the root of what it is YOU look to potentially gain or lose by inquiring further.
It’s a sensitive subject: people and their families, but I think if you can take from other situations in your relationship, it’ll help you to see that it might not be about you, but about them. For example, have you met all their friends? Are they hiding you from the other important people in their lives? If not, then I don’t think you have to worry about how they feel about you. They’ve brought you to the people they likely trust the most in their lives.
Blood relative family is different.
You may not know their family’s feelings about your partner’s sexuality or dating or even bringing people home for the holidays. Your partner may be trying to protect you from something they’ve struggled to deal with their whole lives. There are a lot of variables to consider, but I would rest with the facts of how present you are in their day-to-day life, that not being invited to their family’s holidays isn’t an indication of where the relationship stands and where it’s going. Ask the question, get the answer, and leave it alone. Allow your partner to make the decision and respect it. It’ll get you farther in the long run.
My family always has a HUGE gathering for the holidays and this year I have been debating coming out to everyone there. I figure it would just be easier to tell everyone at once than to tell a couple of people and have to handle the questions and the potential gossip, etc.
Do you have any advice on how I should try and handle this?
Making the Yuletide Gayer
Dear Making the Yuletide Gayer,
Well, if you think telling a couple people in your family will result in a game of telephone and gossip, is it worth telling them at all? If you’re trying to alleviate the trouble of handling questions, how does handling a lot of questions all at once sound? Because that’s what is likely to happen if you tell EVERYONE at once.
I think what’s important is for you to determine what your emotional capacity will be to handle that situation alone, assuming NO ONE in your family knows and you’re not bringing anyone with you to the gathering, versus how it may be best to approach the people you know and love on a more personal basis so that you can tailor your approach.
I’m not saying don’t tell anyone obviously. But you have varying degrees of love and friendship in these relationships with your family, so it stands to reason that there would be a variety of different reactions and questions.
I want you to do what’s best and most comfortable for you, but also have you take the approach that will yield a more understanding and accepting environment rather than one where you’re feeling attacked with questions from all sides and not having the opportunity to address them. I know this can be overwhelming. I want you to divide and conquer so you can handle it for yourself.
It’s about you, not everyone else. And if it feels right, do it. If it doesn’t, then don’t. There is no obligation for you to do or say anything unless you’re ready for it. Good luck!
Around the holidays I tend to get more distracted by the thought of my “New Year’s Resolutions” than anything else. I’m always surrounded by people who are doing more with themselves and their lives than I am and, frankly, it worries me that I’m not doing enough or giving myself the opportunities to engage in activities that I may find fulfilling. Do you have any advice about how you approach resolutions or even how you keep up with them?
With my Back to the Future
Dear With my Back to the Future,
First off, do yourself a giant favor and don’t compare yourself to others.
Everyone’s circumstances and means are different. You’re exactly where you are supposed to be and so are they, so don’t fall into that trap. Also, what fulfills them may not be as fulfilling to you if given the opportunity to engage in said activity.
I would start by making resolutions around finding or expanding on your skills and hobbies. Try to find and explore things that bring you joy. You may have hobbies that you don’t spend enough time doing. Maybe setting aside an extra hour or two a week to them would be a good resolution.
This could mean travelling to famous landmarks across the country or the globe. Focus on saving money to accomplish those goals in the long term. What’s important is to start simple, and then expand. By starting simple, you’re able to set a realistic (key word) goal or resolution and give space to further explore it without overextending yourself or your budget.
All too often people set unrealistic or overly broad goals and make excuses as to why they didn’t achieve them and avoid accountability for themselves. If you’re truly looking to make a resolution for yourself, you have to turn it from a yearly goal, into a daily practice in order to set yourself up for success and achieve what you set out to do. You’ll find the process much more rewarding in the long run.
Ask Momma Kyle your questions
Promise he won’t bite… hard.