But, where’s Keisha?

Traditionally, the holidays are filled with presents, joy, good food, family, and harmony and good will among your fellow man and woman. It’s a time of year when the welcoming warmth of a bed heated by the body of a significant other is a welcome break from the seasonal chill from outside. Yes, for many people around the world the holidays are a wonderful, almost magical time of year!

However, the holidays aren’t all peaches, cream, and eggnog for everyone. There is another group of people for which the holidays is filled with sleepless nights, angst, and tangled webs of deceitful text messages and pre-planned social media updates. Who are these people you ask? People who are dating several people, in the midst of many pseudo-relationships, or people who are in a “relationship” but not quite in a relationship. For this group of people, the holidays are little more than an inevitable reckoning famously foreshadowed by the ominous calendar reports of The Mayans!  For this cursed community, questions with no answers abound during the holidays like a cold virus with no vaccine: Do you spend the entire day with your own family or theirs? Do you spend the whole day with the main-love or set a little time aside for the side-love? If the side-love doesn’t get a Christmas gift will they still be as welcoming in the New Year? Does the side-love even know they’re the side-piece or will it only become clear when they’re warming up a Hungry Man turkey dinner at 7pm Thanksgiving Day as they bitterly update their Facebook status with sub-messages directed at their #HIM/#HER? Then there’s the most daunting question of them all: WHERE IS THIS RELATIONSHIP GOING?!

There’s nothing like the finality of the holidays to coldly establish the relationship or lack of a relationship you have with a person. This being Thanksgiving week, the playoff season of the holidays, I though it best I cause fights in relationships of people I don’t even know because it amuse me outline 5 tips for helping you define the status of your relationship this holiday season.

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1. The Disappearing Act

Relationship Status: Non-existent.

I don’t know if you know this but Thanksgiving and Christmas fall around the same point every year. Similar to the break-up style of the same name, there is no reason for anyone, anywhere to suddenly disappear around the holidays without explanation as if they didn’t know they were coming. This is a calculated move! Don’t forgive someone because they “forgot” to inform you about their Thanksgiving/Christmas plans. No one is that stupid – and no one is that forgetful. Anyone who goes out of their way to purposefully avoid you during the holiday season is sending a clear message that you do not have a relationship and you likely never will. You deserve better.

2. They Spend NONE of the Day with You.

Relationship Status: Questionable.

Many professional relationship swindlers will attempt to justify spending the holidays apart from you, but they better have a really good, verifiable reason – like they’ll be out of town or dead that day. Otherwise, there is no logical reason for spending the holidays apart from someone you claim to be in a relationship with. Let me get this straight, your family isn’t out of town and you’re alive, but you think it’s best we don’t spend the holidays together? Yeah, that makes sense.

3. They Spend ALL Their Time with Their Family

Relationship Status: It’s complicated.

Upgrade your relationship terror meter to Orange! The only viable excuse for not spending some time together during the holidays is if the relationship is new or you haven’t met the parents, yet. We all have crazy family members and nothing brings out the craziness like a group of crazy family members coming together on an occasion when it is literally celebrated to eat and drink in excess  It’s possible that they might be trying to spare you from Uncle John’s rantings about his x-wife, UFOs and the government surveillance program he’s convinced prevents him from getting a job.  Still, crazy family or not, they should be able to sneak away long enough to at least enjoy dessert or a glass of wine with you before returning back to the insanity that is the family gathering. No family celebrates 24-hours. If they don’t want you present and can’t sneak away to see you, even if for a moment, then it is likely they don’t see a future with you and therefore, don’t want to bother introducing you to their crazy family. When you like someone, you bring them right into the crazy fold as quick as possible so they know what they’re getting themselves into early on in the process. When you don’t like someone or see a future with them? #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat

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4. They Spend HALF the Day with You…Then Disappear

Relationship Status: Significant.

But, not significant enough to get 24-hours of their time. Honestly, when you’re dating multiple people the holidays are a marathon not a sprint. You practically have to schedule your days out in 1-hour increments: 1-hour with my family; 1-hour with the main’s family; 1-hour with the side’s family; 2-hour travel time to all destinations round trip; 4-hours of football.

When you’re in a relationship, you make time. When you’re in a pseudo-relationship, you make excuses. These are facts. If a guy/girl has you scheduled for an allotted window of time they can spend with you during the holidays, then guess what? Obviously they have something else to do during another allotted window of time. Chances are that involves: 1) something more important than you; or 2) something they don’t want you to know about – see #1. To be clear, just because someone doesn’t have all-day to spend time with you during the holidays doesn’t mean they’re doing wrong, but it should definitely raise a red flag that they aren’t doing right, especially if they can’t explain what they’ll be doing with the other 23-hours of the day without stuttering.

5. They Spend ALL DAY With You.

Relationship Status: Marry this person!

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This person is a keeper! You’ve passed the ultimate relationship test – with the obvious caveat that he/she may just be really hungry or didn’t want to spend the holidays alone. This is often the symptom of someone whose family is out of town and they couldn’t find the time/money to get back home where they really wanted to be; however, chances are this person really likes you. Most people don’t even want to spend extended periods of time with their own extended family, let alone a complete stranger’s family, unless there is a justifiable payoff. Consider it an added bonus if they bring something with them, like a side dish or alcoholic beverage, since this means they are not only thoughtful but they were also planning ahead to produce something for you and your family other than dirty dishes – unless, of course, the something they produce is mayonnaise based potato salad. Then you should break-up with or divorce this person immediately and report them to the local authorities as they are clearly a terrorist set on destroying all that is American starting with your family’s holiday dinner sides. If they show up with a fruit cake, shoot them on sight.

SBM Family, do you use the holidays to define your relationship status? Have the holidays ever lead to an evaluation of your relationship status that you weren’t prepared for? What are some specific signs you look for or try to avoid as not to lead someone into thinking they’re a main entree when they’re really just something on the side during the holiday season?