Building a relationship during christmas

Arianne Hammond, Youthlink Writer

It's the most wonderful time of the year and hearts are cheerful and giddy with excitement. If you're in a casual relationship which you want to take to t he next level, Youthlink thinks these useful tips can get you to that enviable boyfriend/girlfriend status. Or, if you've already found the one for you, then this may help to strengthen your bond.

Just Beginning

If you are in that 'honeymoon' phase of your relationship, a good way to intensify it is to go shopping together. This will help you to bond with your significant other, find out what he/she wants for Christmas and what sort of things he/she is into, on a whole. This is also a great way to learn more about the kind of person he/she is away from social media, and if he/she really is the person you think him/her to be.

Before you go shopping, set up some pertinent ground rules with which you are both comfortable. Rules should include the amount of money to be spent and the places you both want to visit. This will result in a positive shopping experience devoid of arguments, disappointments and/or embarrassment.

In the Middle of Somewhere

You have been talking for some time now; you are not a new couple but neither are you established. How can you get to that next level? Invite him or her to your Christmas family dinner. This will let your parents/family into your world a little bit and definitely score you some brownie points, as your boy/girlfriend will feel a little more secure in the relationship. It will also help your parents/family to recognise that you are growing up.

Before you extend the invitation, clear it with your parents/family to ensure that no major family plan for Christmas Day will be interrupted on either side; that means at least two weeks' notice for all parties involved.

That Old kind of Love

If you are that couple who has been together since prep school, then a great way to get to that next level is by spending the holiday doing some charitable work. You've already shopped together and met the parents 10 times over so now it's time to spend Christmas with others. Go to a home and give of your time to those who are less fortunate than yourselves. Not only will this bring about good karma but it will also make it a special Christmas with a new tradition.

Before going out on your Christmas mission of charity, make sure that you are both on the same page and are equally willing to devote your time to a good cause. You could also invite other friends and family to accompany you and give of their time and gifts as well.

Regardless of where you are in your relationship, make this Christmas count. Share the love and make memories with your family and friends.