According to research, the two week period preceding the winter holidays is the peak breakup period. While many of us are dealing with the stresses of the holiday season - appeasing family visiting from out of town, finishing up year-end deadlines at work, finding the perfect gifts, dodging our great aunt Lola's kisses and fruitcakes - others are dealing with less-than-timely breakups.
Why Are The Holidays Such a Popular Time For Breaking Up?
The theories for why so many breakups occur before the holiday season are endless - we want to be single in time for New Year's, we want to avoid adding another person to our shopping list, we want to circumvent the awkwardness of introducing our "someone special" to our crazy or embarrassing families - and none of them are easy to accept.
One logical reason for breaking up during the holidays seems to be a realization of a year gone by, and an attempt to start the New Year fresh with a clean slate and a fresh outlook. The holidays are often a time for reflection, which leads some to realize that they are unhappy in their relationships.
How To Break Up During The Holidays
If you're the one who is experiencing feelings fade or unhappiness in your relationship, here are a few tips for the being the dump-ER during the holiday season, provided by www.tesh.com:
1 - Breaking up during the holidays is hard because everything reminds of us of love, family, and ritual...from the sappy holiday movies to couples holding hands at the mall. Kathleen Hall, CEO of Atlanta's Stress Institute, says that doesn't mean you should put off the inevitable. After all, if you can't break up during the holidays, you probably won't be able to break up before Valentine's Day, either. Which means, another 2 months of trying to make nice.
2 - You're doing the right thing. If you don't want to date someone, stringing them along is unfair - no matter what time of year it is. Besides, New York psychiatrist Edward Ratush points out that you can't control whether or not your future "ex" will feel their holidays are ruined.
3 - Reduce the negative impact by channeling the spirit of the season. In other words - use kindness and avoid the blame game. You can even apologize about your lousy timing. Also, be honest about why you're breaking up, but make it all about you. So, instead of saying "You're not the person for me. " Or "You're a pig-headed jerk! Try: "I feel like we're going in two different directions. " Or "I need something different in my life right now."
4 - If you're going to break up during the holidays, don't do it right after the 2 of you decorate Christmas cookies. Or during intermission at a holiday concert. Experts say the best place for a breakup is the dumpee's kitchen table. Your girlfriend or boyfriend's kitchen table allows you to sit, but lacks intimacy. They'll be on their turf, so they can react any way they want, kick you out, retain their dignity, and have all their comforts around if they lose it.
How To Cope With A Holiday Breakup
For those who are going through a breakup during the holiday season, try the following tips:
1 - Use the "Grieving Mantra." Keep telling yourself: "Why would I want to be with someone who cannot love me as I deserve to be loved?" This will let you grieve for what you have lost. Don't fall prey to thinking: "What's wrong with me that you broke up with me?" This will only make you feel depressed and lonely, which can come naturally at this time of the year.
2 - Nurture yourself. You invested a lot in the relationship. Now it's time to reinvest in yourself! Find your "happy place." This might mean going to the spa, taking a quick vacation, spending time with the people who lift your spirits, or doing a mini revamp of your home.
3 - Reach out. Make the world an interesting place for yourself. Fill your life with meaning. Try volunteering at a soup kitchen, a shelter, or a hospital. Making others feel good during the holiday season will do wonders for your soul.
Looking At The Bright Side Of A Holiday Breakup
Survey questions on "www.luvemorleavem.com" show that November was the best month to break up as far as opening up opportunities to find a new love! Here are their main reasons for voting November as the best month to break up!
1 - More Parties = More Opportunities - This was our original premise for why you shouldn't be afraid to break up before the holidays. The thought of going to a party alone can be scary, but the only way to meet the single guys at that party is to be there without a date. If you're still in doubt about viewing going to a party alone as an opportunity, then consider this very funny story shared with us by Chelsea in Massachusetts:
"My company Christmas party was at an art gallery. As usual, I was out mingling while he was camped out at the bar being antisocial. I spent most of the night talking and laughing with one of our vendors. I forgot I was even there with a date until he came over and put his arms around me. For a split second I thought about yelling for security saying that some strange man was touching me, except half the party saw us walk in together. The guy looked crushed and a little miffed. I'm sure he wondered why I was flirting with him if I had a boyfriend. There was no way that I could tell him that this guy was really my soon-to-be-ex without looking like a lunatic, as he said it was nice to meet me but he had to get going."
So yes, perfect example of why you don't want to be towing around a date that you no longer want to be with just so you don't have to worry about going somewhere alone.
2 - Bigger Parties = Better Selection - Many of the ladies who responded to our survey were quick to point out that not only are there more parties during the holidays, but they tend to be bigger than your typical party. More people means more singles, plus these parties are more likely to have music, dancing and more opportunities to meet and socialize with those singles.
3 - Singles Are Usually Balanced at the Holiday Parties - This one was so obvious, that I couldn't believe I overlooked it. If the person planning the party knows in advance that a certain number of people are not bringing dates, they will usually do their best to try to balance out the number of men and women that will be there without dates. Be sure to RSVP early so that the host or hostess can work their guest list magic. Here's a story from Beth in Florida who shared with us just how well this one can work.
"My sister's a teacher, so she had 5 single women and 2 men on her guest list. She assured me she'd find more men to invite, and I begged her not to. My worst date ever was one she set up, so I was leery of who she'd invite. In the end, I was impressed. One hottie was a policeman who spoke at her school, and the guy I fell for at the party was someone from her college history class that she ran into at Seven-Eleven. I asked why she set me up on such a bad date if she knew so many great guys. She told me it was easy to invite someone that you don't know well when it's for a Christmas party without looking like you're trying to find a match for your single sister."
So, I hope that these stories will provide you with that nudge in the right direction if the only thing keeping you from breaking up is fear of spending the holidays alone. Take this opportunity to enjoy all the festivities and all those opportunities to meet new people without towing around a soon-to-be-ex. Plus, you'll have a head start over all those other women who won't start their search for a new love until after the New Year.