We assumed the whole “holiday breakup epidemic” rhetoric was… just that. That the allegedly higher probability of couples splitting like wishbones from a turkey… if you’ll pardon the simile... around the holiday season was more of a Hollywood thing, and anecdotal urban myth more than a statistically solid phenomena.
Then we did a little research, curious folk that we are. According to an article on the New York Daily News website, Christmas is the time when many couples call it quits.
For some people -- believe it or not -- it boils down to tension around the fact that they’re what my mother would call “cheap.” Snicker if you will, but when relationships are newish and one (cheapish) member of the couple would rather avoid the pressure and expectations inherent to presenting that first gift - not to mention spending some of their precious holiday time with someone else’s family -- the option to bail rather than buy or blend may be the tipping point.
For others, this time of the year triggers wistful feelings of regret, longing or desires… generally of the unmet variety. Some people begin ruminating on the year in the rearview mirror and wondering how the one looming ahead on down the road will be different. Where would they like it to go—and with whom would they like to travel? Breaking up in such cases can feel like an early New Year’s Resolution to pursue better options, and greater potential happiness in the next 12 months.
The same kind of thinking-- of course--can also become ultimatum fodder. Maybe he feels the relationship is stagnant… she wonders where it’s going… he knows they’ve been together forever and he should be putting a ring in her stocking this year… she’s got a proposal on her Christmas list and feels she’s been a very good girl… or possibly all of the above/genders reversed/different religious holiday associations... In any event… this line of reasoning leads to emotional ultimatums which often lead to resentment which often leads to interpersonal implosion.
And sometimes, thinking about all of this simply clarifies that it really is time to move on, before another year in a so-so partnership slips on by.
Do you have a good Holiday-Honey-Breakup-Tale-To-Tell? Think you have ever been guilty of any of the above holiday-honey-think or behavior? If you’re currently dating or in a relationship, what impact will this have on your holiday season -- or vice versa? Do you want to take things to another level as 2015 winds down, or perhaps take a step back? Let us know -- as always, we’re interested.
Photography by James Fitzgerald III