Should you breakup before or after the holidays

Because you’re not an absolute monster you find breakups are not the easiest thing in the world to do.  If you had the cold-hearted approach to life that John Lithgow’s character does in ‘Santa Claus; The Movie’ you would be fine (seriously that guy is evil).  But for those of us that wouldn’t be OK with selling damaged toys to children, having that guilt looming about a break up is a horrible feeling.  Particularly when that break up could well happen either in the run-up or actually in, the holiday season.

So when is the best time to do it? During the holidays?  Or count down the days until January arrives? have the stats to show that January is the month of divorces, which would suggest that most people do wait.  Or it could be that having made the mental decision to give it one last go and hoped that the joy and goodwill of the holiday season reignited a flame.  But, well, it didn’t.

So assuming you have made your mind up and you know this relationship is terminal, when should you do it.  There are some significant arguments on both sides of the coin!  Some a bit more flippant than others, but all relevant.

Doing it before – 4 arguments to consider

1)      You save money on gifts.  Harsh one but true.  You’ll only resent spending the money on something for someone that in all honesty, you don’t really like.  Plus you then avoid that awkward moment when they have splashed out their live savings on you, whilst you have splashed out your change from down the back of the couch on them.  The flip side is that you and they potentially then have no gifts to open on Christmas Day.  You can still find something nice to buy them that doesn’t cost the world and save the deed for January?

2)      You are free to enjoy Christmas single.  Being single at Christmas can be great fun.  Parties everywhere, easy conversation openers, lots to do, family to see.  There’s so much going on you’ll resent not being able to enjoy it because you’ve got to do the honorable thing and stick it out with someone who you know won’t be around for much longer.  Plus, it’s arguably fairer to them.  As long as you don’t drop that bomb on Christmas Eve, you’re giving them the chance to enjoy Christmas and have all those distractions at a tough time.  Or, you know, you’re breaking their heart at what is supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year.  That’s the flipside you need to consider.

3)      New Year, New You (and new them).  The start of the year is full of optimism, and having already done the hard bit you get to hit the ground in the new year running.  And so are they.  Now you don’t have to commit time to a relationship that wasn’t fulfilling you, you’ll be going into a new year with more time on your hands and a new sense of freedom.  That’s a great way to start a year. Breaking up also gives you time to find someone new to spend the new year with if you are already in the mood to look. You can hop on a good old reliable dating service and start looking right away. Check out how much eHarmony is now in 2018 as it is one of the better options.

4)      Life is short.  It’s a cliché but is so, so true.  Life is too short to not be happy.  Presuming you don’t take joy in the breakup and do it as sensitively as possible, you are not being a bad person by ending a relationship that isn’t working for you.  Making yourself happy isn’t a selfish act.  It is a brave one, yes.  But it’s an important one.  So every day matters, whether that’s pre or post 25th December.  The flip side to this one? Life is short, yes, but there will be other holiday seasons.  Lots in fact. Do you really want to turn this one into a battleground?

Doing it after – 4 arguments for it.

1)      Gives you time.  It may well be that the stress of the holiday season was making everything feel worse than it is?  It could be that you are putting too much pressure on the relationship because we are lead to believe that entire world is having the most amazing loved up time but you are just having the most distinctly not amazing loved up time.  They also may surprise you with the person they become in the holidays and you find your spark reignited?

2)      It’s more likely to go under the radar.  “hello dear!  Merry Christmas! Sit yourself down, I’ve put you and Mark over on that side….erm, where’s Mark?”.  See the problem?  A January breakup isn’t the big news that it could become by doing it in November or December.  Easier for you to deal with, fairer on them perhaps as they get to avoid awkward questions as they turn up to their work Christmas party without the +1.

3)      You can disappear.  Quite often after a break up one of the best ways to handle the immediate aftermath and emotions is by getting away.  Taking yourself off for a break is a wonderful way to get things into perspective and to have a bit of re-set.  Try doing that in the second week of December!  It’s not easy.  Breaking up in January allows you a lot more freedom as the dust in settling.

4)      The support.  The holidays are an emotional time and a busy time. There may well be kids involved too.  Having that support and stability of a family unit or a reliable significant other is worth its weight in gold. The argument for waiting is overwhelming if you do have children.  That empty chair on Christmas Day is going to feel huge for them.

Unfortunately, though there really is no definitive answer other than the one you come up with.  Whatever you do, do it with class and with your head held high.


One thought on “Should you breakup before or after the holidays

  • March 20, 2021 at 9:45 AM

    Disappearing is not the best way to break up, but often the easiest.

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