‘Tis the season to… get dumped. That’s right, according to data analyst David McCandless, more couples break up in the two weeks leading up to Christmas than any other time of year, with the exception of Spring Break. So if you’re in a relationship, it’s a good idea to be on your best behavior. Scientists haven’t nailed down why the holidays are a peak time for breakups, but analysts have some ideas.
End of the Year Reflection
Analysts offer one explanation for why they think the holidays are a bad time for relationships, and it relates to how people reflect on their lives at the end of the year. December is a time where we often reflect on our lives and resolve to move into the New Year with a fresh start. This often means cutting ties with things we feel aren’t working out, whether it be a dead end job, or a relationship.
For relationships that are on the fence, the hammer is likely to come down around the holidays. When couples are unsure whether they want to continue the relationship, they’re more likely to make the final decision right before the holidays. Many of us see spending the holidays together as a sign of commitment, not to mention spending hundreds of dollars on fancy gifts. Which by the way, you shouldn’t ever have to feel forced to do with your significant other, otherwise you might be dating a goldigger and you should get out of that relationship ASAP. But if your partner is respectful and already thinking of ending things, they’re likely to do it before the pressure of spending time with your family and shelling out money for gifts.
High Stress Time of Year
Another reason analysts say the holidays are bad news for relationships is because it’s a high stress time of year. The holidays put additional stress on relationships and sometimes that stress can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Family pressures, gift shopping, event planning, entertaining, cleaning and everything else places couples under extra pressure. If you already have significant points of stress in your relationship, you’ll have to tread carefully during the holidays. Perhaps try introducing intimate new experiences that don’t cost much to unwind.
We often have high expectations of our partners during the December holidays and this can lead to disappointment with the relationship, according to analysts. If you get your partner a lackluster gift, or put little to no thought in your gift giving, the disappointment may be the last straw. Equally, if you’ve been making a lot of broken promises, your partner may see the holidays with you as another disappointment that they’re not willing to put up with.
If you’ve been dumped before the holidays, it can truly be a heartbreaking and difficult time. Considering the magic of the season that is so entwined in our fantasies, breakup hurt may feel amplified tenfold. We also looked into how to heal a shattered heart so you don’t have to feel so lonely this holiday season.