There are two types of couples planning for Valentine’s Day as we speak. One is mutually giddy, looking forward to a prix fixe meal and exchanging goodies. The other is a love boat destined for shipwreck by means of mutiny. Should you break up before Valentine's Day, or wait until after it's over? That is the question.
Going with our boat metaphor, if you’re the antagonist Captain Hook in this situation, then call me Mr. Smee, because I’ll be your fumbling right-hand in helping you charter your next course of action. You see, Valentine’s Day isn’t a holiday as much as it is really a caution light, warning you to look both ways at your current romantic life before driving on in your current direction.
But if you're not really feeling this relationship, time’s a-tickin’ before you officially become an a-hole. Of course you want to end things sooner than later, but you don’t want to blurt it out over a silk flower arrangement while a waiter awkwardly writes down your date’s order, do you?! Are you a sucky girlfriend for making your move leading up to a day that's supposed to celebrate love? Or do you suck it up and get through the Valentine’s Day date like a sociopath before ending it the day or so after? (I guess you're considering morning-after brunch? My goodness.)
Here are some pros and cons to help you decide when you should end your relationship (yippee — I know how excited you must be to get this over with).
Breaking Up Before Valentine's Day: Pros
Your break-up talk will be received much more calmly and clearly
Think about about it; if you break up with your significant other after Valentine's Day, then your (former) SO will be more focused on how wrong it was of you to put on a charade out of pity instead of acknowledging the issues you both have. Breaking up before Valentine's Day will ensure the blame doesn't automatically fall on you — and that the real reason won't fall on deaf ears either.
You will save money
What? It's not insensitive — it's a fact.You won't have to buy that present anymore... or I guess you could as a consolation prize. Mmm... best not to rub it in.
You can hit up a singles party with your best die-hard, destined-to-be-single-forever friends
And who knows? You might possibly meet a better match — or at least a hot distraction until the sun rises on Feb. 15.
Breaking Up Before Valentine's Day: Cons
It just seems mean
By this point, he or she has probably already made reservations, gotten you a present, and depending on how obvious your body language has been, is trying to make this year extra special for you out of insecurities spurred by your recent shadiness. Ouch, but true. This will likely make it harder for you to find the right words when trying to let him or her down easy before V-Day.
You are risking spending Valentine's Day alone... and a possible relapse
Even though you were strong enough to end things on Feb. 13, it doesn't mean you can fight the urges to get back together with them on the day of love. Unhealthy relationships are often compared to addiction, right? And, obviously, the two of you are breaking up because it's not best for you to be together. Well, part of recovery is falling back into old comfortable bad habits, which means a late-night drunken phone call could bring you back to square one — and then you have to find a new exit strategy all over again.
Breaking Up After Valentine's Day: Pros
You have more time to practice your break-up speech
Congratulations procrastinators, you've managed to put off the inevitable yet again. Use this time wisely and practice what it is you're going to say when the time finally does come to end things.
You give your current someone-special a last-ditch chance to convince you your relationship can work
Maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend will make an effort to show you they are serious about making some of the changes you've brought up before. A thoughtful surprise, a planned vacation, nice things to say about your job, a new outlook on your brother, a newfound appreciation for your superficial friends, a sudden transformation in his or her eating habits, including the disappearance of the beer belly and that annoying tea-slurping jig...(ugh, fine probably not so be prepared to end it soon).
Breaking Up After Valentine's Day: Cons
Get ready for a night of faking it
There’s no Emmy waiting for you at the end of your dinner-date performance, though the lines you brought to life from your note app really sounded natural: "I love you like loco too, babe. Chyeahh, I've never been happier either. It's like I can't remember what life was like before we met..." Psshhh, you could hit broadway theater with that live-action bull shit tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll love ya, tomorrow....
You may end up picking a fight at the most inopportune times, like on the train en route to your date
"Oh my god, that lady's shopping bag almost turned me into an amputee and you didn't even give a shit. How am I and our hypothetical French bull dog puppy named Poppy Seed supposed to count on you for protection? Obviously, you're into less limbs, and I'm tired of feeling inadequate and stuff, soooo it's over." (Bad. Just, bad.)
I realize this isn’t an easy decision to make, even with my nifty list to help you through it. You’ll need to pick your poison. It won’t be easier or less terrible, but whatever you do, don’t wait too long to decide your next move, or else you might end up blurting it out while your date is getting down on one knee, pulling a tiny blue box out of his pocket, asking you to... yikes. Don't wait to find out.
Images: Universal Pictures; Giphy (10)