It's no secret that the holiday season can be stressful for couples. But if things haven't been going well and you're quickly reaching your boiling point, you may be faced with a dilemma. Should you
break up with your partner during the holidays or wait until after the new year?
Breaking up with someone during any time of the year isn't any fun. But dumping them
over the holiday season is just like breaking up with them on their birthday. As April Davis, matchmaker and founder of LUMA - Luxury Matchmaking, tells Bustle, it turns a festive time into a mourning period.
"With all the positivity and holiday spirit in the air, it's common for couples that are on the rocks to hold off until after New Years to break up," Davis says. "This allows them to enjoy their holidays, participate in all the fun activities the season brings, and then deal with reality when the winter wonderland is over."
But just because you've made plans in advance and you don't want to ruin someone's holiday, it doesn't mean that you should wait to end a relationship. According to Davis, "it's not the most effective, healthy, or considerate way to break up with someone."
You might feel like you're doing the right thing by sparing your partner's feelings, but you're actually not doing them a favor. In fact, Davis says that the best time to end a relationship is when you make up your mind to end it in the first place. "Dragging the process on is unfair to the other person who's in a relationship with someone who doesn't want to be with them," she says. It also wastes your time.
These women share their holiday breakup stories, and the one thing that pushed them to end the relationship before the new year.
"Last year, I went to Israel and returned home on Christmas day. I broke up with my boyfriend of five years the next day. I was wasting my time on someone's potential instead acknowledging them for who they were. He was perfect as he was, but he wasn’t for me. Time is too precious to waste it on worrying about hurt feelings or damaged memories. It doesn’t matter what day it is, breakups are hard. Why waste five more days, months, or years on someone or something that doesn’t work?"
"I was feeling unsure about my boyfriend for a while. We were together for almost a year. I loved him, but I wasn’t ‘in love’ with him. When my sister got engaged on her birthday, which is a few days before Christmas, it hit me and I realized I didn’t ever see myself being married to him. I thought about waiting until after the holidays to break it to him but I wanted to start the new year off fresh. We had a talk a couple days before Christmas and he told me he felt the same way. We decided to just be friends and we’re still good friends to this day."
"I was dating my boyfriend for four years and we would typically spend the first half of the holidays with my family and the second half with his. That holiday season in particular, his family was flying down south so I offered him to stay the whole week with my family instead. As the week got closer, I started getting increasingly anxious. I realized that I had been wanting to break up for some time, but I always shrugged it off. Extended time alone together forced me to confront those feelings. A week before Christmas, I decided that sticking out the holidays together for the sake of convenience was worse than breaking up and having to change plans at short notice. So, we broke up and he ended up buying a flight down south with his family. At first, I felt like a terrible person doing it so close to the holidays, but it was nice for us to be with our respective families while we were dealing with the breakup. It was a better alternative than faking it and pretending to be happy."
"It was my senior year in college and I had been seeing this guy since the end of summer. After dating a string of non-committal guys it was refreshing to finally be with someone who liked making plans in advance and sticking to them. He started to become too much around Thanksgiving. He wasn’t close to his family and talked about how he dreaded going back home. He also talked about how he would miss me and wished we would spend the holiday together instead. I’m close to my family and haven’t seen them since summer, so I told him that I couldn’t do that but we would do something when I got back. He was upset, but didn’t make a big deal about it. Over Thanksgiving weekend, he texted me non-stop and got upset when I wouldn’t text back right away. It wasn’t done on purpose, which I explained. I was spending time with family, but he didn’t seem to get that for whatever reason. From that point my interest in him went downhill. When he started talking about making Christmas plans, I knew I had to end it. There was no way I would make myself miserable on my favorite holiday."
"I’m a New Year’s Eve baby so my birthday is on December 31. I was about to turn the big 2-5, so I thought about my life and what I wanted it to look like over the next year. At the time I was with someone for two years and it wasn’t really going anywhere. Instead of dragging things along, I decided to break up with him a week or two before Christmas. I immediately regretted it but stuck to my decision. On Christmas Eve, I ran into an old flame and we really hit it off. We just got engaged this summer."
"I was dating a guy for a few months that I wanted to get serious with. But as the holiday season came, I started noticing more and more that he wasn’t the right person for me. He was too flaky and a tad emotionally immature. I really wanted to hold out until after New Year’s, just so I could have someone to kiss at midnight, which seems really immature now that I say it. But he kept cancelling on plans and making excuses for why he couldn’t be there. Instead of dealing with so many disappointments, I decided to dump him. I realized I deserved better and I didn’t want to waste my New Year’s kiss on someone who didn’t deserve me anyway."
"I broke up with my boyfriend two days before Christmas. It was good and it was bad. The good part was that I didn’t have to fake it through Christmas and New Year’s. The bad part was that sometimes having someone, even a bad-for-you someone, feels better than having no one over the holidays. I cried a lot but it was definitely better than pretending I liked my boyfriend anymore. The final straw was that he didn’t want me to spend any of my Christmas break from college with anyone besides him. I have friends that I grew up with! I didn’t really want to spend my life with him, so why spend another Christmas together?"
Breaking up before the holidays are over might not seem like the best thing to do. But breakups are hard at any time of the year. As these women figured out, it's better to do what's right for you in the moment than waste any more time. If it's during the holiday season, then so be it. Spending time with friends and family is much better than spending time with a partner you're not too sure about anyway.
Expert: April Davis, matchmaker and founder of LUMA - Luxury Matchmaking