We've all been there. Wondering if you should wait until after the holidays to break up with your girlfriend or boyfriend? SoNaughty.com is here to help you figure it out!
So you've been feeling like your relationship isn't working, and you want to break up, but then suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, the holidays sneak up on you and you think you maybe shouldn't break up until after the holidays are over. Even though it might feel like a difficult decision, you should probably end the relationship as quickly as possible, just like you would pull off a Band-Aid. There are of course lots of variables that could make that the wrong move. If you want to get it over with quickly, and don't care about the consequences, just do it. Make it as quick and painless as possible. That said, figuring out if you should break up before or after the holidays is a huge decision that shouldn't be taken too lightly. There's sure to be some feelings for your partner lingering, or else you would have broken up with them a long time ago. So pull off that Band-Aid quickly if you feel like you have no other option, but if you want to really weigh your options, and consider the pros and cons of them, we've broken down many of the possible situations you could find yourself in, common pitfalls to avoid, and when we'd break up with our partner within those situations.
This is maybe the most important factor of all. It should go without saying that if it's Christmas Eve, your partner has gone to bed, and you're on your phone or laptop asking the internet if you should break up with them before you exchange gifts, you need to wait a little bit. Christmas morning is a time that most of us look forward to, and have lots of great childhood memories connected to. Don't ruin Christmas morning. Open up your gifts from Santa and if a bit of acting is needed, make like you love what you got. It won't kill you. Have a nice breakfast, and hopefully one of your gifts was a book, so you can stretch out on a couch and just read by yourself for a little while.
If your partner can't take the hint and keeps interrupting you while you're trying to read, then maybe you can start figuring out the best way instigate a relationship-ending fight on the drive home from Christmas dinner at your parents'. This advanced planning will be good for both you and your partner, and avoid a potential slip of the tongue at Christmas dinner that makes it a holiday to remember forever (but in a bad way).
While "Size Matters" could sum up the problems you have with your partner, size matters in more than one way when it comes to deciding on when to break up. You should ask yourself how big the problems in your relationships are. If you're wanting to break up with your partner over a general relationship malaise that's been floating around your apartment for a few months, that's manageable, and you can probably just tough it out for a couple weeks, and then break up when the holiday cheer has subsided. If you're upset that your partner didn't like the new Star Wars movie as much as you did; you can most definitely wait
But if your relationship problems are much bigger than that, there are certainly many situations where you could not be blamed if you got it over with right away. Say for instance that you find out your partner has cheated on you (or perhaps you've cheated on them) after a Halloween party that got a little out of hand, and you don't think your relationship will survive the year; we would not recommend trying to get through Thanksgiving. Once you get through Thanksgiving, you have the biggest holiday season of them all right behind it; the entire month of December. Do you really want to have to go through this dilemma all over again? Possibly even multiple times!
This one's simple. If you live together, don't even think about breaking up until after the holidays. Where would you live while you looked for a new place? On your friend's couch? Your friends love you, but they don't want their children to run downstairs excitedly on Christmas morning and then have to open their gifts while you're either fast asleep or crying about your broken relationship on their couch. Maaaaybe your Mom and Dad won't mind you spending the holidays at their place, but expect to be justifiably grilled about why you didn't just wait until after the holidays to break up. So if you don't have a good reason, you're going to hear about it.
One of the most difficult parts of being in an unhappy relationship over the holidays is the social obligations. In a normal month you can usually avoid spending too much time with your partner if things aren't going very well. But during the holiday season, things get a little more complicated and difficult to schedule that way. All of your friends are having parties, and all of them want you to both be there. But if things are really bad in your relationship you might have to strategically pick a couple nights for you to be sick on so that you don't have to go to a party. Another option if by chance you're lucky enough to have multiple friends throwing parties on the same night, is to divide party attending duties with your partner; meaning that you go to one party, while they go to another party so that your friends aren't upset that at least one of you didn't go. Maybe you're even luckier still to have friends that you partner doesn't get along with and they wouldn't want to go to that friend's party anyway. That's another way to schedule things so that you don't have to spend every night of every weekend together. You might have to get creative, but if you can manage it, it'll be worth it. As much as going to these parties might suck, the alternative is going to the same parties and having to spend all of them talking to your friends about how sorry they are your relationship didn't work out.
You probably haven't thought about this, have you? You've been so focused on how bad it feels to be in your relationship, you probably haven't even bought your partner's gift yet. Do you know if they've bought your present yet? If you haven't bought their gift yet, or don't have any ideas yet as to what you'll get them, it's probably a good indicator that you're not that interested in this relationship depending on how close to the holidays you are. If it's possible, you might be wise to snoop around a bit and try to find the gift they bought you, because the gift you give them will need to be at least somewhat close to the same quality or value as what they've bought you. If it's not, you're going to blow your cover (if you're even trying to hide it at this point), and the pleasant holiday that you're trying to maintain by postponing your break up is going to be ruined by the fact that they know or can sense that something is wrong, and that the end of your relationship might be right around the corner. That's precisely what we're trying to avoid by waiting until after the holidays to break up, so be sure to get this detail right. One other thing to be sure of is that whatever gift you give to your partner/soon-to-be ex doesn't have any sentimental value. The gift must be somewhat nice, but it can't give them any indication that this time next year, you will likely be at the next stage of your relationship (moving in together, getting a dog, getting married, etc.). That would be cruel, and make the dissolving of your relationship potentially much messier than it needs to be.
If you're also buying gifts for each others' families, you might want to suggest that your partner buy the gifts for their family, and you'll buy the gifts for yours. This way you're not resentfully spending money on people you're most likely not going to ever see again. That may be a cold take on the situation, but we're keeping it as real as possible, so that you can get through this as smoothly as possible.
This point might not be as important to you depending on whether or not you're a good cook, how much you cook at home, and how good the meals your partner's family cooks for the holidays typically are. For us, the home cooked meals that come with the holidays are a HUGE part of what makes them enjoyable or not. That turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and asparagus is what gives us strength through the holidays. It reminds us of meals that our parents made when we were still living at home. The joy of a delicious meal that you didn't have to cook can be easily had at a restaurant, but one that you don't have to pay for, and is made with love? More than the gifts that we get, THAT is the best part of the holidays for us. And if your Mom reaaaally loves you, she'll make enough for you to take enough leftovers home to have turkey sandwiches for the next couple days. ... Of course, if your partner's parents can't cook to save their lives, and nobody in their family has told them as much, that's a dinner you would gladly skip! If they're fantastic cooks though, nobody's going to judge you too harshly if you decide to postpone your break up until after you've had one last slice of that homemade apple pie that not even your own mother could make. Maybe just don't go overboard when you're offered leftovers. Take enough for one (maybe two) sandwiches, and thank your soon to be former second family for a wonderful meal. Aaaand maybe if there's a slice of that pie left...
When we said at the start of this piece that we've all been there, we weren't just giving you lip service. The end of the year is a big time for people breaking up. The stress of the holidays, seeing families (some of them not even your own!), buying gifts, putting on a happy face at parties, and so much more, often proves to be too much for people. If you ask someone who has recently had a relationship break up for their New Year's resolutions, you'll often find one of them being to find a new partner. One who treats them better than they were treated in their previous relationship, or sometimes just to not jump into a new serious relationship, and to just have fun out there on the dating scene. We all get over things in different ways, and there's always going to be others out there who haven't found the special someone they're looking to hook up with either. That person just might be you! Isn't it better that you're not trapped in a joyless relationship, and are free to seek out the happiness and dating life that you deserve? What will your New Year's resolution be? Will it be to stay in your troubled relationship for another few months before one of you has the nerve to call an end to it? Or will it be to get on with your life, and begin to write the next chapter in your life story?