We remember our own lives in terms of important events and big days. For that reason, some of our most vivid memories involve our birthdays or the holidays, because we’ve decided that those dates are meaningful. That’s why we usually end up having the worse time precisely on the days we’re supposed to enjoy the most: there’s simply too much pressure to have fun. We know it’s absurd, but at the same time we make decisions around those arbitrary rules. The clearest example of that is the fact that we avoid breaking up with someone before the holidays. Why do we do that? Why do we think it’s okay to postpone the inevitable? If you’re deciding whether or not you should break up with someone before the holidays, here are a few reasons that might help you feel less guilty about doing it.
If you wait, they will probably hate you more
Postponing a breakup is frankly offensive. I know it comes from a good intention (not wanting to hurt the other person), but being on the other side of it could feel far worse than it should. Picture this: the holidays end and you had a mediocre but not terrible time. Things aren’t going great, and you’ve seen better times as a couple, but they still love you, right? Well, no. They break up with you in January, and now you reevaluate the last days you spent together as a big lie. You might feel betrayed, since you’ve realized that they were faking it the whole time, and you feel like the pathetic object of their pity as you remember them fake-laughing at your jokes in front of your family.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be as cruel as it sounds, but during a heartbreak, our brain tends to exaggerate the situation. Avoid that scenario by breaking up with them as soon as you realize the relationship is not working for you.
The holidays could deceive you
There’s so much pressure during the holidays, not only to have fun, but to have deep moments of emotional bonding. Usually, that pressure makes it impossible for us to have a good time, and sometimes we can fabricate those feelings. The lights, the food, and the alcohol could make you think that your relationship is actually good or that it’s improving right in front of you as you both cuddle up while drinking some Irish cream. But that’s an illusion. It will fade as soon as you sober up and the hangover of January comes.
The holidays could make it worse
The holidays will exacerbate the tension that already exists between the two of you, and you won’t be able to hide it. Even if you manage to deceive the person you’re dating, your family (or theirs) will notice it, so they can start asking uncomfortable questions. The best thing you can do is to end the relationship amicably, instead of waiting for the whole thing to get nasty and hostile with a big holiday fight.
You might not make it
If you decide to break up with them after the holidays, you’ll spend exhausting days dragging a dead relationship until you waste all of your energy and mess the whole thing up. If anything’s worse than breaking up with someone before the holidays, it’s doing it right in front of their family or yours during the celebration.
The holidays are already sad
The atmosphere, the weather, Michael Bublé’s songs, and the insistence on being jolly: they can all trigger your tears and your winter depression. Then, why not make this season even sadder with a breakup? The good thing is that the spirit of this season can help both of you overcome the pain of a heartbreak. If you or your partner are surrounded by people who love and support you, as it is expected from friends and family during this season, they can make things better. There’s nothing wrong with being single and fully embracing your feelings. Do what you need to do: break up with that person and let go of what doesn’t work anymore.
As I mentioned, some of our most vivid memories are built around the holidays. Do you really want to share memories tainted by resentment with that person? Skip that. Don’t waste their time and let them move on and have a symbolic fresh start before receiving the new year.
Images by Sara K. Byrne.
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