Unpacking Holiday Breakups: Should You Wait or Move On?

Unpacking Holiday Breakups: Should You Wait or Move On?

Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 12-15-2019 Comments: 0

‘Tis the season for romance, kissing under the mistletoe, and getting cozy by the fire. But what happens when the person you’re hoping to get all romantic with disappears before you can celebrate New Year’s Eve together, or breaks up with you before your office holiday party?

If you’re feeling hurt this season, you’re not alone. Many people break up over the holidays or have second thoughts about pursuing a relationship. The holidays create a lot of stress, especially among new couples who are still getting to know each other. There are unrealistic expectations placed on couples – meeting family members, attending parties together, buying the right gift, and creating romantic scenarios that aren’t expected the rest of the year, making breakups this time of year especially difficult.  

The holidays can place undue burden on relationships, especially new ones. 

Holiday breakups can feel especially painful, no matter what side of the equation you’re on. If you were the one left brokenhearted, you’re probably hurt and angry. After all, maybe you were excited to introduce him to your friends and family, but now you’re left with the task of explaining why you are showing up to dinner alone.  

Putting the holidays aside for a moment, think about it in terms of any other time of year: do you really want to waste your time on someone who’s not all that interested in a relationship with you? Probably not. Would you want them to pretend through the holidays? That’s not a great prospect either. Perhaps a clean break, no matter how hurt you are now, was the right thing to do. 

A new dating trend is emerging this holiday season: Snow Globing. 

Cosmopolitan recently coined a new dating term called “Snow Globing” – or the act of making the relationship seem more serious than it is before breaking things off at the end of the holiday season. When your partner is snow globing you, she acts as though she’s interested in getting more serious – inviting you to attend holiday parties, meeting the family, and exchanging meaningful or more lavish gifts with you, leading to heightened expectations. Then, quickly after the holidays are over, breaks up with you.

Cosmopolitan points out that this practice is different from so-called “cuffing season,” where a couple spends a lot of time together over the cold winter months, but as soon as the weather changes, they move on to the next person. 

Snow globing might be a new term, but it’s not a new practice. This is why it’s important to manage expectations this time of year when it comes to relationships, especially if you’ve only been dating a short time.  

Let’s look deeper at why snow globing happens. Sometimes breakups are for simple reasons – people change their minds about how they feel. Other times, the reasons can be more complicated. Your date might be on the fence about pursuing a serious relationship. The holidays can create a lot of pressure to commit or break things off, forcing a decision when someone feels uncertain. They might feel guilty about breaking up over the holidays, and therefore postpone the conversation and spend more time with a partner or buy them a nice gift, leaving these partners feeling confused when the breakup happens. 

If you’re on the receiving end of snow globing, there are red flags to look out for in your date. Is she acting distant, or seem unenthusiastic despite the romantic setting, like maybe she’s just going through the motions? If you are the only one who is excited about your holiday plans, you might want to take a step back and ask your date how she really feels.

The Other Side of a Breakup: If you are debating whether or not to call it quits, it’s time to be honest with yourself.  

Breaking up with someone is difficult no matter what time of year it is, but if you’re just going through the motions and your heart isn’t in it, there’s no reason to drag things on just because it’s the holiday season. Maybe you think you’re doing him a favor by having Christmas dinner with his family or buying him a gift out of guilt, but you’re not. Delaying things until after New Year’s just makes everything more complicated and makes him wonder why you didn’t tell him sooner. 

If you are uncertain about the person you’re dating, be willing to ask yourself tough questions. 

  •  Are you interested in a more serious relationship, or would you rather keep things casual? How does your partner feel about it? 
  • Do you want to continue to date him if you’re not that interested? If so, what are you getting out of it? 
  • Consider the aftermath: you’ve broken things off so you can both move on to better and more fulfilling relationships. What scares you most about a breakup? 

If your partner breaks up with you, it’s okay to feel hurt this time of year and ask for support from family and friends. You don’t have to go through it by yourself. You deserve love. And you are not alone.

Kelly Seal is a freelance writer, dating expert, and author of the book “Date Expectations: A Guide to Changing Your Dating Life and Finding Real Love.” She got her start in the dating industry by hosting speed dating events around southern California and offering advice and encouragement to attendees. She now lives in L.A. and spends her free time hiking in the Santa Monica mountains and blogging at www.kellyseal.com.