Christmas Breakups: Why Most Breakups Occur Before Christmas and How to Avoid Them

Breaking up is never fun. Breaking up right before the holidays is just horrible. However, research has shown that a peak time for break-ups occur right before Christmas.

Back in 2008, David McCandless and Lee Bryon created a chart to illustrate the peak break-up times. They used more than 10,000 Facebook status updates to determine when people are most likely to break up. Besides spring break, the study found that most relationships end the two weeks before Christmas. But, why? That just sounds utterly cruel.

There really aren’t any concrete answers, only theories. And, keep in mind, that this is research coming from college kids via Facebook. Once they hit the real world this trend might change, but it’s still interesting to explore.

The Reasons People Breakup Right Before Christmas

As already mentioned, there really isn’t an exact answer, but here’s some possible reasons.

The Family Effect

If you never realized it before, your family does have a big impact on your life. And, there’s probably no bigger impact than on your relationship. Think about the first time you brought your significant other to meet your parents. Was it awkward or what? Now, imagine that person meeting your entire family in one shot, since they’ll all be around during the holidays. You could be afraid that there’s a chance a relative will embarrass you. Maybe your family is a bunch of crazies and you don’t want to expose anyone else to them. Regardless the specific reason, your family could certainly influence your decision on whether the relationship works or not.

Holiday Plans

Making your holiday plans is stressful enough, but coordinating plans with another person can be frustrating. What if the two of you go to your homes during the holidays? And now, you’re both miles apart. What if your friend and her friend have a party on the same night? Where will the two of you spend Christmas? All these conflicting plans could be enough for a couple to throw in the towel.

Realizing The Relationship Is Over

Obviously Christmas takes place at the end of the year, which is usually a time of reflection. During the holidays we have an opportunity to look at our relationship and wonder if it’s time to end it. Maybe we realize that the relationship has run it’s course and there is no further advancement. Or, perhaps, we look back and remember the crumby present we received the year before. This is, after all, the time of year when one can look back at the past and plan for the future.

How To Avoid a Holiday Breakup

If you don’t want to become another statistic this holiday season, here’s some suggestions on how to avoid breaking up this time of year.


Instead of fighting and being stubborn on holiday plans, try to compromise. If spending Christmas with each other’s family is an issue maybe spend Christmas Eve with one family and Christmas Day with the other. If attending your friends holiday parties is a problem, the two of your should sit down and schedule out your plans. Some parties for each of you may have to be sacrificed. If you survive the holidays, compromising is one of the most important parts of a successful relationship.

Don’t String Her Along

If you’ve been dating a girl for a long time, you’re both happy in your relationship and you think the two of you could move on to the next step, then stop dragging your feet. Women are more inclined to leave men around Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, because they consider those make or break times.

Give The Relationship Your All

Sometimes we can all take our relationship for granted and only seem to appreciate it on certain times of the year. Not to get all sappy, but you should never take your relationship for granted. We’re not saying that we have to be Don Juan every day, but at least attempt to show your appreciation and love on a regular basis. Give the relationship all you can. If it doesn’t work, at least you can realize that you did indeed give it everything you could.

The Silver Lining

Despite the research that many relationships end around the holidays, very few actually occur on Christmas itself. So, if you make it to December 25, you’re in the clear. In fact, it’s the day of the year where the least amount of breakups occur.

But, if your relationship does end around the holidays, there are some perks. There are plenty of parties to go to, which mean more opportunities to meet someone else. And, most importantly, it probably means that the relationship had stalled anyway. It’s best to move on and stop trying to prevent the inevitable. A new year is around the corner and you can begin it with a clean slate.

Images Via Wikipedia Commons

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