The complications of dating and breakups during the holidays


Why some relationships don’t last through the holidays.

Sydney Novak

As the holiday season gets closer and closer, people in relationships must decide if it is worth their while to endure the pressure of buying gifts and attending holiday parties as a couple or if this is all something they would rather avoid.  

With the stress of the season it isn’t shocking the most likely time of the year to be broken up with is the two weeks right before Christmas, according to a 2010 Facebook analysis. Exactly two weeks before Christmas Day, Dec. 11 is the day you are most likely to be broken up with than any other day of the year.

It makes sense that the pressure of introducing your partner to your family might make the relationship seem less desirable and avoiding anxiety completely seems a lot more appealing. With the stress of the holidays, you might see a new side of your partner you had not been exposed to previously. How people handle stress is something important to consider when making decisions about the seriousness of your relationship with them. This season could mean the appearance of “red flags” you had not noticed before.

Although it might seem a little cruel to break up right before the holidays, it also might be in everyone’s best interest to not drag out a relationship you are not serious about just to avoid hurt feelings.

This year especially might have a significant impact on whether couples will stay together through this season however. According to BBC, there has been a spike in divorce and breakups since the COVID-19 pandemic. The correlation of this relationship is still in question, whether it is spending too much time home alone with your significant other that has taken a toll or the stress of financial and job insecurity that causes strain on relationships.

A more casual relationship being something a lot of people might be interested in is also a seasonal trend. “Cuffing season” commonly refers to a less serious relationship that takes place anywhere from October to February. This idea is centered around the desire to have someone to keep you company and cuddle with as it gets colder outside so that they are not spending the season alone.

A key element of this relationship is likely sex, but not exclusive to that. These arrangements usually recognize they have an expiration date and are not the type of relationship you update your Facebook status about. This is not the person you spend copious amounts of time with but you do regularly see each other. 

Where the term “cuff” comes from has a few different answers. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the term “cuffing” was first used in a 2011 college newspaper publication. Its origins are in African American vernacular that has a similar meaning to the verb “hook up.” 

With the rise in popularity of dating apps, cuffing season has become a more popular and widely used term since 2011. Other words to describe hooking up or casually hanging out has also been invented since then.

“Netflix and Chill” has become a recognizable term for many adolescent people and refers to watching Netflix together and potentially being physically intimate while that happens. It is very much a euphemism for having sex under the guise of simply hanging out. 

Regardless of your relationship status this holiday season, don’t dwell on breakups or hook ups and try to focus on what makes you the happiest. If you want to break up with your boyfriend or just casually hang out with someone new, be sure to prioritize yourself.