Life Advice



How to break up like a grown-up during the holidays

Lisa Anderson, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Dating Advice

Dec. 11 is statistically the most common day of the year to break off a romantic relationship. Yes, people have done legitimate math on this.

I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve been dumped — twice — on Christmas Eve. In both cases, the guys did it via email. One said he’d found someone else; the other straight up admitted his desire to stay single. Neither apologized for ruining my Christmas.

Why the rush to give up on love during “the most wonderful time of the year”? I think it has to do with what I call the Dating Holiday Trifecta (Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day). These are undoubtedly the most stressful holidays for couples, so when asked, many date dodgers give these reasons for calling it quits:

“I don’t want my partner at family gatherings or holiday parties.”

“I don’t want to spend money on my partner.”

“The holidays make me feel pressure to commit or even propose.”


“I want to end or start the year with a clean slate.”

Since so many daters are dumping and getting dumped in December, it raises the question: Is it possible to end a relationship and move on like a healthy, mature adult? When seemingly everyone is ghosting, going on the fade, breaking up via text — or worse — doing a breakup well is harder (and rarer) than you may think.

Here are a few ways to break up but still respect your soon-to-be ex, keep your dignity and be a good human in the process:

Do it in person or (at the very least) over the phone. You’re not in junior high. Face your date like a man (or woman) and have the decency to end things in real time and real space — with your real self.


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