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Why this is the season for breakups

THE festive season should be a time of love and joy, but for many it’s a time of heartbreak.

According to a new study, the warm weather coupled with the anxiety that comes with introducing a partner to your family are the reasons romances tend to end at this time of year.

A survey of 1600 users on Aussie hook-up app RedHotPie found that now ‘tis the season for breaking up.

“The combination of warmer temps, summer holidays and the thought of showing off a not-so-perfect partner to your ‘fam’ at Christmas means it’s a perfect storm for breakups,” says RedHotPie dating and relationship expert, Mark Rosenfeld.

The results of the study showed 71 per cent of women and 56 per cent of men would rather break up with their partner if they’re “not that into them” than take them home to meet their family at Christmas.

“The warm weather means people are less interested in staying home and cuddling and more interested in putting themselves out there, showing off and getting the attention they desire,” says Mr Rosenfeld, who offers dating advice on YouTube.
“Women and men felt exactly the same, with 78 per cent stating the warmer weather does make them more social and sexually adventurous.”

He says the breakup figures aren’t that surprising given 75 per cent of men and 71 per cent of women surveyed said they have dated someone “even though they knew they could do better”.

Sexologist and relationship expert Dr Nikki Goldstein said it’s less about Christmas plans and more about reflecting on the past year and considering what you want for the future.

“As we get towards the end of the year, we start reflecting on the year that’s been,” she says. “It feels chaotic, it feels crazy and people do start to reflect.

“So I actually think that would impact why people break up more now, because when you get to that early January/February part of year, you’re getting your life on track and you’re feeling good about yourself, you don’t want to be in a crappy relationship.”

She also says the craziness of the silly season can also take its toll on relationships.

“It’s a season for high stress, because you are doing things like meeting people’s partners, incorporating families, and presents, and expectations.

“If you are in a position where you’ve been dating someone and you’re talking about Christmas and them coming to your place and so forth, you’re also putting [the relationship] into the category of being a little bit more serious,” Dr Goldstein says.

“So that’s what could be nudging people to go, ‘Hmm, I’m not sure I’m ready for that’.

But for those who are thinking about ending it with their partner, Dr Goldstein says you should make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons first.

“Breakups are not always a bad thing because you might be in a relationship that isn’t healthy or isn’t right for you,” she says. “Take the time to work out: Are you freaking out unnecessarily, or are you rationally analysing life? Start to think about: do you see a future with this person? Is this the type of person you want to be with?”

Just because you’re not ready to meet their family this Christmas, or have them meet yours, it doesn’t mean you should pull the plug, she advises.

“Maybe it’s just that things are moving too fast, but you really like this person.

“I think it’s a good time to reflect but you have to mindful of that panic freak-out, because I think that’s what so many of us do.”
Mr Rosenfeld agrees when it comes to relationships, it’s all about recognising whether your partner is the right person for you.
“The reality is we all want connection, but if we choose someone we know is not right for us and are too afraid to have that tough conversation, this end-of-year period is when it comes back to bite us,” he says.

“You can go one of two routes: break up and find Mr or Ms Right, or realise your relationship is worth saving and look at other avenues for extra-curricular validation,” he says.

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