Thanksgiving is right around the corner and then comes Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years Eve. For the majority of couples that means lots of together time. For individuals who have found a special someone that usually means going home and sharing dinner together with mom, dad, family and friends. The question was raised last week by a group of friends, “If your relationship isn’t going anywhere and you don’t see a ring in the future, should you break up before the holidays or wait until they’re over?
For the most part, staying together to hold one another up through the holidays is not a good idea. If you know it’s over in your heart, you’re going to have to fake being happy when you’re not, and this requires emotional energy that should be spent enjoying family and friends. However, it’s more complicated than that. If you take your partner home to meet mom and dad, they may not approve of your friend. They may see the effect your friend has on you, making their holiday miserable as well as yours.
If the couple has kids, it also presents a new dilemma to the question. The holidays are a happy time for most children, and finding out their parents are splitting is difficult at best, but over the holidays it is especially traumatic.
Or maybe you’re in that place in your relationship where you aren’t sure if it’s going anywhere or not. You’ve been living with someone for a while and there is no mention of marriage, and you’re watching more and more of your friends get married, but your partner is not ready. You want more, and don’t want another holiday where every one asks you if you’re getting married. Is it time to just let this relationship go in the hopes that you may meet someone new with a holiday mingling?
If you’re thinking about splitting up before the holidays, here are seven questions you should ask yourself first.
- Where are your lives going? Do you have a plan for the next year? Does one of you want to get married and the other does not? Hanging on and waiting for someone to be ready for you is a bad idea and forces you to put your life on hold. If they aren’t sure they want to commit to you, then they probably are not the right one for you.
- How do you feel when you’re with them? Do they bring out the best in you, or do you feel stressed as though you’re walking on eggshells? If you can’t be yourself or your partner is always upset about something, it’s not a good relationship to continue.
- Do you work together to make it work, or is one of you giving more to the relationship than the other? Do you fight fair, and resolve conflicts or are one of you made to feel guilty and the one who says they’re sorry?
- Is your partner constantly jealous or controlling you? Bad sign; get out.
- Do you feel as though your partner has no life outside of the relationship? Do you share interests and have fun together? Does your partner have close friends?
- Is the passion and intimacy gone? You cannot fix chemistry, and in a healthy relationship you need to feel connected and loved emotionally and physically.
- If there are kids involved, have you tried everything you can to be the best partner possible?
Breakups are tough, and during the holidays they are extremely difficult. However, holding on to someone because you don’t want to be alone or you don’t want to hurt his or her feelings is selfish and unkind. Telling them directly, but gently, that you want to end the relationship if you know it’s inevitable is usually advised prior to the onset of the holidays. The greatest gift you can give another person during the holidays is their freedom if you have nothing left to offer.