Let’s face it: the end of a relationship can be unpleasant, regardless of the date on the calendar. The wall-to-wall festivities of the holiday season make it especially difficult to deal with a breakup. Chicago-based relationship expert Bela Gandhi shares some advice on how to survive the season, when you don’t have a “plus one” for that New Year’s Eve party.
How to stay positive when dealing with the end of a relationship during the holidays?
Breakups are always hard and they can be even lonelier during the holiday season. Understanding and accepting this is step one. It’s normal to feel those sad and longing feelings when you see mistletoe and happy couples holiday shopping together. To stay positive, know yourself and what you need to feel good! If you like to be active, make plans to keep yourself out and about, spending time with people that make you happiest. Having great platonic relationships can be super satisfying and can cheer you up! And, volunteering is a great thing to do with friends. It will get you out, meeting new people, and giving back to the community—which makes everyone feel better!
What is the best strategy for navigating the holiday party scene?
Say yes to everything! You will always have more fun when you’re hanging with your besties—and getting out of your yoga pants or PJs feels great. Even if you’re sad, put on your happiest face, as smiling will help better your mood. My best trick is putting on awesome happy music that makes you want to shake your booty. Whoop up your makeup—bring the cat eye out a little further, wear red lipstick, add something sparkly—you’ll feel better even before you walk out the door. Go to these events with your “elevator” people—friends who elevate your mood and bring you up! Leave the energy vampire/Debbie Downer friends back at the ranch.
Why are the holidays a particularly difficult time to deal with a breakup?
Breaking up around the holidays is really tough for a number of reasons. You no longer have a “plus one” to bring to holiday parties/work events. You are sad, during the “most wonderful time of the year!” And everything you see at the stores will potentially remind you of your ex. Remember that sadness is the first step to healing, and every hour that passes brings you closer to the sun “shining” on you again.
Should the fact that it is the holiday season play a part in the timing of the breakup?
Ending a relationship is never easy, and the December holidays are one of the biggest breakup times of the year. It’s a tough decision about doing it before or after the holidays—you’re in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” type of situation. If you do it before, they’ll say, “How could you do this before the holidays?” And if you wait, it could elicit, “How could this be? We JUST spent the holidays together and everything was GREAT!” A factor in deciding to do it before is that people think about “misleading” their significant others by bringing them home for the holidays. And buying a gift for someone you’re going to end things with is also awkward—again, because you don’t want to lead them on.
Bela Gandhi is the CEO and founder of Smart Dating Academy, a full-service personal consulting firm that provides successful professionals with dating coaching, image consulting, and online dating consulting. Learn more at smartdatingacademy.com.