Ever since my last long term relationship broke up during the opening salvo of 2011, I’ve wondered if others shared similar tales of New Year’s misery. There’s a perverse logic to it. Although including ‘break up with partner’ on a resolutions list seems too cold, it’s a time when we’re encouraged to reflect on where we’re headed. On the dreaded evening in question, my girlfriend was feeling ‘ill’ and stayed at my flat while I went to a local party, only to dash back Cinderella-like by the strike of midnight to watch fireworks streak across the South London sky with her from my top floor window. Even though I was on time, my relationship had turned into a pumpkin with no fairy godmother on hand to help. No, Graham Norton didn’t count!
Yet a graph showing peak break up times throughout the year compiled from Facebook status updates would seem to indicate that my ex was actually a month late. Typical!
By far the busiest binning period is early December. Are we that mean that we don’t even want to buy presents? Or do we simply not want to actually have to spend enforced time with our lovers. Perhaps those considering a festive farewell should consult the article How Not To Break Up Over The Holidays which suggests we should keep expectations low and not expect a ‘surprise cruise with fireworks spelling out your name.’ I’m not sure who this is written for but does anyone ever really expect that?! My new partner struggles with spelling so I’m striking that off the wish list right now.
Even though Christmas itself is deemed ‘too cruel’ (!) by many, February is a hectic season for a love hiatus. As I often say, nobody wants to be alone on Shrove Tuesday (pancake making can be a very lonely business)… or should that be Valentines Day. April Fool’s Day is also a mini-peak. Wouldn’t you be second guessing whether it was all just a horrible joke? Mind you, it’s a good morning to test the water with something you can then flippantly retract. I even came out to my parents on April 1st and, fortunately they were great - so no ‘April Fool!’ needed.
Ironically, I found this graph on a website called Information Is Beautiful and would argue that ‘I’m breaking up with you’ is one of the least beautiful pieces of information we can receive. At least now though I’m armed with the knowledge of when these relationship danger zones occur. My new girlfriend’s birthday is in November so I should have the opportunity then to score enough Brownie points (maybe we should actually have a system where we can sew these onto our sleeves like badges) to get through.
Image via Carbon NYC's Flickr