Love Notes: Surviving the Break

by Leah Casselman • December 4, 2013

Does your significant other seem a bit more annoying now than he or she did last month? Does the pressure of finals and the long winter break have you on the verge of a nervous breakdown and a serious breakup? As it turns out, you are not alone. According to research released by Facebook analysts, more people break up two weeks before Christmas than any other time in the year. But just because you are feeling stressed and it feels like everyone else is breaking up doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed to fail.

The first thing to remember: What you are feeling is normal. I can’t even begin to count the number of guys I have broken up with during finals. When we are stressed we take it out on the people we love. My first bit of advice is to stop using your significant other as a verbal punching bag. I am not saying you’re being abusive, but we all tend to get snappy when we’re feeling stressed out. Whether or not you remember it, you once thought your boyfriend or girlfriend was special. So act like it.

Before you part ways for winter break, schedule some time to do something special together. Instead of using your free time between finals to build another house in “Minecraft,” try watching a movie together or getting some pastries in the North End. People fight less when they are eating pastries.

After the tension of finals, you are then forced to deal with a month-long separation. When the semester ends, people want to blow off steam. But when the person you like to blow it off with is halfway across the country, things can get tricky. If you want your relationship to work out, do not immediately call up an old lover once you get home. They may be fun, but there is nothing more tempting than reliving the past during the holidays. What’s more important? A New Year’s lip-lock, or the person you decided to tie yourself down to? If you pick the lip-lock them maybe it is time to start reevaluating your relationship.

You should remember that being apart in 2013 doesn’t ever really mean you are apart. We have Skype, Facebook, and text messages. We even have telephones. You can look at each other’s faces every day. You can text, talk, and still have time to do your own thing. You’re actually more likely to over-communicate during the break than not communicate at all. Stay in contact with each other. Just don’t get too clingy and stalker-esque. Too much online contact can be almost as deadly as not enough.

If you ultimately decide that the two of you aren’t meant to be together — or if you decide that you only got together because of your mutual need for human contact — don’t try to force a relationship that isn’t there. Holidays are a great excuse to part ways. You have a built-in break period where you don’t have to run into each other every day and your sad rebound won’t be in a place surrounded by landmines.

Whatever you do, don’t spend your holiday break moping because you lost the so-called love of your life. If they dumped you, they weren’t that great anyway. Or maybe you weren’t. But try to keep a positive spin on things. Put down the leftover stuffing and get yourself out there.

Finally, for those of you who didn’t get a date all semester, there is hope. A bunch of last semester’s crushes will be single when you get back in January. Here is your chance to do everything you were too afraid to do last semester.