Holidays get blamed for everything. They add unwanted pounds (mostly of beer) to waistlines (mostly mine), blast songs about ambiguously gay reindeer and provide the perfect smoke screen for your walking dead relationship. Sweet baby kitten, mistletoe is no excuse for kissing queer lips you’ve lost interest in. Neither is getting drunk off of mulled wine, suffering through thanksvegan food-itis and/or their grandma gives you the best presents ever. Pause. Deep breath. Put on your chucks, crack those tattooed knuckles and make some hard, love-based decisions.
This feels like the wrong thing to do for so many reasons. Because the holidays are the time we’re supposed to be nice to everyone, and put more joy in the world, and most of all, they’re supposed to be about love. But holidays often turn out to be the time of the year we think the least about ourselves and stretch ourselves thin for other people. Sometimes, with some relationships, you owe it to yourself to be loving to yourself by walking away from something toxic. Freedom from an unhealthy relationship is a gift you owe yourself. Sometimes you have to break up with someone to save yourself, no matter what time of the year.
I’m sure you’ve got a dykeload of excuses for why it’s against the Queer People’s Commandments to break up, especially during La Navidad y La Turkeydad. Bring’em, because I’ve got ten fine rebuttals for each one. Let’s clear your dance card this season to make room for that foxy ass new queer just waiting to romance you on NYE.
Holiday Break Ups: 10 Reasons to Buck Up Do That Shit Despite Your Excuses
10. But I’ve already bought/made their gift.
Well damn, way to be on top of shit. I’m sure the receipt’s still in your possession. Return it. If it’s super specific to your person’s entire life and took you 525,600 minutes to create then fine, hold on to it. For a while. At one point this was an intense love thing but now it’s not and that’s ok. Be firm about breaking up, and don’t give the gift yet. It’ll send a mixed message. Wait it out. Wait til there’s been no contact for a year, til after the first ‘how are you?’ text, then after coffee, and then maybe when you’re the non-fucking type of friends, give the gift.
9. We’ve RSVP’ed to like 15 holiday parties.
Short-sighted. Just stop. Breaking up frees us from the shackles of pre-party passive aggressive bitchering (v. to bitch and bicker simultaneously). Also, you can be a lone wolf. Lesbians love lone wolves.
8. We’re just in a bad spot. We’ve got SAD, both of us, like at the same time. It’ll be better after winter.
Well ok, that’s totally a thing, probably. If you’re sure that’s all it is, then fine. But there’s bummed out because it’s dark and cold, and then there’s actually being clinically depressed and sticking with a shitty relationship cuz your ass gets cold in bed by yourself. If the second is the case, the arrival of spring won’t make a difference. Spring brings light to misery. Also, come spring, all the sexy queers will be wearing less clothing. Ditch before you cheat.
7. My person has no family or friends. We live together. I’d be making them homeless.
This is a valid concern. Queer people are less likely to have family to fall back on, and in this economy it’s tough for anyone to suddenly take on twice as much rent. But remember also that your person is an adult human responsible for themselves, and that no matter how much you love(d) them, it’s not your job to be their keeper for the rest of their lives.
We all need to take ownership of our lives and part of that involves making choices regarding our living situations. If you’ve been together for a super long time, break up and then formulate a move-out plan. Be careful not to plan out everything for them, even if they ask you to, so that you’re not fixing their life post break-up. But you can take care of your own plans while being respectful of them; if you live together, you can volunteer to move out and stay with a friend, and continue splitting rent for a reasonable amount of time for them to find a new place. Set timelines. Don’t share a bed. Agree on a reasonable date for them to move out, not renew the lease, and find a new place – six months or less. Breaking up with someone isn’t the same as making them homeless, even if they tell you it is. It makes you both single. Even if your person is un- or underemployed, there are resources they can access. You’re not solely responsible for someone else’s wellbeing. Don’t make assumptions about what someone else’s situation is like or what they need from you.
6. I’d be a fucking Grinch.
That’s what happens when you wait this long to drop your summer piece. For serious, though, see the top of this post. You owe happiness to yourself, too.
5. The holidays will re-ignite our love thang via gifts, time off together and sex.
You know what? Maybe this is exactly what all parties need. Should that wicked beautiful spark blaze up again know that it’s something that must be continuously maintained by everyone involved. Don’t drop the effort because seriously, you’ll find yourself in the same place next year multiplied by 365 days worth of bitterness. If the holidays don’t ignite anything but tantrums fueled by insecurity, unrestrained name calling and/or unparalleled lesbian bed death, cease and desist. But before even that can happen, you have to be honest about what you’re feeling. Are you really re-realizing how much this person means to you, or is the holiday collective insanity making you imagine her as Keira Knightley in Love Actually? Be real with yourself, and with her.
4. This will come out of nowhere in the middle of the holiday lovefest.
Ok, maybe that’s true. Maybe your breakup feelings are totally one-sided. As we speak, your person is baking a gluten-free German chocolate cake. They’ve already made a google doc for your wants/surprises gift list. They’re geeked for the season and still in love with you. Holy shit little gay kitten, this is going to suck for all parties involved. Or maybe underneath all that holiday madness is a person desperately keeping themselves busy because they don’t know how to break up with you. Don’t be surprised when multiple sighs of relief emit from your now ex’s sexy mouth. Mutuality is a motherfucker.
3. Holidays or not, breaking up isn’t the right thing to do. We’ve got to keep trying.
This ‘never say die’ attitude to all types of relationships is going to be the immediate shablam death of us all. Break the cycle. Not every relationship is forever, and that’s okay. There are times when unless you’re Carly & Robin, then it’s your sworn duty to never ever break up.
2. The Mayan calendar says the world’s ending Dec. 21, 2012. I’m gonna wait it out.
Grover sigh. Listen, you’re right. The world is ending right now. Do your person a final favor. Break up with them now and let someone else bang them into the new world.
1. It’ll be better if I wait until the New Year.
Stop, right there. We can dead relationships whenever we want, because we’re grown homos and this world is ours. But to know the break up is inevitable and still rest it on the premature beating heart of the New Year isn’t what being a gentlequeer is about. We don’t hold information to our chests until it’s convenient or easy to let it out. We do the hard work and respect our partners enough to tell the truth. It ain’t easy. I’m guilty of procrastinating and giving in to every one of these excuses. I’m guilty of staying in misery to spite myself and my partner. Shit ain’t right and I wouldn’t want you to live in that.
Each New Year is a free shot of joy after a year of drama and bottom shelf bitches. Don’t take that joy from someone. I get that you’re afraid because maybe you’re still in love, everything hurts and breaking up is the only option. You deserve a New Year too. Drop the bad habit now. Give yourself at least a month to decompress. Do some yoga, eat healthy delicious food made with love and butter or vegan not-butter butter and take a pause. Go to a New Year’s Eve party, toast to the countdown and do you right now.
Yes, you’re better off alone.