TO ALL those with a significant other, watch out! We are entering the year's second-highest season for break-ups.
The holidays are meant to be full of joy and goodwill, but for some, this will be the time they or their partner drop the mistletoe bomb and say: "I want out of the relationship."
We embrace the new year by getting rid of old habits, but what if we find ourselves realising that our relationship is one of them?
There is simply no easy way to call it quits, whether you just began dating or have shared decades of memories.
And if breaking-up is your New Year's resolution, in order to candidly embrace a rejuvenated version of yourself, you might want to prepare for emotional turmoil in the interim.
"Do we actually have a future together?" "Should I say something now or should I string my partner along, instead of ruining the holidays?"
December is a break-up bonanza, at least according to a Facebook survey by London-based data-researchers David McCandless and Lee Byron.
The researchers discovered that splits spiked dramatically before Easter, Christmas and New Year's Eve and lent credence to the idea that relationships backslide around the holidays.
Relationship Results psychotherapist and relationship specialist Paul McNiff said that after the holidays, couples tended to decide where their relationship was heading.
"A lot of couples put their relationships off, just to get through Christmas," he said.
"In January, when the clock turns and the new year begins, people begin to re-evaluate how they are feeling in their relationships.
"The stress of a new year can be the straw that breaks the camel's back or the time to reflect and say, 'I cannot do another year like that'."
Mr McNiff said that, sadly, we lived in a throwaway society, where we chose to walk away rather than try and work on our relationships.
"Regardless if you have been together for a year or for 15 years, people put their problems off and hope they will disappear all by themselves."
He said mapping out a plan and working on things instead of just breaking up before New Year's Day was better than walking away.
Mooloolaba's Mumford Lawyers Family Law solicitor and principal Helena Mumford said her office handled more inquiries about separation and divorce after New Year's Eve, following disputes in December, than other times during the year.
"I often receive a lot of calls over the festive period from people who are separating," she said.
Relationship specialist Paul McNiff's tips:
- Talk about how your relationship is affecting you
- 10 minutes of "couple-time" every day can improve your relationship, especially under the hectic holidays
- Remember what brought you together in the first place
- State what you want and need in your relationship
- Let your partner speak without interruption
- Two counselling sessions can change your relationship.
- More info at relationship results.com.au