Holiday breakups are brutal. Not only must you endure the heartache of calling it quits, but you must do so in the face of relentless good tidings and cheer.
All you want to do is heal and move on, but each year, with the coming of the season, you’re reminded of what you’ve lost. How are you supposed cope? Here’s some advice on what you should and shouldn’t do.
Dos and Don’ts for Holiday Breakups
DO Ask for Help
You deserve to get the support you need, regardless of what cultural traditions are taking center stage. Ask your poly-positive friends and family for support, or request more time and attention from your other partner(s).
They might not be able to accommodate your every need in a super timely manner—those Christmas cookies won’t bake themselves— but at least you’ve acknowledged that your emotional needs matter.
DON’T Confide in Just Anyone
Sure, Aunt Janet loves to dig deep and learn all that’s happened in your life since last you saw her, but she’s also a judgmental windbag who’s been waiting for an opportunity to shit all over this “ill-fated and perverted lifestyle of yours.”
Don’t let your grief—and the fact that it’s peace-on-earth time—distract you from the knowledge that some people cannot be called on for sympathy and support.
DO Keep Busy
Keep your existing social commitments! If your plans changed significantly as a result of the breakup, make efforts to replace them with things that feel healing or special to you.
Go to a spa, or break dishes in the rage room. Binge-watch that series that’s been sitting in your Netflix My List for months, or volunteer at a food bank or soup kitchen. Resist the urge to hunker down for the entire season, as this will only make you feel worse.
DON’T Completely Bury Your Feelings
Leave the party early if you find it too hard to put on a happy face. Make the effort to keep going, but honor that part of you that needs to cry, scream, or mope around in your pajamas.
Think of how you can maintain a balance between engaging in holiday festivities and letting out your pain. This requires a different set of strategies for each of us. Be kind and patient with yourself as you figure it out.
DO Focus on the Year to Come
What do you want to do with your time, now that you have a little more of it post breakup? The new year is often regarded as a time of renewal. Embrace this philosophy, and think of ways that you can better your life!
If the relationship you’ve just shed was toxic in any way, this idea of a fresh start can seem all the more appealing. If you’re not in a place to see the bright side just yet, though, don’t force it.
DON’T Make Big Decisions
Daydream all you want, but hold off on putting any big plans into effect until your emotions have settled a bit. Making big decisions when you’re super messed up is never a good idea. You might end up with a timeshare in Florida, a degree you’ll never use, or a maxed-out credit card and a truck’s-worth of never-to-be-used exercise equipment.
Have you gone through a holiday breakup? How did you cope? Share your advice in the comments!