Why November Is Considered "Breakup Season"

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There is a lot to look forward to during the month of November, like cooking Thanksgiving dinner, watching football games, reflecting on what you're grateful for — and breaking up with your partner. Indeed, November is considered "breakup season," and there are even some kitschy names to define this phenomenon, including the "Turkey Drop" or the "Turkey Dump." Essentially, it is the opposite of cuffing season, and there are a few reasons why.

For people in college, Thanksgiving break is typically the first time you're returning home, debuting the "new you," and showing all your home friends just how much you've changed in the past three months. With your woke college attitude, you might realize that you're not so interested in your long-distance partner anymore — so you break up.

For those of us who are no longer in college, November and Thanksgiving can trigger something different according to Michele Kerulis, EdD, LCPC, professor of counseling at Northwestern University. Fall cues the beginning of the holidays, which "can be a really fun time for new couples or it can be extremely awkward," Kerulis says.

If you're in a relationship in November, it Is normal to fast-forward through what the rest of the holidays will be like. You might be thinking, Do I have to bring my partner to Christmas Eve dinner? And does this mean we have to hang out and kiss on New Year's Eve? Shoot, am I now roped into a Valentine's Day obligation? The answer is, probably yes. So, if you aren't sure if it's worth it to be together throughout all of that, it might make sense to consider a breakup now, Kerulis says. "When one person is not as into the relationship as the other, Thanksgiving seems like the ideal time to call it quits," she says.

The thing is, you can end a relationship with grace, even during the season for breakups. "Have an open conversation with your significant other to discuss how you see your holiday season together," Kerulis says suggests. It sounds obvious, but it's important to talk about what you want and don't want from your partner around the holidays. Often, in relationships, people expect their partner just to know what's up — and this is especially true when it comes to family obligations.

While you might have the best intentions, being together halfheartedly during the holidays could make things worse between the two of you, because the holidays are an emotional and high-pressure time for many people, Kerulis says. If this is the case and you don't want your partner to join in your holiday festivities, then you should be able to explain why. For example, you could say, "I really like you, and I don’t want to pressure you into attending my family parties. My family can be crazy, and I wouldn't subject you to that!"

The bottom line to remember in November (and year round) is that you shouldn't think twice about your relationship status just because it's a holiday and you feel like you're "supposed to." If you legitimately feel like it's time to call it quits with your partner, and it so happens to be November, just be sure to be clear about why you're over it. And don't expect them to welcome you back in February.