Snow-Globing: The Worst Holiday Dating Trend Ever

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I know it’s the holidays, so you’ll have to forgive me for bumming you out with news of a terrible dating trend. It's called snow-globing, but don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s named after one of the most delightful seasonal decor pieces of all time. If it happens to you, it can be pretty darn heart-shattering
Snow-globing is a term coined by Cosmo. It happens around the holidays when people suddenly start feeling enchanted by the season of love. The joy in the air — perhaps the same spirit that prompted the Grinch’s heart to grow three sizes — causes your lover or hookup buddy to act as sweet as a sugar cookie. They might get super serious and say “I love you.” Maybe they'll plan some incredibly thoughtful dates. They might suggest an overnight in a country Airbnb that gives you The Holiday vibes. There could be chic Christmas presents like AirPods or jewelry or even an invite to their holiday Zoom party with their friends or family. Sounds like a fairytale, right? 
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Totally, but there’s a catch. When the excitement of the “most wonderful time of the year” fades, so does their love for you. The divine holiday bubble bursts — shatters, if we want to continue on with the snow globe metaphor — and you’re left wondering, What just happened?
Snow-globing someone sounds shitty and thoughtless. But, to be fair, most people who snow-globe aren’t doing so consciously. Usually, it’s some combination of loneliness, familial pressure, nostalgia, and convenience, says Danielle Forshee, Psy.D, a psychologist and marriage therapist. 
Let’s break that down. Humans are inherently social beings. “Research has shown that when we're socially isolated and feeling lonely, our brain responds by activating key neurotransmitters responsible for emotional well-being, motivating us to search for and re-engage in social interactions,” Dr. Forshee says. In other words, when we're feeling lonely, our brains are wired to encourage us to seek out companionship.
Damona Hoffman, a dating coach and host of The Dates & Mates Podcast offers up a slightly different biological explanation. “The seasons change and we begin to ‘hibernate’ for the winter," Hoffman says. "We tend to want to find someone to nest with as the effort of trudging out into the snow to find someone can seem overwhelming. During COVID, however, it's even more intense.” In other words, snow-globing can be seen as a ramped-up extension of cuffing season.
The holiday vibes turn those biological instincts up to an 11. “Excitement and nostalgia can cause us to want to have more fun, be more spontaneous, and create more positive fun memories," Dr. Forshee says. "Because of these positive feelings, some may feel more impulsive and grab onto their flame to take the ride with them.” Add in some family pressure (it's still "y el novio?" season, after all) and maybe even an honest desire to be in a relationship with someone, and you've got the makings off a snow-glober.
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That's all well and good. The problem with snow-globing isn't the fun, "let's take a trip together!" stage. It's the lack of communication to make sure you both are on the same page, and the sudden withdrawal once the holidays are over.
One of the worst things about this trend is that it's hard to see coming. But one warning sign to watch out for: “If you see a dramatic change in behaviour or in communication timing or style, that's usually the telltale sign that a relationship is shifting,” says Hoffman. If the person you're dating goes from setting up a movie night every other week to wanting to see you every day, right before Christmas... Be wary.
If you catch a snow-glober early on, you can try to talk about what's happening. Point out to your partner that it seems like they're eager to get serious, which is catching you by surprise, and ask them if that's really their intention. Of course, since snow-globers' behaviour can be unconscious, they may swear up and down that they're ready to settle down... only to pull back again on Jan. 1. You can try to enjoy the ride without getting too invested and see how things play out, or you can focus on friends and family over the holidays while staying in casual touch with your partner, and reach back out in the new year to see if the potential snow-glober is still feeling the same passion for you.
If you’ve already been snow-globed, all you can do is communicate your feelings about it and try to move on. “You have to remember that you can't control another person, you can only control how you react to a particular situation,” Hoffman say. “If you get snow-globed, certainly speak up and make your partner aware that you're feeling something different — but know that ultimately, it's up to them to show up for you and give you what you need in a relationship.”

Go through your healing process, and from there, don’t “give it any more of your precious time and just move forward,” Dr. Forshee advises. “There’s really no point in looking back.” But if it were me, I would certainly hold onto the AirPods. 

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