As much as I enjoy the enormously busy season from Halloween through New Year's, I'm relieved just as equally that it's over. I managed to make it through constructing another homemade costume that kept me up more hours than I can recall. I survived a massive food overhaul that provided enough leftovers to stockpile the fridge for at least a week thereafter. My finances were pinched yet wisely managed when it came down to the annual gift purchasing, wrapping, and eventual dispersing among friends and family. Everything came to a final mellow end as I watched The Ball drop over glasses of grape sparkling cider and delicious beer on a couch alongside my boyfriend, his mother, and her sister. It was one of those serene evenings few are lucky enough to have or even enjoy during the chaotic mess that holidays typically create. For the two years prior to this latest year, my dating relationships didn't make it to Christmas. As it turns out, many studies have shown that at least two weeks before Santa makes his rounds, couples happen to cut ties and go their separate ways. The same goes for certain occasions like Valentines Day (how ironic), and even Spring when the flowers start blooming and clothing becomes an optional affair.
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While being a plus one has its' advantages, we tend to hold even tighter onto our loved ones when the last few months of the year approach. The celebratory events spur higher levels of nostalgia and romance, and in turn, an unexpected amount of high expectations. Whether you've been together for a while and are hoping that this will be the holiday when a proposal will finally arise, or you're still wavering the new stages of coupledom and are unsure of how to go about shopping for your partner, emotions run great and feverish which can cause a good or disappointing outcome. Sometimes, even a slow and steady brewing fallout finally surfaces and your relationship comes to a screeching halt and you find yourself starting over on the path to love once again before the clock strikes twelve on January 1st. I've noticed that this last year has been that exact case for more than I expected to witness (or wanted to for that matter). While being solo can be adventurous, it can also be a drag during the holidays. Every commercial revolves around a family base or a jewelry purchase for that special someone. So when you find yourself newly broken up or still in dating limbo, it feels like relationship karma just isn't on your side once again and you are ever hopeful next year may be the year it will change it all. Is it the pressure of gift giving that causes so much conflict and breaking up, or are we genetically programmed beyond our control to just call it quits at the last minute?