Question: I’ve been dating someone for almost eight months, but the last few months have been difficult. We have very different priorities. She is quite materialistic and I would describe myself as a minimalist. I don’t need any more ‘things’.
I’ve been thinking about breaking it for a while but the festive season is definitely full of complications. She is hinting at expensive gifts she wants me to give her and I have no intention of buying.
She has expectations that I can’t meet and I’m dreading the next few weeks, especially since I have to see her family. I was thinking of telling her how I feel but is it wrong to break up with someone just before Christmas?
Answer: You seem to have decided on the future of this relationship. You’ve realized your values aren’t compatible and you’re not willing to compromise on bigger issues.
From your point of view, the relationship is over. The question is whether there’s a “right time” to start a conversation, and if there’s any point in waiting until after the holiday season to express the apprehension your girlfriend may have started. .
Let’s be honest, your main concern revolves around being ‘the guy who broke up with someone just before Christmas’. But as psychotherapist Amy Plant in Dublin notes, if you leave it until a few weeks after Christmas, you become ‘the guy who broke up with someone right after meeting her family’. Leave it on for a few months and you become ‘somebody’s strap guy’.
With a few exceptions – birthdays, Valentine’s Day, etc. – there’s never really a good time to break up with someone, and there’s rarely a reason to delay the inevitable. .
“It looks like this person knows what he wants to do, but he’s just messing around with the timing of the problem,” Plant said. “And I’ve always been of the opinion that if you know you don’t want to be with someone, the sooner you give up, the better. There’s no point in wasting your and others’ time by devoting resources to a relationship that’s going nowhere or giving someone false hope.
“Will you be the bad guy in the story? Maybe. Is this person sad? Of course. Will her family have their opinion on it? They can do.
“Sometimes you’re going to be the bad guy in someone’s story no matter what, so you can sit with that.”
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Plant also encourages you to really think about your other options and how they might work. “The alternative is to spend Christmas with the excuse that everything is fine, which brings up its own set of problems… You probably won’t spend money on gifts she likes and that will suggest have a conversation, or perhaps you will try to avoid the conversation but end up cracking under the pressure.”
Dating coach Frances Kelleher agrees. “If there are red marks, you can’t ignore them,” she said. “A lot of people do it and then look back when it’s turned off and say to themselves, ‘Why didn’t I turn it off years before I saw the signs in the first place?’.
“The longer it goes on, the harder it is for everyone. Regrets about lost time is much harder than doing what should be done when it should be done.”
However, she wonders if there might be an opportunity to communicate your values before you give it up. “You need to go to her and express how you feel. She may not know she’s in a situation like this and could be very happy with a simple gift, but you’ll never know if you don’t say how you feel. Give her a chance if you like her, because girls are generally more materialistic than boys anyway. If you feel that her values are too different from yours, then at least you can say that you tried but you are too different. Then you can continue without regrets.
Dating coach Lisa de Jong also encourages you to have an honest conversation about your “needs, differences, and interests.”
“The best relationships are those built on honesty, intimacy, and vulnerability,” she says. “It might be worth thinking about why you stay with your partner until the pressures of Christmas kick in.
“If there is a way to meet in between and relieve the pressure, you may feel more comfortable, or it may help you decide whether to stay or leave.”
There is also an opportunity to learn from this experience. De Jong wonders if you’ve heard of Gary Chapman Five love languages? “It is a useful tool for understanding ourselves and others in romantic relationships by how we express and receive love and appreciation,” she explains.
“Your partner’s love language can be giving and receiving gifts. That’s her way of showing love. Yours will be something else, such as quality time, affirmations, or physical contact.
“Understanding our own and our partner’s love language can really help communicate our needs and preferences, and help us empathize with our differences.”
If you decide to leave, it’s never a good time to do so, she insisted. “But once you talk openly with her, you can tell that you made that decision honestly.”
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https://www.independent.ie/style/sex-relationships/modern-morals-i-want-to-dump-my-girlfriend-but-is-it-wrong-to-break-up-with-someone-before-christmas-especially-if-im-supposed-to-meet-her-family-42222932.html Modern Ethics: I want to break up with my girlfriend – but is it wrong to break up with someone before Christmas, especially if I have to see her family?