Just in case you thought you were guaranteed a kiss with your partner under the mistletoe, you might just want to put the smugness on ice until next Monday.
The annual busiest day for couples splitting in the UK is Sunday 11 December, so we strongly recommend saving any arguments you were mulling over until another date.
Digital statisticians (who seem as interested in other people’s relationship drama as we are) looked at data from Facebook, analysing thousands of messages looking for signs of a break up.
From their investigations they deduced that the peak partner-chucking periods around the holidays fall a nice two weeks before Christmas day.
Definitely nothing to do with the fact they haven’t bought you a present yet.
Not only that, but the research also revealed that we are all total cowards who are easily distracted by turkey and presents, because splits drop to their lowest on 25 December.
Sex and relationship expert Tracey Cox told The Huffington Post UK: “The answer is simple. Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and New Year’s Eve force us to think about where our lives are going - and where we’ve been. Clever people appraise their progress constantly, others go through life on autopilot, For people like this, significant dates are a wake up call.”
“It’s the equivalent of someone screaming at them through a loudspeaker: ‘For god’s sake. You’ve been unhappy for ages. Do something about it!’”
A similar phenomenon also occurs in the USA, a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, another holiday that requires presents, pressure and meeting of the parents.