Post-Holiday Breakups – what is it with the Holidays?!

Seems like more than just a few of my friends are going through break ups right after the holiday season. And while I’m not surprised by the disintegration of the shorter termed relationships (6 weeks, 3 months), I am surprised by the longer termed relationships (3+ years).

What is it about the holidays that cause relationships to dissolve? Post-holiday depression? Failed trial run with families?

Two factors may increase the likelihood of break ups to occur right after the holidays. The first being Proximity with Family. Holidays (especially year-end holidays) are often when people spend quality time with families in close quarters. And if you’re in a serious relationship, you’re most likely going to spend some or all of the holidays with each other’s families. So perhaps by spending extended time with one another’s families suddenly shines the spotlight how you don’t actually get a long that well with the potential in-laws, or how you simply don’t fit in with their family’s crazy styles or traditions. Whatever reason, spending long periods of time with your significant other’s family may either highlight how well you fit in… or the exact opposite. And with New Year’s right around the corner, there can also be some re-evaluation of life and relationships, trying to re-center ourselves, prioritize the people and things in our lives and figuring out where our life is headed next.

The second factor may be the “no break-up time frame”. For optimal break-up timing, there seems to be an unspoken rule to avoid the holidays. But that doesn’t just mean “Don’t break up on Thanksgiving or Christmas or New Year’s Day” – there seems to be some buffer time that encases these holidays. Some say that the start time of the “no break-up time” is November 1st. Why so early? Because that is usually the beginning of Thanksgiving holiday plans with the family.

So what about after Thanksgiving but before Christmas? Apparently, that is also a no-go. Time between Thanksgiving and Christmas ranges between 3 to 4 weeks, and usually the time in between the two holidays are also hyped with “seasonal greetings” and “festive cheer”. In addition, no one wants to be the reason for ruining their significant other’s Christmas holiday.

And what about the time between Christmas to New Years? Now we all know that it’s only a 1 week opening, and once again, half of the American families are still on holiday / break and trying out their new Christmas gifts… so one can’t exactly break up right after Christmas, because we are still in the midst of celebrating the holidays. In addition, who wants to potentially ruin the upcoming New Year’s Eve party (who wants to be crying over champagne while counting down)?

Now how long does the no-break-up timeframe extend to after New Year’s? For good measure, perhaps 1-2 weeks. But beware, because you can’t wait too long, because the next landmine that awaits is VALENTINE’S DAY that is quickly approaching on Feb 14th. So if you’re looking to break up with someone, you’ve been benched since November 1st, till say Jan 5-10th. And, to make matters worse, you have a deadline quickly approaching, which is to do it early enough to not be a jerk and “break up right before Valentine’s Day”. So you have break up after beginning of January but complete the goal before the end of January. So we’re looking at a no-break-up time frame of Nov 1 thru Jan 10th, and a safe break-up time frame between Jan 11th thru Jan 31st.

If all 365 days have equal probability of breaking up, and that for about 70 days surrounding the year-end holidays (before Thanksgiving to after New Years) there is a no-breakup time frame, and in addition, add a deadline of the fast approaching Valentine’s Day, then perhaps it is not so strange that so many couple break up post-holidays. And that it’s not an anomaly or anything that the holidays caused… But perhaps the relationship would have been broken off earlier, had it not been for the holidays. But due to the “holidays” (aka 70 no-breakup zone), break ups that were about to happen were delayed and accumulated to happen all at once AFTER the holidays (more accurately, 1-2 weeks after New Years). So perhaps it feels more frequent than usual… due to all the delayed break ups building up over the holidays.

Schematic of break up buildups from Nov and Dec and beginning of Jan, all happening at mid-end of January, to avoid Feb (Valentine's Day)

Schematic of break up buildups from Nov and Dec and beginning of Jan, all happening at mid-end of January, to avoid Feb (Valentine’s Day)

So the question remains – while some significant others will honor the “no break up” time frame, is that something you would want? Would you want your significant other to delay the break up till after the multi-holiday season to call it quits? Or would you rather they be upfront with you and discuss the break up with you as soon as they made up their minds, regardless of holiday seasons and vacation plans?

And if you were the one breaking up, would you honor the 70-day no break up time frame, due to all the holidays? Because you don’t want to ruin their holiday cheer with ugly news. Or would you break up when the time comes, no matter if it’s in between the holidays, because you’d rather be honest and upfront about the relationship, rather than keeping up the front of “pretending” to be together, but your heart has already moved on?

Now we said two potential factors upfront, but could there be a third factor to why break ups are more frequent in the beginning of the year – January? Could it be that people meet new people over NYE parties? Now that’s for another post…

We can be set FREE from our brokenness, for $19.99!

JK, it’s actually for free… not some Jenny Craig Program for the heart or something…

Last week, my women’s Bible study group was studying about brokenness. And as I was one of the youngest in the group, I didn’t feel like I had much life experience to share. People shared about broken relationships with spouses and family members and parents. People shared about death and mental disorders and other severe chronic ailments…

Mine? A breakup… sounds quite silly and young… actually. Continue reading

Valentine’s Day… WHAT? Single Valentine’s Day = Wonderful!

So… Now I’m married, I’m wondering if I really have to celebrate this valentine’s day thing… since we married, doesn’t that show ultimately that we love one another? Enough to take the vow… “till DEATH do us part”?

Now I don’t mind if buying a Valentine’s Day gift for a guy means flowers and a teddy bear plus some chocolates… except not.

Continue reading

Why do guys like long hair?

There is something about the long hair on a woman that men love… and can’t stop loving.

Sure, the occasional celebrity scores a bob or an above the shoulder cut and still is deemed hot, if not even hotter (re: Charlize Theron, Uma Thurman, Katie Holmes).

But for us “common folk”, it seems like long hair is the way to go, and short hair is the way to lose a guy. (I’m talking the 85%… Gals with stunning bobs no need to be offended and can stop reading here if need be…)

So why is it that guys like long hair more than short hair? And it’s not even just long hair in a bun or ponytail… it’s long hair let down… That’s right. All that hair, untied, not pulled back, blowing in the wind, getting in our faces and having strands stick out centrifugally from our faces… You can’t even hardcore hairspray that “let your hair all down” look… since it needs to “sway” and “blow” and “move” naturally. And of course… the hair flip…

So why long hair, and especially the all let down look? Here are a few reasons I’ve heard.

1. So it doesn’t feel like I’m dating a dude.

My rebuttal: what?!?!?! Does my FACE look like a dude’s? Or that mascara that I use? Or the lips that I have? Hello!! And besides, just because a woman gets a short hairdo, her haircut is usually different than that of a dude’s. Does Katie Holmes haircut look like Brad Pitt’s? Didn’t think so. (Although I can think of many men (read: Justin Beiber?) that have haircuts like Katie Holmes… just sayin…)

2. I can’t play with her hair.

My rebuttal: Aw.. how sweet. Um, we’re not in 2nd grade here. If you’re talking about braiding our hair, that’s just creepy. If you’re talking about pushing the hair out of our eyes, or maybe tucking that lose strand of hair behind our ears… we’re not BALD, we just have shorter hair! And we have bangs, so you can push that hair and tuck that strand. You say, so I can run my fingers through her hair! Ok, we girls “run our fingers through YOUR hair” as well… and sometimes all you give us is a buzzed army cut! but We make due!

3. It just looks more feminine.

My rebuttal: Ok, while I can pull up many many examples on google images showing women that look much more feminine and sophisticated with their short hair looks, I can understand this misunderstanding. Long hair is the thing that many men think differentiate the male to the female (nevermind the lumps on our chest or our softer skin or our different facial features, lack of the adam’s apple, softer/higher voices, etc etc). But truth be told, many women look childish and young with long hair, and especially when it’s all let down, the hair looks messy, she looks unenergetic, unprofessional, etc etc. So the short hair helps some women with looking more sophisticated, and some to look more professional (so they’re taken more seriously at work in a man’s world… read: irony).

4. But the long hair can’t be too long.

My alarming shock: WHAT?! How demanding can you men be regarding our personal head of hair?! You want it to be long, but not too long. So it needs to be past the shoulders (at least), best if it’s a few inches past. But it definitely should not be long to the butt (or even touch the top of the lower back). You guys are crazy. So too long looks childish and unsexy to the men. Interesting. And too short also looks unattractive. So really… you men like: middle ranged hair.

 

Well, I’ve had long hair (never had the patience to go past the lower back), and short hair (bob style! yay!). I’ve had that middle neck /on the shoulder length. And also had it straight and curled. I honestly think that though men have a “preference” (albeit odd but the majority), I will say that a women’s attractiveness is not all in her hair. So whether you have long hair or short hair, a real man who is really worth your time will see that you’re beautiful as you are and see you as a person worth getting to know. Not write you off because your hair is a few millimeters off his range standard.

And so should you keep your long hair and resist that urge to try out that stylish bob (like on Katie Holmes)? Or should you resist that urge to trim your hair because now you want to grow it out?

Nope. I think you should do what you want with your hair. Try out that bob or keep your short hair. If you love the way you look, people can see that. And I promise you, that’s way more attractive and alluring than the “long, let your hair down, hair flip, flip flip flip” look.

Latest technology: Guys, it’s obsolete to wait, texting on the same night is the new trend

So we’ve all heard and used the strategy of waiting 1, 3 or 5 days before calling a girl (or guy) after a good date or after exchanging contact info them.

However, I’ve just received new intel saying that the above strategy is obsolete and the latest technology is to text on the same day/night.

Wait, really?

Yes, they answer, so you can capitalize on momentum right after you met them; you want to contact that them while they’re still thinking about you and when you’re fresh on their minds.

“But doesn’t that seem a bit desperate? And I thought guys and girls nowadays loved playing this ‘game’?” I asked. Remembering watch some TV shows or movies, when guys give other guys advice on NOT calling the girl immediately. And same thing with girls, her friends are telling him not to call him until he calls, and if he doesn’t call to wait up to 3 days before calling back? What happened to all these waiting days?

Their answer: “Back in the day, without text messages (or perhaps it was less popular and widespread), making a phone call to a guy/girl the same night or immediately the next day was too aggressive. And such a aggressive move may scare off the ‘target; as coming off too strong and forceful. So back then, we would advise each other to wait a few days. But now, texting is available! We’re not telling people to call that night or the next day. We’re just saying, ‘Send a text.'”

“Now, texting IS an option. Texting is now a great in-between method to stay in contact but not scare off your ‘target’. A phone call is too much, but just having no contact (silence) is also too little. Texting is the perfect option, and it should be used immediately after to jump on the momentum and the fresh image.”

At this point in the conversation, the usage of the word “target” was so disturbing to me, that I switched topics…

The Gentleman is a dying breed

My friend just came out of a date… a first date…

“How was it?” I asked.

“The conversation was good, everything was fine. Until when the bill came… And then he put down cash… for his portion of the bill,” she answered.

“What?! Didn’t you guys just go for happy hour?” I asked.

“Yah, I’m not really sure what happened. Maybe I did something wrong?” she mumbles.

“Whatever, go get dinner, you must be starving, he didn’t even feed you. Go eat. I’m sorry, I can see why you’re disappointed and a bit confused.”

My friend started wondering if perhaps the conversation went bad, or if she said something wrong. No, girl, it’s not your fault, you didn’t do anything wrong.
My friend was so caught off guard that she just quickly pulled out her credit card to pay for the rest of the bill. After this whole chaos, the guy actually texts her telling her he wants to hang out again, etc etc, and calling her “hot” which she sees more as a trashy term than a compliment. And no, she hasn’t responded yet.  (Good going, girl!)

When I took this call, I was in mid-call with my fiance. And when I told him about this date, he just said one word… repeatedly, “Douche.”

I understand that there is this controversy about who pays… but around here, in a city, when you’re a young professional in their late 20s to 40s, usually, on the first date (at least), the guy picks up the bill. It doesn’t have to be dinner, it doesn’t have to be the most expensive restaurant, but to put down cash only for yourself is truly an awkward, rude and confusing gesture.

Ok, maybe you realized you’re not interested anymore, maybe she burped in front of you or picked her teeth/nose… regardless… Be a MAN and pay for the lady that YOU asked out. YOU chose the time, place and date. You were the one who determined the budget for this meal.

You know this whole situation is just a series of terrible moves when another man upon hearing this laments, “The gentleman is a dying breed.”

Marriage is like Tennis!

This weekend, my fiance and I went back to Pittsburgh to visit some of my college friends, college advisors and past professors.

We stayed with my church college advisors for the weekend. They are a couple in their 40s with 3 teenage daughters. They were my mentors and teachers throughout college, and continue to pray for me after I moved away after college.

The couple challenged us to a game of friendly tennis. The husband, being very good at tennis, gave my fiance and I both a quick tennis lesson (free!!) before we started playing.

When the game started, I started moving closer and closer to the mid-line… The husband laughingly shouts over, “Hey! Move back on your side! Tennis is like marriage! You gotta let him hit his side! Stop hogging the court!”

I didn’t realize that I had started to move toward the mid-line. Me, being not too awesome in tennis-doubles, only focuses my eyes on the ball, and forget where I’m standing…

I realize how interesting and accurate this comment is! Both Brian and I are very capable people, living our single lives happily and successfully. Suddenly, we are starting a life together. Same about of chores, but two people, should be great, right? Except we start needing to compromise and letting the other person do their routine/chore/job peacefully, instead of periodically interjecting our comment and suggestion. Or better yet, “Here, just let me do it.”

Just like how we share a court in tennis, and I need to respect my tennis partner’s side of the court… and the balls that come in his direction and are his to hit… In marriage, I need to respect my husband’s role, and his responsibilities, I need to refrain from trying to make decisions for him, to try to take over his role and responsibilities.

But… in tennis… I still have the tendency to cross the midline and try to take over his side of the hits!! hahhaha~ I guess that’s why both doubles tennis and marriage take time and practice…