By far, my favorite episode of How I Met Your Mother is the one where Ted reunites with Natalie, a girl he had dated in the past and unknowingly dumped on her birthday. Over her answering machine. In a room full of people who were waiting to surprise her. I mean, it's bad enough to break up with someone on a holiday but it's 10 times worse when that holiday is their birthday, right?
Hopeless (and clueless) romantic that he is, Ted decides to track her down three years later and beg her for another chance, only to break up with her three weeks later... again, on her birthday. He explains to her that he thinks this is the mature thing to do since she's just not the one for him. If this sounds absolutely gut-wrenching to sit through, it's because it was. It doesn't matter that his heart was in the right place; it was a selfish move and I don't think I'll ever forgive him for it. And he wasn't even my boyfriend!
Everyone knows when it comes to ranking the worst holidays to break up with someone on, birthdays come first. Here's a full list of holidays you might consider pulling a Ted Mosby on because, honestly, there's no good time to tell someone you're over it. Let's start with the least devastating holidays and work our way up, shall we?
8. St. Patrick's Day
Chances are everyone in your friend group is just as wasted as you are so no one (including you and your partner) will even remember the breakup, which is perfect. No drama, just drinks specials. The dumper will probably be acting out of liquid courage provided by whichever Irish stout is covered under happy hour and the dumpee gets to drown their sorrows in a crowded bar full of party-goers. It's a win-win, really.
7. The 4th Of July
If this were a list ranking the best holidays to break up on, I'd probably say the 4th of July would definitely be in the top three. There's no real personal attachment to this holiday and the timing is kind of ideal. Summer flings aren't just a plot device in those teen romance novels you used to be obsessed with; they're an actual thing. And I, for one, am here for poolside meet-cutes with cabana boys in tropical locations.
OK, now we're getting into the danger zone. I'd like to go on record and say that breaking up with someone any time between November and February is a bold move. It's called cuffing season for a reason! Thanksgiving breakups are especially awkward because of all the family obligations and travel plans involved.
Chances are, you and your partner agreed to visit your families together and you've already booked your trips and told your parents to set an extra place at the table. I mean, who wants to have to explain to relatives all night long that they're attending Thanksgiving dinner alone because they got dumped approximately 5.5 hours ago? I could never be the cause of that and I certainly don't ever want to be in that position, either.
Every time I think of a winter breakup, I remember that J.Lo music video where she's walking through the snowy streets of New York City with a nose so red she could lead Santa's sleigh all by herself. Actually, if I'm being honest, I also thought of this music video the last time I was in NYC and got stood up by a guy who asked me out. It's not exactly the same thing but it still hurt.
There are some people who argue that the holidays are actually the perfect time to break up with someone but, to me, that sounds a lot like cruel and unusual punishment. Like a Thanksgiving breakup, it really complicates things, assuming you've already invited them to your office holiday party and purchased their gifts.
4. New Year's Eve
You don't break up with someone on New Year's Eve for the same reason you don't break up with them over the holidays. There's not enough time after that to find a New Year's kiss. Come on, people. Be considerate!
I'm one of those people who cares way too much about New Year's Eve and I know I'm not alone. Years of watching the ball drop in Times Square on TV when I was growing up convinced me that NYE is supposed to be glamorous and romantic. And I've convinced myself (almost regrettably) that however I start the year is a reflection of how I'll spend it, which means I really don't want to start off by lying to someone about how it's me and not them.
3. Valentine's Day
This is obvious, no? Even if you don't subscribe to this sap-fest of a holiday, you should still respect its basic premise. All I'm saying is, if you're not showing up at their door to bring them flowers and chocolates, don't show up at all.
2. Your Anniversary
The only way I can see this happening is if the person who initiates the breakup has forgotten about the anniversary and, correct me if I'm wrong, but there's no greater humiliation, is there? Wrong. Getting dumped on your anniversary by some soulless coward who can't be bothered to save one more date to their calendar is second, of course, to a birthday breakup.
1. Their Birthday
I'm looking at you, Theodore Evelyn Mosby. I equate the monsters who do this to people who don't like puppies or, worse, people who unappreciatively let you know they've already seen the hilarious meme you just thoughtfully sent them. Like, seriously? You literally couldn't wait another 24 hours? Mostly, this move irks me because it's obvious the person doing the breaking up doesn't care about the other person's feelings at all. It's unnecessarily and almost intentionally mean.
So there you have it — the definitive ranking of the worst holidays to break up with someone on. There are 365 days in the year. Any random Tuesday will do!
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