‘It’s a perfect storm’ – why is tomorrow the most popular day for breakups?

The build-up to Christmas creates the "perfect storm" for breakups.
Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

14.16 10 Dec 2023

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‘It’s a perfect storm’ – why i...

‘It’s a perfect storm’ – why is tomorrow the most popular day for breakups?

Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

14.16 10 Dec 2023

Share this article

The most popular day of the year for relationships to end is just around the corner.

December 11 was discovered by Facebook in 2008 to be the most popular day of the year for breakups.

The social media site made the realisation by analysing when users changed their relationship status to single.


On The Anton Savage Show today, a leading dating expert said the build-up to Christmas creates the “perfect storm” for couples to call it quits on their time together.

Intro Matchmaking’s Feargal Harrington said it would be too risky to breakup with someone any further into the month.

“Around the 11th, it's justifiable for Johnny to breakup with Mary in the approach to Christmas. But if he does it on the 21st or 22nd, that’s just him being a not-very-good person,” he said.

Mr Harrington said couples come under a lot of pressure to tie the knot this time of year.

“If you’re spending the Christmas with her family or his family, it adds extra pressure,” he said.

“There’s only so many times you can hear from aunty Bridie ‘What about the ring, where’s the ring Johnny?’

“Then Johnny’s thinking ‘Jesus, I can’t take that, I need to get out of it now.’”

New Year

The beginning of a new calendar year can also make people think twice about their relationships, according to Mr Harrington.

“Over the Christmas period there are so many people thinking ‘I’m taking stock now, this year I accomplished this but I didn’t get that done,’” he said.

“They’re thinking ‘New year, new me.’ It’s when we all take a look at our lives and see am I where I want to be.

“Some of them are quite often not where they want to be, they’re in this relationship that’s okay but this person is not the end goal for them so they end up breaking up.”

Peter Pan Syndrome

Mr Harrington said the main reason men end relationships is down to what he called “Peter Pan Syndrome”.

“It’s a phobia of commitment, they don’t actually want to settle down and grow up,” he said.

“It’s the fear of decision-making, it’s not being able to plan ahead. Women are fantastic at planning ahead.

“Guys just float around in an arrogant sort of way thinking ‘I don’t need to make a decision now; I can have kids whenever I want.’”

Mammies’ boys

Women typically end a relationship to get away from “mammies’ boys,” according to Mr Harrington.

“Boys who are spoilt rotten by mammy who makes a great roast on a Sunday and he’s almost looking for a replacement mammy,” he said.

“Sometimes he might still even call his mother mammy and that gives the women an awful lot of an ick feeling.”

Mr Harrington added face-to-face breakups were most common, rather than the unsavoury breakup over text.

Listen back now:

Main Image: A couple having an argument. Picture by: Wavebreak Media ltd / Alamy Stock Photo.

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