Brace yourself people, because we’re about to announce a shocking fact: Christmas is exactly two weeks away. That’s right. There are just 14 days until you have to give your ‘hard to buy for’ partner the Christmas present you haven’t thought of yet… or maybe not. Data journalist David McCandless has put together the above infographic to demonstrate the peaks and troughs of the average relationship according to Facebook stats. The conclusion? Today doesn’t only mark the fast descent into festive cheer, it’s also the most popular day of the year to call things off with your one and only. Whether it’s down to office party mischief, trying to avoid buying presents or avoiding the ‘window of cruelty’ that surrounds the holidays, we just don’t know. What we do have is a certain amount of knowledge on how to make this day go as smoothly as possible… Carly-Ann Clements
Avoid the five worst places to break up with someone:
It’s never nice to break up with someone, but there are certain places that make that awkward ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ conversation so much worse:
The London Eye
It doesn’t matter if you’ve had the tickets booked for weeks, don’t, whatever you do, break up with your ball and chain at the top of the London Eye – the ride may not seem that long but it will feel like an eternity while locked in that pod:
Not only will you have to queue for ages but if you’re looking for a dramatic end, at least let your soon-to-be-ex actually get wet. Why not just opt for dumping them in the shower instead? Saves the humiliation of a public split and conveniently places them where they’ll be for the next three days anyway:
St Paul’s Whispering Gallery
Actually any quiet, popular tourist destination is a real no no. At worst, a coach load of strangers will witness your ex’s demise from being a functioning member of society to a blubbering, shrieking mess.
Best scenario? A mild, petty argument for all to hear:
‘I’m never watching ‘Forbrydelsen’ again.’
‘You said you liked ‘The Killing’.’
If you do get stuck here however, convince them to sit far away, whisper ‘you’re dumped’ and exit with a head start.
Costa, Starbucks, Caffe Nero or Coffee Republic (especially Coffee Republic)
A panini won’t cure a broken heart and neither will whipped cream, it’ll just make you look a bit cheap. But if you must (ie. you’ve prematurely changed your status to ‘single’ while ordering a cappuccino), play this video on your smart phone. It claims to ‘leave your ex feeling empowered and independent and, therefore, less likely to interfere with your new sexual freedom.’ Handy!
A cooking class
If you’re the cook in the relationship, taking them to a cooking class to make sure they can look after themselves after the break up may seem like a really nice idea. However, in reality they’ll just have access to some really sharp knives and the newly found knowledge on how to use them – stay well clear!
Good places to break up with your partner:
Though we don’t condone a selfish break up before Christmas, if it has to be done there are some great spots in London where it’ll be easier to dish the bad news:
Surrounded by some of London’s more colourful (and loud) characters may not seem ideal, but when you think about it, the inevitable screams of abuse you will receive will be hidden by the declarations from the second coming of Jesus and they might actually find comfort in religion.
Hackney City Farm
You know that visit you’ve been planning since you got together but never actually went on? Well, today’s the day. No one can be sad while petting animals.
They’ll be so distracted they’ll just go along with anything you say. Perfect.
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
While on the subject of animals, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is perfect. Pick out your replacement and let your ex shove all their misplaced love onto their newly adopted pet.
Though they really shouldn’t replace every aspect of your relationship, that’s just weird:
You Me Bum Bum Train or any immersive theatre
The mass confusion of reality and uncertainty of who is actually acting will lessen the blow and allow them to get used to the idea before you part ways at the end of the night.
Up at the O2
If you’re worried that your partner will have the urge to throw themselves off a building after you give them the bad news, then why not head to the O2, get strapped in and tell them at the top of the dome. If they do launch themselves off the side, they’ll get the impulse out of their system but will be harnessed in and out of harm’s way – job done!
How to avoid a break up
If you’re anticipating a break up today, here are some great ways to avoid the split:
Surprise them with a visit from their mum
No child wants to seem heartless to their mum, especially around Christmas, so invite dear old mummy over for dinner and insist she stay the night. By the time morning comes, it’ll be too close to Christmas and your relationship will be saved.
Organise a Christmas party for them and all their friends
What a nice gesture? Not really. Send them to a really dodgy club and surprise them with a phone book stripper called ‘Glenda’ for the boys or ‘Basil’ for the girls and wait for them to come running home.
Just say ‘no’
The simplest way to avoid today’s break up is to just say ‘no’. A breakup can only happen if you accept it so don’t accept the rejection, just like Maura in ‘Seinfield’.
If all else fails, show them this video
It’ll either make you seem really sane or serve as a warning… either way, your partner will be staying put.
And if you do break up, it’s not the end of the world
You can do better than them anyway:
And even if they move on:
They’ll soon realise the error of their ways:
Good luck out there. Take care of yourselves and each other on this difficult day.