Along with the familiar and well-loved tryptophan-induced food comas and deathly cheek pinches from Great-Aunt Lucie for which Thanksgiving break is famed comes the potential for the dreaded holiday break-up when college students dump their significant other over Thanksgiving and winter breaks.If you’re the dropper:Do make it happen early before the turkey even goes in the oven. If you’ve decided to break it off with your boo like the snapping of the turkey’s wishbone it’s probably best to do the deed early in the break before you’ve had time to start missing him or her and after you’ve had the trip home to think about it. This way you’ll have the most days off from school to adjust back to your single self before you return to the ‘Bu for finals and a barrage of questions about your break up. Also it’s just kind to allow your ex-snuggle buddy the same courtesy.
Do make it easy as pie. Keep things simple. It’s never good news when you overdrown your mashed potatoes in gravy and no one likes a disproportionate amount of crunchy French onion topping to green bean casserole. In the same way keep it short and sweet without too much of the “You’re a great girl/guy but it’s just not a good time for me” and “I’m so glad to have met you” crap. Spare me.
Don’t be the jerky ex. When you come back from break single and ready to mingle don’t play the fool and date your ex’s suitemates. Best friends are definitely off limits. Wait until all the leftovers are gone and Christmas music starts playing until you even think about thinking about changing your Facebook status to “in a relationship” with someone other than your most recent ex.
Don’t be tempted to hook up with your high school sweetheart who’s also home on break. OK be tempted. But don’t give in. Trust the relationship guru experts at the Graphic; we’ve been around the block. Nothing good can come of “watching a movie” with an old flame from home and doing the halfway-kinda-sorta “talking” thing for the five days you’ll be sleeping in your old bedroom next week. Sure it sounds fun and familiar but it’s kind of a jerk move if your ex somehow finds out about it and then for the two weeks following Thanksgiving break you’ll be texting High School Loverboy/girl and reminiscing about times gone by. It’s not worth it we promise. It’s just not worth it.If you’re the droppee:Do comfort yourself. It’s OK to be bummed. Breakups suck. Snuggle on the couch drink lots of hot apple cider whine to your BFFs from high school about how lame girls/guys are at Pepperdine start listening to Christmas music— whatever it takes to fill the hole in your heart. Take care of yourself. Then drop the moping on the way back to campus Sunday afternoon and realize how liberating it is to be free as a bird. Ponder the freedom that your Thanksgiving turkey had before it marched to the slaughter; you are now the pre-slaughter turkey with full reign of the roost. (Your recently ended relationship is “the slaughter” in this convoluted Thanksgiving dating metaphor just for clarification.) Single really is the way to be around finals anyway. Right? Right.
Don’t gorge yourself. Be wary of the dreaded drop when it seems there is only stuffing and pumpkin pie to comfort you. Not only will you return to campus single but you will have lost your svelte waistline to the rigors of Turkey Day turmoil. Resist the urge to pig out; taking a walk to clear your head or throwing darts at your ex’s picture are much more productive ways of dealing the holiday breakup angst than stuffing your face.
Do make good use of the family and friends around you. Chances are they’re the ones who love you most. Don’t be afraid to ask for hugs especially because they’re so much cozier when everyone has full tummies swathed in chunky fall sweaters. Just shake it off when Grandma asks if you’ve met any nice boys at school; try to ignore her disappointment when you say no. And resist calling him a low-down dirty jerk to her precious little face.
Don’t be tempted to hook up with your high school sweetheart who’s also home on break. See above.