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December Dating Trends

By Erika Ettin Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Dating coach Erika Ettin warns that the period that runs from Thanksgiving up until Christmas is actually a popular time for break-ups. #TurkeyDrop?

Tribune News Service

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us (is it possible that I'm still full?) and radios are playing Christmas music as if it's the only station in existence, it's time to think about this time of year when it comes to your dating life. In other words, has the "turkey drop" led to the Christmas jitters? What is this so-called "turkey drop" anyway?

While not the most reputable source, sometimes Urban Dictionary says it best: "Turkey dropping occurs in adult life where if you're not in a great situation at Thanksgiving then you better get out then. If not, then you run into the problem of being a cad for dumping someone around Christmas, New Years, and Valentine's day. And heaven forbid they have a birthday November-February too."

While it's definitely not the most tactful (or grammatically correct) way of putting it, the gist of it is that breakups sometimes happen between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and someone decided to name it. (That someone was Zbreedbz 10 years ago, or at least that's who defined it on Urban Dictionary!)

This is likely due to the fact that, around this time of year, people often become reflective, and question their current relationship and its longevity.

In fact, two data researchers, David McCandless and Lee Byron, charted the most frequent times of year that relationships end using Facebook status updates and found two peak times: one in March and one in the run-up to Christmas.

As for March, your guess is as good as mine! If you, unfortunately, find yourself the victim of "The Drop," while it's obviously going to be a more difficult holiday season, try to take a moment to remember all the good things about being single and to use your time wisely ... on you!

1. Be thankful We often overlook those most important to us, so now's the time to take notice and devote some time and energy to those in your support system who have been, and will be, by your side during this time. Be thankful for the gifts you have, not the people who don't realize how great you are.

2. Be social Getting yourself out there is always a better choice than unproductively sitting at home sulking. (Though, of course, feel your feelings.) As someone once told me, when times get rough, you have a choice: let the wave knock you over or ride the wave. I recommend doing the latter. (Though, I know as well as the next person that sometimes you just need to stay home with your two favorite men, Ben and Jerry.)

3. Be a mover (and a shaker) Whether it's taking your dog for a jog, hitting the treadmill at the gym, or playing a friendly game of ping pong, when you do something active, it puts things in perspective and takes the edge off. Exercise gets those endorphins going and your mood in check. The health benefits for your mind and body are endless.

4. Be a good dater. Only after you've had some real time to heal (very important and too often ignored), join an online dating site or app. It will open you up to a world of new possibilities for the remainder of this year and into next. As we enter the holiday season, remember to put things in perspective. If the turkey did, in fact, drop, then try to take the time to revel in your new lease on love and life. ___ (Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps others navigate the often intimidating world of online dating.) ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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