Holiday Hookups

Holiday Hookups

By Cynthia Retamozo

Across campus, students anticipate the moment they can walk out of their last class or exam; this moment marks the beginning of the holiday break at Northeastern. This break entails going home, celebrating the season, being with family, hanging out with old friends and … hooking up?

According to CBS News online article, the “mushiness” surrounding the holiday season – with chestnuts roasting on an open fire under a hanging piece of mistletoe – creates romantic feelings among teenagers and college-aged students everywhere.

While some students do not experience this holiday season romance, most are exposed to it in one way or another.

“For me, the holidays are a wholesome and family-oriented time,” said middler architecture major Mike Griffin. “So hooking up doesn’t really enter my mind.”

Freshman behavioral neuroscience major Natalia Diaz said she agrees with the family aspect, but feels there is extra pressure during the holidays to have a significant other.

“Today’s culture pressures you to be with someone, especially during the holidays,” she said. “There’s the whole kissing under the mistletoe thing during Christmas and kissing someone at midnight on New Year’s embedded in our culture.”

While some chose to note participate in this phenomenon of holiday romances, others merely take not of it.

Sophomore criminal justice major Dan Trovillion said he has never faced the issue because his girlfriend of three years not only goes to Northeastern, but is from his hometown as well. However, he said he has seen many of his friends in that situation.

“There are about 30 of us that are really close at home,” he said. “I have seen some of them go through getting back together with someone, trying to avoid an ex and coping with missing their college boyfriends or girlfriends during the holidays.”

However, Trovillion said he has seen the holiday romance affect not only couples, but friendships as well.

“I don’t know if it has to do with the fact of how close we all are or that there are just so many of us that are so close or that people feel especially lonely during the holidays, but whenever we are all home on break, my friends are just always hooking up with each other. In fact, we almost always make bets at the beginning of the break who will hook up with who,” he said.

Trovillion said that all the hook ups can sometimes lead to controversy between friends, “especially when people start to hook up with friends’ exes.” Everyone is usually able to walk away just as good friends, “and usually nothing more,” as when the break started.

“The holidays are a great time to spend with the one you love,” he said. “If the one you love at the time turns out to be your close friend, then hey, so be it.”

Some students succumb to this pressure and reunite with their past loves, while others withstand the pressure and pass on seasonal romance.

For freshman business major Ryan Carroll, going to college meant having new experiences, which he wanted both himself and his girlfriend, who goes to the University of Albany. They agreed to separate, but after just a few short months, Carroll decided he wanted to stay with her and plans to get back together this break.

“We’re going to spend New Year’s Eve in Montreal, Canada,” he said. “We just want to spend as much time as we can together.”

However, not everyone who separated from their significant other gets back together for the holidays.

“My ex-boyfriend graduated from high school a year before I did,” Diaz said. “He broke it off right before he left for college, and then in December of his freshman year he wanted to get back together, but I said no.”

Others must confront their old flames with the sometimes uncomfortable reality of having a new significant other.

Freshman computer science major John Myer and freshman undecided major Heather Paratore began dating shortly after arriving at Northeastern. Both of them had just ended long-term high school relationships.

For Myer, he and his ex-girlfriend, Tyffany, were together for five years before he broke it off because “it was just not working out.” Myer said although he had moved on, she had not, as she frequently called and sent him text messages. Because of this, Myer felt it would be better not to tell her directly about Paratore, although she is aware.

“Facebook will tell you everything,” he said.

As for Paratore, she and her ex-boyfriend Mike dated for two years before she broke it off. She said the main reason was distance – they were eight hours apart – but also because she was meeting new people. Paratore said if it weren’t for distance however, they probably would still be together.

With long relationships in their past, the two are sure they will encounter their exes over the season, as they haven’t severed all ties with them.

“I’m close to his family,” Paratore said. “I’m most likely going to see him. But we’re both seeing other people, so we’re not getting back together.”

Myers’ situation is very much the same, he said.

“I’m not sure what she’s going to do,” he said, referring to how his ex frequently tries to contact him. “We’re most likely going to see each other, but I just want to stay friends.”

Although both emphasized the inevitability of the encounters, they said even amidst the overhead pressure of mistletoe and New Year’s celebrations, the two will remain faithful and resist the temptation of the holiday hookup. But the two said they still wish they lived near one another so they could spend the holidays together.

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