Column: Love and Things Like It

Breakup Season

By Janine Stafford, News Correspondent

As summer approaches we all feel the need to stretch our wings. Classes are ending, hemlines are rising and the freedom of summer break is only days away. But every year the change in weather ushers in another set of revisions:  breakup season.
Of course, this isn’t a meteorological term, but you might have noticed what I’m talking about. About twice a year (once as summer starts and again when it ends) all the couples you know start breaking up – no real reasons, they’re just “in different places” or “taking some time apart.” Out of the five couples that I’m closest to, four of them have called it quits within the last two weeks.
They were all very similar on paper:  Most had been together for a few months or so, none over a year, but one twosome I know particularly sticks out as the quintessential breakup season couple. They started hanging out between Thanksgiving and Christmas, celebrated New Years together and made Valentine’s plans. They showed up to parties together, never argued in public and looked so happy it made even a cynic like me want a relationship to mirror theirs. Then all of a sudden, without warning, they both texted me one day to say it’s over. Neither seems too upset about the breakup. They both just want to soak up the sun in the daytime and throw back the booze at night. And that’s pretty much been the case for all the others.
And I get it – there is something infectious in the air, something no one can resist, the temptation of summer flings and independence that just doesn’t exist for singles in the winter. Even someone like me, who has been unattached for over a year, can admit:  There is something more appealing about being single in the summer. Everyone comes out of hibernation, in a great mood, glowing from days spent in the sun. In the cold months all any of us want to do is order in and cuddle on the couch. But when that need is filled, it’s time to dump the one who’s seen us in our sweatpants shoving fried rice in our face, grab a bikini and move on to the next (and the next and the next).
But why? Why invest time in a relationship just to then, so willingly, throw it away? I’m not here to judge. In fact, my last relationship ended during one of these seasons, and part of it may have been from wanting a summer of freedom and fun. But looking back, it seems silly. The relationship was more than two years in the making, and to end it so frivolously in some way seems to cheapen the whole thing.
If you don’t want to build a relationship with someone, you don’t have to. Like I’ve been saying in many of my columns this semester:  It’s okay to be happy being single. I’m not saying being committed is a bad thing, but it’s not necessary. Try being single in the winter, it’s just as easy to have a winter fling as it is to have a summer one. Or stick it out for the summer in a committed relationship with someone special – it could be more fun than you think. Either way, seasons shouldn’t dictate relationship status, so do yourself a favor and break it off with break up season altogether.

– Janine Stafford,
News Correspondent

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