As the advertisements for flowers, candy, jewelry, and giant teddy bears become too numerous to count, we began to wonder about the time-honored tradition of dumping your girlfriend or boyfriend just to get out of celebrating a holiday with them. After all, why spend your hard-earned money and endure an uncomfortable evening, just to break up with them the following week?
What?! Do people do that?!
Surely you’ve heard of the Turkey Drop? That’s when kids come back home from college for Thanksgiving and break off their high-school sweetheart relationships after having been out in the big, wide world for a few months. So we started to wonder whether this “dumping” also took place before other major holidays, in particular, Valentine’s Day, as it is devoted to love and romance.
Our convenience sample (consisting of a couple of us) was split closer than Bernie and Hillary in Iowa, so we turned to Google Consumer Surveys to find out. We asked:
Have you ever broken off a relationship before a holiday in order not to spend the holiday with that person?
No, that’s terrible
No, but it might be a good idea
Yes, New Year’s Eve
Yes, Valentine’s Day
Yes, some other holiday
Apparently, this is not the widespread phenomenon we thought, as only 12% had done this (or at least admitted to having done this.) And, unfortunately, we may have planted the seed for ruined holidays into some of our respondents, as 18% said that breaking up before a holiday might be a good idea.
And, you’re most likely to get dumped on some holiday other than Valentine’s Day, Christmas or New Years, when one-third of our dumpers indicated they had done the dastardly deed. (Does this lend some credence to the Turkey Drop theory noted above?) But in terms of the big three holidays, you are just as likely to be dumped on Valentine’s and Christmas (25% of dumping) and less likely to be dumped on New Year’s Eve (only 17% of dumping.) It may be the expectations for a romantic or costly gift that is making Christmas and Valentine’s more popular dump days.
So who are these heartless people?
Dumpers are more likely to be male than female (15% vs. 10%), although dumping is performed by both genders. Regarding age, apparently dumping is bimodal, with more of the very youngest respondents (18 – 24) and more of the oldest respondents (55 – 65 and over 65) saying they have never broken someone’s heart before a holiday.
And in terms of geography, it seems that you have a higher chance of having your heart broken if you live in the Western U.S. than in other regions.
Well, now you know, and you can prepare yourself accordingly. And never let it be said that Infosurv didn’t warn you!
Happy Valentine’s Day from Everyone at Infosurv! (We hope!)