Why the Holidays Are a True Test of Your Relationship

Philip von Hahn, a 30-year-old tech investor on the Upper East Side, attended a holiday party on Sunday night to take his mind off the recent dissolution of his three-year relationship.

“We’ve been weighing it for the past few months,” Mr. von Hahn said of the decision to end things. The holidays, however, added a sense of urgency, as he and his ex-girlfriend weren’t able to agree on who would visit whose family for Christmas, or if they even wanted to spend this time of year with each other again.

Although fall and winter have affectionately become known as “cuffing season” in recent years — a period where couples stay indoors, cuffed together throughout the cold months — they can also be a fraught time that puts pressures on newer relationships.

A small infraction like not buying a thoughtful Christmas gift or being reluctant to visit your partner’s family for the holidays can be the excuse a hesitant partner was looking for to call it quits. Ghosting feels like an easy option when people can use their travel plans as an excuse to be absent, and time apart can make staying connected difficult, especially if a relationship is already on shaky ground.

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