Were You Turkey Dropped This Weekend?

If your relationship ended over the long Thanksgiving weekend, you’re not alone. The Thanksgiving breakup is such a common phenomenon it even has a name: the turkey drop. Carly MacLeod, a junior at Washington University and the “romance columnist” at the student paper, tells NPR that turkey drops are often the result of long-distance college relationships reaching a boiling point during freshmen’s first real vacation home after leaving for school. She explains that after three months of living apart, making new friends, creating new lives, and stressing over upcoming finals, former high school sweethearts see each other again and realize they don’t want to be together anymore. “Go home, hook up and break up is pretty much the pattern,” MacLeod says.But it’s not just college students who are prone to the turkey drop. Adults are often victims, too. Sex and relationship columnist, Dan Savage, explains that Thanksgiving is kind of the last point at which a reasonable human being can drop a significant other until February, and many take advantage of the small window of time. He says:

“For grown-ups, it’s the anticipation of being stuck for three or four more months. You’re a cad if you break up around Christmas. And then there’s New Year’s — and you can’t dump somebody right around New Year’s. After that, if you don’t jump on it, is Valentine’s Day. God forbid if their birthday should fall somewhere between November and February — then you’re really stuck. Thanksgiving is really when you have to pull the trigger if you’re not willing to tough it out through February.”

I have another theory why Thanksgiving may be a popular time for breakups. For many couples, the holiday may be the first time they’re meeting each other’s families and seeing one another in their “natural habitat.” Family holidays don’t always put people in the most, shall we say, flattering light. There’s drama, awkward silences, and the bubbling of all kinds of regressed behavior and long-dormant issues from childhood. I’m willing to bet there have been more than several sudden revelations of holidays-to-come followed swiftly by unceremonious turkey drops. Hey, there’s a reason I’ve been married several months and still have yet to bring my now-husband home to my family’s place for the holidays. Know what I mean? [via NPR]