Are You at Risk for a Turkey Dump?

It’s that time of the year again… The Turkey Dump season. Turkey Dump is known as the time period between Thanksgiving and the next semester where many couples break up. Whether it’s a breakup due to long distance challenges, constant fighting, or just knowing that break will make couples drift even further apart, the Turkey Dump haunts us all. With all that free time on our hands during breaks, we tend to sit back, self reflect, and evaluate the past few months of our lives, instigating many doubts or second thoughts about our friendships, experiences, and relationships.

So say you’re in a relationship. You can’t really tell if you guys are in a good place or not. You get a little bit frightened every time you let your mind wander to what will happen over break. How can you tell you’re in a healthy, strong, and durable relationship that will shove the stuffing right back up that turkey and away from you?

1. Are you extremely comfortable around each other?

Everyone has a different comfort zone. Whether that means burping loudly in your S.O.’s face when they try to kiss you or telling them your weird thoughts without being judged or sharing some TMI-ish information about your good old monthly Aunt Flow from Red Bank, you have to both be comfortable with each other. This means that the two of you trust each other, do not judge each other for your unique quirks, and fully accept the good and the ugly in each other.

2. Do you get into disagreements or do you actually frequently fight?

This is extremely important. Disagreements and arguments are healthy. Full on fights that include yelling, screaming, throwing things, and days of absolute misery are not. Every couple is going to disagree at least once a week, if not every day. Disagreements can vary from not knowing where to go for dinner to something unspeakably unpleasant. It is crucial that when these agreements occur, no matter how awful the situation is, both you and your S.O. carve out time as soon as possible to sit down and civilly talk it out. While working things out, do you both listen in to what the other is saying? Or are you busy formulating your next response to spitfire back at your S.O. while he is speaking? Do you both seek to resolve the issue by the end of the day? Or do you let it run in circles and never get to the root of it for days before you just tiredly make up and move on with life? And most importantly, are you able to separate your emotions about the argument at hand with your emotions about your S.O.? The number one mistake is letting the fiery heat of the argument swallow you up and cause you to lash out angrily at your S.O. No matter how upset you are, have you been able to keep your S.O.’s perspective in mind? Have you been able to still respect where he is coming from and try to understand why he is acting the way he is?

3.  Do you both respect each other’s boundaries, opinions, and values?

It doesn’t matter what boundaries you each have. It doesn’t matter if your opinions about things are different. It doesn’t matter if you value different things. What matters is if you both respect the differences in each other’s standards and beliefs. No matter what you think about something you should both be mindful of the other person’s and compromise when needed. Now think of the last time the two of you didn’t see eye to eye: did one of you give in or did you both compromise?

4. Do you both know when to be selfless and when to be selfish?

In a relationship, there are days when you have to put your S.O. before you. It’s a beautiful thing if you or your S.O. has the ability to recognize that the other person in the relationship is in a bad place and really needs specific attention and drops everything to make sure that he or she is ok again. Sometimes you may not be able to do that for someone. Other times, you find a way to be selfless and put that loved one’s needs before yours for a bit. However, being too selfless is not good. There are days that you both have to be a little selfish and do things for yourself. If that means skipping dinner together to grab food with your friends or finish a project, do it. If it means not going out with your S.O. on Friday night and instead staying in because you’re not in the mood, do it. It’s all about balance. Without it, a relationship will push one person to the edge till they retaliate or fall off. Are you both aware of what the other needs and when to take time for yourself to be your own person?

5. Do you both pay attention to the little things?

While grand surprises and gestures are wonderful, they don’t happen too often. It’s really the little things on a day-to-day basis that makes the greatest impact. Little things could just be “good morning” or “good night” texts, leaving little inspirational notes in their notebooks for your S.O. to find, buying pick-me-up treats for long stressful nights in the library, or carving out just one hour of your day to hang out and relax together. It could just be stopping by your S.O.’s work place to say “hang in there!” or just being understanding of a sticky situation instead of scolding your S.O. Do you take time out to do those little things? The little things often build up as well. So if your S.O. does a few little things here and there that drive you nuts, it may not be significant now but it will pile up until it irritates you constantly. Do you communicate what little things you don’t like early on to prevent that?

Relationships are hard. They require an insane amount of work. Love is painful. It’s the hurt and anger you work through to find the euphoria. Don’t let the Turkey Dump curse loom over your relationship this holiday season! Take the time out to be thankful for your significant other and remind them how thankful you are for having them in your lives.

Cheers to love, Lady Tartans! As for me, I’ll be here with my REAL boyfriend, fooood.