Sylvie Meis and more
Do more relationships break up in the spring?
Spring begins in March, a time of awakening and new beginnings. Is that why so many relationships end? An expert provides answers.
The temperatures are rising, the sun is showing itself more often in the sky and clothing is becoming scarcer. The arrival of spring has a major impact on our mood – and our relationships too. While better weather can give some people spring fever, the spring month of March seems to be a popular breakup time for others. But is that really true? In an interview with the news agency spot on news, relationship psychologist Wieland Stolzenburg gives answers and tips for those who are about to separate.
Sylvie Meis, Victoria Swarovski, Avril Lavigne: Just a few examples of celebrities who have already split up this year. In general, one has the feeling that more couples separate in the spring. Is it really like that?
Wieland Stolzenburg: In Germany, most couples separate on average around Christmas and New Year. Even after the long school holidays, there is an above-average number of broken relationships. The time of year can be one of many influencing factors, but in my experience it does not play a decisive role. In addition, the causes of separations are very diverse and rarely due to a single factor.
In addition, very few people impulsively part from one day to the next. There is often a year-long inner process before people separate – or the attempt by both partners to save the relationship. Even with celebrities, the separation can have happened a long time ago and only became public in the spring.
Spring gives many a feeling of wanting to start over. How does this affect relationships?
Stolzenburg: When it gets warmer again, people go out more and the mood rises, it can affect relationships – often for the better. Because when life gets easier and happier again, both partners usually feel better, with a positive influence on the relationship and togetherness.
However, if people have already internally finished with the relationship, the better weather in spring can also be the final impetus for a separation. Because there is more going on in life again, people are becoming more active and you may feel less lonely at the thought of being alone soon. But nobody breaks up solely because of the better weather, if it’s a small supporting factor.
How do you know if the relationship is really about to fail or if it’s worth fighting for?
Stolzenburg: Couples can overcome most of all relationship crises. But for this you need both partners: both have to take on responsibility, both have to be willing to contribute something to change and have motivation, openness and honesty to do so. If only one of the two is willing, there is usually no way to save the relationship.
How do you save a failing relationship?
Stolzenburg: If both are willing to contribute their part to the change process, then there are various options. For example, doing couples therapy, reading and editing a relationship guide, or attending a couples workshop.
And of course a good culture of discussion and the mutual exchange about the challenges in the partnership help. Being interested in your partner’s feelings, experiences and desires is worth a lot in itself. When we feel seen and understood, it always has a positive impact on us and our attitude towards our partner.
The most problematic is when both are waiting for the other to finally change. If both have this attitude, not much will happen. However, if both become active themselves and stop waiting for the other, many relationship crises can be overcome.
After a breakup, many download dating apps first. What advice would you give to newly singles returning to the online dating world after a relationship?
Stolzenburg: My advice would be: Take your time with the date if you are still emotionally stuck in a breakup. Of course, a flirt can help to get out of the pain for a moment. But that shouldn’t be the only strategy for processing the breakup. A new relationship should therefore never be there to heal your own pain of separation. It makes sense to deal with the pain, this facilitates the long-term and sustainable healing of the pain of separation.
If it’s been a while since the breakup and you start getting to know people again, you should put as little pressure on yourself as possible: neither expecting the man or woman of your dreams straight away, nor the expectation that you’ll be dating other people in a self-confident and relaxed manner. After a relationship, the whole rating process is new and you should be kind to yourself.
How much time should elapse between a breakup and a new, more serious relationship? How do you know when you’re ready for a new partner?
Stolzenburg: Basically, you should really have completed the last relationship and be able to look back on it more or less in peace. One of the best metrics for doing this is this: would I be okay with seeing my ex with a new love, or would that be very painful? In the latter case, one is probably not really free and therefore in most cases really ready for something new.
The period of time is individual for each person, for some it is after weeks, for others after a year. Ultimately, life usually shows us whether we are ready – because then we meet someone with whom something beautiful and binding could arise.