National Break Up Day

Couple sitting on a park bench, holding ice cream cones, casual summer fashion, sunny park setting..
National break up day illustration

Well, who said there wasn't a day for everything? Welcome to 'National Break-Up Day.' An unusual commemoration indeed, but this day stands as a reminder that sometimes, relationships just don't work out. Sit back, sip some tea (or coffee if you prefer) and let's break down the what, when, and why of this oddball day... Don't worry folks, this is a no-tears zone. We promise!

When is Break Up Day?

It's national break up day on the 23rd December.

The history of National Break-up Day

With 470 mentions online, 'National Break-up Day' seems to have developed quite an interesting online presence. The spotlight shone most brightly on the 23rd of December, 2016. We're not sure what happened then, maybe it was a collective pre-Christmas fall out or the real-life enactment of 'Santa Claus is coming to town' line - 'he sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake...' either way that's one frosty Christmas Eve eve!

So, what is it all about?

National Break-up Day reminds us that it's okay to let go. Regardless of whatever romantic comedy Hollywood has decided to push out, sometimes relationships run their course. This day serves as a chance to leave behind what's not working and to greet new opportunities with a smile. Bitter? Sweet? Maybe a bit of both, just like dark chocolate. Life often is.

Should we celebrate it?

Well, 'celebrate' might not be the right word. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to learn and grow. If it doesn't feel right to throw a party (and honestly, we'd question it if it did), perhaps use this day for self-care or reconnecting with friends and family. After all, 'loved ones' is not a term exclusively reserved for romantic partners.

History behind the term 'Break Up'


Origin of the term 'break up'

The term 'break up' originated in the 16th century and has its roots in the Middle English word 'brake', which means 'to separate or split'. In the 1530s, the phrase 'break up' was commonly used to describe the physical act of breaking or splitting something into pieces.


Emergence of 'break up'

The term 'break up' originated in the 1530s and was initially used to refer to the act of breaking an object into pieces. It derived from the Middle English term 'braken up', which meant to smash or fracture something.


Expansion of 'break up' to describe personal relationships

By the late 18th century, the term 'break up' began to be used metaphorically in reference to the dissolution or ending of personal relationships. It was during this period that it started being applied to the termination of romantic partnerships or friendships.


Use in the context of relationships

During the mid-19th century, the term 'break up' started being used in the context of ending romantic relationships. It became popular to describe the dissolution of couples parting ways, separating, or ending their love affairs. This new usage emphasized the emotional fracture and separation experienced by individuals going through a breakup.


'Break up' enters popular vernacular

In the early 20th century, the term 'break up' gained widespread usage and became a popular expression in English-speaking countries. Its association with romantic separations became firmly established, and it entered the common vernacular as a way to describe the end of a romantic relationship.


Widespread adoption

By the 1920s, the term 'break up' had become widely adopted and commonly understood in the English language. Its usage continued to proliferate as it resonated with the complexities of human relationships and the emotional turmoil associated with their termination.


Breakup as a cultural phenomenon

In the 1970s, the concept of a breakup became a significant cultural phenomenon, especially in Western societies. The increased acceptance and portrayal of relationships ending in popular media, such as movies, music, and literature, further solidified the term's place in common vernacular. Breakups evolved into a subject of exploration and reflection, allowing individuals to connect and find solace in shared experiences.


Pop culture influence on 'break up'

During the 1970s, pop culture began to heavily influence the use of the term 'break up'. With the rise of popular music genres like disco and rock, many songs with lyrics revolving around heartbreak and failed relationships used the term 'break up' in their titles or lyrics. This further solidified its presence in everyday language.


'Break up' in the digital age

In the present day, the term 'break up' has become even more prevalent due to the widespread use of social media and digital communication platforms. People now commonly use the phrase to refer to the ending of relationships, both online and offline. The popularity of dating apps and online relationships has also contributed to a renewed relevance of the term.


Continued relevance and evolution

In the present day, 'break up' remains a pervasive term, extending beyond romantic relationships. It is used to describe the end of friendships, partnerships, and even organizations. The term has also evolved to encompass digital contexts, as individuals now commonly refer to ending connections on social media platforms or online communities as 'breaking up'. Through the years, 'break up' has grown to encapsulate the complexity of human relationships and emotions, reflecting the constant evolution of society.

Did you know?

One fun little nugget to share at your next online trivia night - the internet chatter about 'National Break-up Day' was at its highest on the 23rd of December 2016. We're just as curious about these winter romances as you are!


romance awareness fun loved ones rememberance

First identified

3rd August 2015

Most mentioned on

23rd December 2016

Total mentions


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