Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some kind of intensely aggravating relationship drama.
Perhaps you hooked up with someone inappropriate at the Christmas party. Maybe you allowed the festive spirit to break your strong barrier against f***boys and accidentally messaged to see if that one terrible guy who ghosted you might still be interested.
Or, just maybe, your dating woes could be horribly on trend and you could be a victim of Marleying – a catchy new term for people’s generally awful dating behaviour.
Not to be confused with the Urban Dictionary definition of Marleying – ‘when something is jamming’ – The Independent reports that the dating trend Marleying refers to exes suddenly reappearing at Christmas.
The trend is named after Ebenezer Scrooge’s ghost business partner Jacob Marley, who appears on Christmas Eve after being gone for years.
In dating terms, that means your ex showing up and suddenly wanting to rekindle your relationship over Christmas, using the flimsy excuse of the festive season to wriggle their way back into your life again.
It can also apply to the return of a ghoster over Christmas, and, miserably, the trend is pretty common – a survey from eHarmony of 4,054 adults across the UK found that 11% of singles have been Marleyed.
As with most dating trends, Marleying is a pretty rubbish experience. Having your Christmas fun brought down by the appearance of an ex is stressful and irritating. Christmas should be a time free of idiot exes and dates who let you down.
Sometimes the aim of Marleying is to get back together, other times it’s a lazy attempt at getting laid, and now and again it’ll be a genuine wish to catch up as friends.
It’s likely down to a few key factors. First off, there’s the proximity effect – if your ex lives in your hometown, they know you’ll be visiting your family and thus a meet-up feels entirely normal. There’s also our general sense of loneliness at Christmas, and the encouragement of nostalgia, feelings of togetherness, and reflection inspired by the festive season.
All those feelings conspire to make people think ‘hey, maybe I should reach out to someone I used to date but lost contact with’.
Be warned, those considering Marleying. Unless your intentions are pure and you’re genuinely ready for an amicable catch-up, it’s a terrible idea. If you’re thinking about getting back together with an ex wait until after Christmas to see if those feelings are as pressing.
And if a Marley turns up at your door, do feel free to shut them down if you really can’t be bothered dredging up emotions when you could be opening presents and eating a chocolate orange. You are under no obligation to spend your time with someone you don’t want to – even if it’s Christmas.
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