January is National Breakup Month. Time to Love 'Em and Leave 'Em



"So long, Marianne, it's time that we began

To laugh and cry and laugh about it all again."

--Leonard Cohen

Beware the month of January. It is the season of heartbreak. Cold and dreary, even the lovelorn grow restless.

The holidays are over and it's a long hard road to the next one. People are wont to shed pounds this month, and yes, even relationships.

With apologies to T.S. Eliot, April is not the cruelest month. No, it is January, of which therapists, divorce lawyers and the dating service industry have come to call National Breakup Month.

To consecrate this ignominious month, the Daily RFT tracked down a highly successful Beverly Hills matchmaker to illuminate us on a few sure-fire ways of jettisoning one's mate -- and without getting hit with a golf club on the way out. If you're considering a journey to Splitsville, read on.

Svetlana Novikova, who, for a $10,000 one-year membership, has been "helping people find their soul-mate" the past ten years, has a theory on why so many couples split the sheets in January -- and it's not, she stresses (as one popular explanation goes) because they want to have time to lineup someone new for Valentine's Day.

"You see, a lot of couples can't survive the holidays," she posits during a telephone interview from her Beverly Hills home. "What happens is that they'll meet each other's family and find that they can't stand them and so they think, 'How could I spend the rest of my life with this person when they have a family like that.'"

All right, so how do you work up the gumption to dump him or her?

First of all, you do it in person. Dear John/Jane letters and e-mail are for the cowardly, and a phone call is also pretty darn gutless, says Svetlana.

"You got do it in the morning or the afternoon. You just got to be honest, take part of the blame and say it's time for both of us to move on."

Never, never, do it at night, Svetlana cautions. "You're not thinking as clearly then. You might have been drinking. Nothing good comes from breaking up at night. And don't do it on a date, either."

So there you go. The path to a fresh start awaits.

So long, Marianne.

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