Your relationship CAN survive the January 'breakup season'

It's the first month of a fresh new year, a time to tighten our wallets, our waistlines and our priorities - and ditch our loved ones?

As well as containing two of the (possibly completely made up) most depressing days of the year - 'Blue' Monday' on both the second and third weeks of the month - it's also the month most divorces are applied for. Plus we're all feeling fat and poor from Christmas and we're desperate for pay day to roll around.

New research from Voucher Cloud has revealed that January is the prime breakup period for relationships. A fifth of those polled, who'd experienced a failed relationship said that January was Breakup Month.

Reasons for this included the 'stress of Christmas’ and ‘wanting a fresh start in the new year’. Other excuses were financial and that it was a 'depressing time of year'.

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Of almost 2,000 UK men and women polled, the second most common month was December and then March.

And nearly three quarters admitted that when it came to January, the time of year definitely affected their decision - though 41 per cent said their relationship would have failed regardless.

We spoke to relationship expert Kate Taylor for some tips on January-proofing your relationship.

1. Don’t bury your doubts: It’s tempting to ignore relationship niggles for fear of drawing attention to them, but in January, issues NEED airing. If your partner is having doubts, talking about them now could help you find a solution before one of you decides it’s too late.

2. Plan ahead: If things are going well and you’d like to keep it that way, make exciting plans together. Book a holiday, plan a party, or just take up a new interest together. Having shared goals makes you both feel like a true “team”.

However, if things are NOT going well, don’t book a “band-aid trip” in an attempt to patch up your problems – chances are the stress will be too great and you’ll split up the moment you land.

3. Revisit YOUR life: If you spent all of Christmas with your partner, it might be wise to pull back a TINY bit in the New Year. Don’t cancel existing plans with your other half, but make an effort to fill some of your time with your own fun plans, like catching up with friends, having a girls’ night out, or taking up a new hobby. (Remember a new term of evening classes starts in January.)

Togetherness is wonderful, but many couples appreciate their own space after an enforced period of eternal coupledom.