Try this Taylor Swift-inspired dating trend if you’re into causing chaos at Christmas
Written by Moya Crockett
Moya is a freelance journalist and writer from London, and a former editor at Stylist.
Make like a festive Swift song and reunite with a hometown ex over the holidays… or don’t.
Name: ’Tis The Damn Season-ing
Meaning: Going back to your hometown over the holidays and hooking up with your ex – knowing full well nothing serious will come from it.
Origin: A song of the same name from Taylor Swift’s ninth album, the folky pandemic-era wonder Evermore, in which fictional narrator Dorothea describes reuniting with an old flame while briefly back home for Thanksgiving. The track has had a long shelf life on TikTok, where people use Swift’s lyrics to soundtrack their own observations about meeting up (or trying to meet up) with hometown exes over the holidays. Some even deploy Swift’s lyrics to try and reel in former lovers.
Er… what was that last bit? People are sending lyrics from ’Tis The Damn Season to their exes, in an attempt to prompt a reunion.
Right. What are the lyrics? “So we could call it even / You could call me babe for the weekend / ’Tis the damn season, write this down / I’m stayin’ at my parents’ house / And the road not taken looks real good now.”
Some of those lines are pretty clear. Others would be legitimately confusing to receive from your sixth-form girlfriend. That is correct.
Does it work? Sometimes, apparently. But also, sometimes not. In the words of one TikTok user’s ex: “Adam, it’s been almost two years… You need to move on.”
OK, but is this a real trend, or just a TikTok thing? As is so often the case, Swift’s lyrics were identifying a widespread romantic phenomenon that many of us have experienced. (To give credit where credit’s due, ’Tis The Damn Season was co-written by The National’s Aaron Dessner, who also produced Evermore.) People really do hook up with their exes when they go home for Christmas!
Got any evidence for that? Serious stats on this subject are hard to come by (which is weird, because it’s such a serious issue). But a new survey by dating website Seeking.com found that 52% of single people had recently been contacted by a former flame looking to rekindle their romance. A 2017 survey of 2,000 singles by Plenty of Fish, meanwhile, revealed roughly one in three admitted to hooking up with an ex over the holiday season. It stands to reason some of those hook-ups would happen in people’s hometowns.
Now that I think about it, this is all sounding familiar. Haven’t we heard about this before? Kind of. Four years ago, there was a lot of noise about “Marleying” – when exes reappear, as if from the dead, over the holidays. But that didn’t have a specific hometown angle! This is totally different!
Sure. In summary, is ’Tis The Damn Season-ing ever a good idea? Debatable. Nostalgia, small-pond syndrome and Baileys can be a potent combination, especially when you’ve watched too many Christmas films where a glossy city girl reunites with her charmingly rough-round-the-edges high school boyfriend. But snogging ‘Ben from maths’ for the first time since you were 16 may not have such a Hollywood ending – even if he does now own a car.
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