‘Scrooging’ Is a Dating Move that Could Ruin Your Holidays

4 min read
Liubomyr Vorona/Getty

“Scrooging” is when someone dumps you primarily to avoid paying for gifts or spending time with your family members.

Source: Liubomyr Vorona/Getty

With the December holiday season fast approaching, here’s a cheap trick that you may see. Some people may be dumping their significant others deliberately ahead of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, St. Nicholas Day, National Bouillabaisse Day, or whatever gift-giving holidays that they may be celebrating in December. This practice is considered “Scrooging” when the primary reason for dumping a significant others is to avoid paying for gifts. So, if your significant other ends up pulling this “bae humbug” move on you, it may be a clear sign that the person loves his or her wallet just a little more than he or she loves you.

The term “Scrooging” derives from Ebenezer Scrooge, the fictional cold-hearted, Christmas-hating miser who is the central character in Charles Dickens’s 1843 classic story A Christmas Carol. But Scrooging is far from a fictional practice. There may be several different reasons why your significant other may Scrooge you, with none of them being very positive.

One possibility is that your significant other has already been feeling a bit meh about you for a while. He or she may have been hesitant to give you the heave-ho before the Ho, Ho, Ho season because of all that regular sex stuff or other benefits that your significant other gets from being in a relationship. However, having to pay for gifts for you for the holidays may be what tips the scales for your significant other against staying in the relationship.

Another possibility is that your significant other has already found an alternative to you, some other love interest. So maybe your significant other may want to focus gift-giving on the person who really matters. And, spoiler alert, that’s not you.

A third possibility is that your significant other just wants to break it off with you temporarily, simply to avoid the holidays. Perhaps, your significant other plans on reuniting with you sometime later, after the gift-giving season has passed, or maybe sometime after Valentine’s Day. Yes, some people can be quite calculating and strategic.

Regardless of the reason, Scrooging does not reflect very positively on your significant other. Scrooging in any way suggests that your significant other has been way too chicken to be honest with you or way too cheap, cheap towards you.


The term Scrooging derives its name from Ebenezer Scrooge, the fictional cold-hearted, Christmas-hating miser who was the central character in Charles Dickens’s 1843 classic story A Christmas Carol.

Source: ysbrandcosijn/Getty

Now, the operative words here are “with you” and “towards you.” Your significant other may choose to Scrooge you over but at the same time be generous and open with someone else. Or maybe even everyone else. Your significant other could simply be acting cheaply or not very straightforward toward you.

Naturally, the answer to the song All I Want for Christmas is not “to be dumped.” It can be particularly hard to go into the holiday season with a significant other and put together joint celebration plans only to be blindsided by a Scrooge move. In the words of the Rolling Stones, this can be cold, cold, cold, like an ice cream cone.

But being Scrooged can actually end up being a real gift to you. It can reveal who your significant other truly is before it may be too late. It’s always better to know sooner than later that a person is capable of such calculating and stingy behavior. Understand this can help you get through the holidays. The shorter-term heartache of a lonelier holiday season is always preferable to the longer-term heartache of being entrenched with someone who is not the right match for you.

Also, don’t let one Scrooge affect your future relationships and holidays. Don’t then automatically associate the holidays with potential heartache. When in a future relationship, don’t keep eyeing your future significant other and wonder, “Are you going to dump me before the Holidays? Last Christmas you may have given your heart. But just because someone gave it away doesn’t mean that everyone else will end up doing that.

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