Dating Coach Frances Kelleher joined the RTÉ Radio 1 airwaves to discuss relationship breakups over Christmas. Listen back above.

As well as being a time of comfort and joy, Christmas can be a stressful period for many of us. For those in relationships, cracks may begin to show as the pressure of the festive season builds.

"Things do become more intense as people spend long periods of time together, it's only natural," says Frances. "It becomes clearer, the problems you might be having, and, of course, it highlights them too."

Fighting in "the wrong way" can end relationships at any time of year, but during Christmas, things can feel particularly tense - especially if you're trying to fake a smile during a run-in with the in-laws.

"People have a shorter fuse when they're tired," explains Frances.

When should a Christmas break-up happen?

Although she admits that ending things before Christmas does make things a bit easier as there are no presents to be returned or plus ones to be re-arranged, the dating coach insists that there is no wrong time to break up with somebody if the relationship isn't right.

"Really, you're only wasting their precious time and you're own precious time if you leave it on."

No matter the situation, Frances says that one golden rule all daters should follow is to avoid introducing anyone new to family members - especially at Christmas time.

How should a break-up happen?

Noting that many daters end relationships by cutting contact without explanation (ghosting) or ending things over text, Frances says that break-ups should ideally be as respectful as possible.

"Be direct in a kind way," she says. "Just be honest. I get this question a lot, actually, from people. Don't do it over text, it's not good manners, basically, in a nutshell. You can just say 'I'm not feeling a huge connection, I don't want to waste my time or your own time'. Wish them all the best in the future."

Should couples therapy be considered?

Ending a relationship after a few weeks is one thing, but ending a long-term relationship is another. If you have built a life with someone, ending things may feel more complicated. Should couples therapy be considered before a breakup?

"That's a very individual decision," says Frances, "but my overall answer would be: definitely, yes. If you feel it would allow you to have no regrets, by all means, do anything and everything. If you feel you could move on with peace of mind, by all means, do."

Why should we look out for red flags?

According to Frances, three things are needed for a relationship to work: friendship, physical chemistry, and shared values.

As well as figuring out if the person you're dating could potentially fill those needs, she says to keep an eye out for red flags - some of which will be more obvious than others.

"Sometimes people not giving 110% commitment to the relationship - that's a red flag. If you see that, or if somebody isn't respecting your time, or isn't all-in in the relationship, you need to get out as soon as you see that."

Red flags will likely appear within the first few months of dating, and it's important to take action when you see them as the dating coach insists that 80% of finding the right person is getting the wrong people out of the way.

"Your time and energy are the two most important commodities you have, so don't waste them."

For more relationship insights, listen back to Frances on RTÉ Radio 1 above.