Status Update: Facebook can forecast when you'll find love

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Posted by Girls Guide To on March 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Given how much info Facebook has about us, it's no surprise that members of the social network's data team can predict all sorts of details about human behavior. Now they even know when people are generally most likely to begin — or end — a relationship.

In a recent blog post, two of Facebook's data scientists shared the data they've pulled together about the "seasonality of relationship formation."  They analyzed our relationship statuses in 2010 and 2011 in order to tabulate changes from "non-coupled" statuses (such as "single" or "divorced") to "coupled" statuses (such as "in a relationship" or "engaged") and of course, vice versa. They then compared the two figures and calculated the net changes.

So what did they learn about our romantic (and not-so-romantic) tendencies?

For starters, they noticed that holidays keep us together. Love really wins around Valentine's Day and Christmas. On Feb. 14, Feb. 15, Dec. 24, and Dec. 25 there tend to be significantly more new relationships (or positive changes like engagements) than break-ups. They also observed a high increase in new relationships on April 1, but — April Fools! — there's also a significant number of break-ups on April 2.

As far as break-ups go, the team noticed that the summer months are particularly bad news for relationships. Across all age groups, there’s a significant rise in break-ups as the temps heat up. 

Facebook's data scientists didn't stop with those broad time frames though. They also made it a point to figure out how the days of the week factor into relationship status changes. They discovered that there was a "net gain in relationships after the weekend — Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were the biggest days for new romance."

They also noted that break-ups had a tendency to occur on the days leading up to the weekend. I guess people looking for a change tend to end their old relationships in time to spend the weekend with friends or get back in the game with someone new. Alternatively, some of us might just be putting the drama of a break-up off until the work week's nearly over.

How do you feel about Facebook’s conclusions? Do your relationship patterns follow their timelines?



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