We all know that Facebook and Google are not-so-subtly warping into sinister and omniscient entities that resemble Nineteen Eighty-Four‘s “Big Brother,” as each day the digital profiles they compile about each of us based on our internet tendencies become more complete and valuable sources of information to market researchers/ watchdogs/ cyber-stalkers everywhere. What’s good is that they occasionally share their findings with the general public, as Facebook did last week with some fancy charts and numbers about the “seasonality of relationship formation.” In other words, they tracked the net gain/loss in “defined” Facebook relationships over the course of the year, obtaining results according to each month, date, day of the week, etc. Their conclusion: while Spring is high time for romance, Summer is ripe for breakups.
June checks in as the month daters should fear most. Now, it would be easy to write this off to the multitude of college and high-school romances that fall apart as a result of forced separation, but not so fast: couples in the 25-44 year-old range and the 45-and-over range showed an even greater propensity for sunny-day breakups than their greener counterparts.
So what gives? One possibility is that warm weather and general cheer compel people to a) socialize more and b) appear more attractive (i.e. tans, swimsuits, everyone’s awareness that they’ll be donning tans and swimsuits), thus maximizing the chances that they meet other people and decide that the proverbial field has more to offer than their existing flings. Another theory would be that the typical relationship simply doesn’t have a shelf-life built to exceed more than three to four months, and, seeing as how February and March are two of the most relationship-friendly months, it should come as no surprise that June is when they tend to dissolve.
Also of interest are the individual days of the year that show the most extreme changes in relationship status. The four most popular days for divesting yourself of independence: Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Christmas Eve and the day after Valentine’s Day. The fifth: April Fool’s Day (accordingly, April 2nd marks the greatest change in the opposite direction).
As far as days of the week go, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday tout the highest rates of new relationship formation, while Friday and Saturday are the peak days for one-way transit to Dumpsville. The explanation here seems clearer: early in the week, people are eager to transition their most recent hook-up into something more, while weekends pose the opportunity for unhappy daters to escape the pressures of work and move on to less stressful endeavors, e.g. the increasingly dysfunctional state of a once-blissful relationship.