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Happy Valentine's Day: Facebook can predict your break-up

Caitlin McGarry | Feb. 17, 2014
Forget flowers. Chocolates--who needs 'em? On Valentine's Day, Facebook gave us the best gift: Cold, hard facts about our relationships. Just what every couple wants!

Forget flowers. Chocolates — who needs 'em? On Valentine's Day, Facebook gave us the best gift: Cold, hard facts about our relationships. Just what every couple wants!

The social network knows everything about our lives, which means it knows how and when we meet our partners, where we check in on date night, our biggest moments together, and (sadly) when we break up. So Facebook aggregated all the data it has on couples around the world and turned up a few surprising relationship facts.

While the network can't exactly pinpoint how long your relationship will last, it turns out that the longer you've been with your partner, the more likely it is that you'll stay together. It turns out that break-up levels tend to peak during summer and dip around Valentine's Day (aww). But if you can make it past the tough early months in a relationship, you might be in it for the long haul: About half of Facebook relationships lasting three months make it to more than four years. Congrats, couples!

The Facebook Data Science team looked at relationships that lasted at least three months — meaning three months from the date you changed your status to "In a Relationship" — and where both partners were 23 when the relationship started. (Geez, Facebook, I feel snubbed). The network didn't look at relationships that began as marriages, because it was trying to "capture something closer to true relationship starts, rather than the recording of long-existing marriages," Facebook's Bogdan State wrote in a blog post.

A few more fun facts from Facebook:

* People are more likely to date partners of a different religion than marry them. Older people are more likely to keep it within the faith than younger people. Mormon and Sikhs are more likely than other religions to date and marry fellow Mormons and Sikhs in the U.S., but they're not the only groups focused on marrying within the faith — 86 percent of American marriages are between people of the same religion.

* Age gaps are common in all types of relationships, but are much higher in male-male and female-female relationships than in heterosexual ones. Facebook found that, on average, men are about 2.4 years older than women in opposite-sex relationships.

*San Francisco and San Jose, true to stereotype, have far more single guys than ladies. The top five cities with more single women than men are all in the south.

* The No. 1 city to find a relationship if you're on the hunt is Colorado Springs, Colo., followed by three cities in Texas: El Paso, Fort Worth, and San Antonio. Louisville, Ky. is also in the top five.


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