When you’ve seen two friends get together in a happy romance, it can be blissful to watch from afar. It can also be easy to see the signs of ‘trouble in paradise’ and the impending end of all that love and happiness they felt for one another. This becomes a common problem in a relationship, and we often find that people today are quite happy to make passive-aggressive posts and insinuations regarding relationship happiness to their associates online. Indeed, so much so, that scientists believe they can predict a break-up coming some three months in advance due to unrelated internet postings alone!
Indeed, a University of Texas study looked at over 1m posts from over 6,800 users on popular social media platform Reddit. The users, by the way, were chosen because they posted on the subreddit BreakUps…so that might give you an indication they were already unhappy?
Anyway, the study, which was produced in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, looked at posts across a two-year span. They looked at posts before, during, and after break-ps. They found that there was clearly indicative language being used to show that the thought of a break-up started around 3 months prior to the process happening. Indeed, most posters wouldn’t then return to their ‘normal’ posting style for as long as six months afterward.
They found that the most common signs were an increase in the use of words like I and We, as well as common turn to words indicative of ‘cognitive processing’, as well as drop-offs in analytical insight.
It shows us that language and thoughts tend to shift and change along with our desires and our feelings regarding our emotional state. So, these small but significant changes show us that someone knows something is up, that they are unhappy, and they are spending a lot of time battling with their feelings and emotions.
As anyone who has gone through a breakup will know, these kinds of experiences can become quite hard to deal with. It starts to impact us because we start to look more specifically at our feelings, and our emotional state than we do when we are blissful and happy in general.
So, when a relationship begins to turn sour, you might want to look out for changes in how your partner is writing. If you notice them talking more about I, We, and generally talking about their feelings, then you might want to get salvaging; this study shows this is a clear red flag for someone who is contemplating a breakup.