Springtime Breakups

Image design by Sara Easterling. Image via Markarayner.com.

By Bria Holness

Now that March 20, the first day of spring, has come and gone, there seems to be an unusually high number of break-ups for various types of relationships.  This isn’t unusual, however. Every year, everyone, especially young adults, looks around and notices that their relationships and many of their friends’ relationships have hit a rut. But still every year we continue to look around at each other like deer in headlights, wondering what the hell is going on, as if the same damn thing didn’t happen last year. My dear friends, this isn’t just a coincidence that takes place every single year; after some research, it turns out that season has a lot to do with how relationships flow.

InformationIsBeautiful.net held an informal study in which they combined millions of Facebook status updates and recorded how many people’s relationship statuses went from “In a Relationship” to “Single” in the course of a year. According to the survey, the number of break ups start rising dramatically right before Valentine’s Day and reach a peak during the month of March. As we enter April, the numbers begin to drop dramatically and ultimately, stay the same until the end of summer and the beginning of fall. At this time of the year, as school gets started, numbers drop even more, making this the period with the lowest number of break ups. There obviously is a tendency for people to get all googly eyed for one another as the summer ends, causing them to pair up and shack up all throughout the winter months; but come spring-time, they break up and are single again as the hot summer weather approaches.

Everyone gets happy as summer creeps in; clothes get smaller, and beautiful people are outside ready to mingle. There is a reason for all these beautiful singles running around, however—and science tells us why. There’s more light when spring approaches, and as a result, your body produces less melatonin, a hormone that elevates mood, increases sex drive, and changes circadian rhythms (aka sleep patterns. When hormones are stimulated like this, there is a deep primal instinct to spread oneself and procreate, leading men and women everywhere to drop their “main squeeze” and go out looking for something fresh.

But as September approaches, there is less light, which leads to an increased production of melatonin, stilling the intense passion to “spread the seed.” In addition, we all know the darker and colder months put a downer on all of our moods and as a result, we all go out searching for warmth and happiness in another individual. In a nutshell, come winter, everyone is trying to cuddle and this leads to a surge of pair ups, hook ups, and relationships, whether official or not.

So everyone brace yourselves…and your relationships; we’ve reached the highest break-up peak of the year. If your relationship has ended already, I apologize and bestow upon you a virtual hug. If your relationship hasn’t ended, then I commend and bow down to you.  But beware of the insidious “break-up season”—your relationship may be next.

Think break-up season is just a myth? Have some, ahem, personal experience with the attraction of summer? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @jerkmagazine.

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