Science says you’re in a good relationship if you do this on Facebook

We all have friends on our Facebook pages who like to do a little over-sharing with their relationship. Cute couples photos, sweet statuses — you know the drill. But while you may occasionally roll your eyes when lovey-dovey stuff comes across your feed, a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests those couples might actually be on to something. The more couples post about their relationship, the happier they may be, according to researchers.

Assistant professor Catalina Toma and co-author Mina Choi wanted to look at the relationship between contentment and social media posting. For this study, they asked 212 college-aged, heterosexual couples to answer a series of questions, while not revealing that their Facebook pages would also play a role in the research. Then, Toma and Choi tracked their Facebook posts for six months. At the end of the period, they got back in touch with the couples and had them fill out another questionnaire.

“The more participants listed themselves as ‘in a relationship’’ with their partners, shared dyadic photographs, and wrote messages on their partner’s wall, the more commitment they experienced,” write the authors.

Yup, the more Facebook official the relationship, the better it was found to be. The authors suspect it might be for a couple different reasons, including the strength of the couple’s network and the way they see themselves: “Claims people make about themselves in public are likely to be very influential in how they think about themselves.”

“People declare their love, they make vows in front of friends and family, they take photographs, and they exchange rings,” Toma said. “Online claims are very meaningful psychologically, and I think a big reason for that is the access to this diverse and wide audience.”

So, there you have it! Next time that super sweet status posted by a random high school classmate comes across your page, don’t get exasperated. Just be happy for them — their relationship might actually be as awesome as they say it is.

(Image via iStock)


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