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February 19, 2013

It's Complicated: Jump in Relationship Status Updates on Facebook on Valentine's Day

By David Delony, Contributing Writer

Facebook (News - Alert) sees a lot of heavy usage on Valentine’s Day. Whether or not you’re in a relationship, it’s evident that there are a lot of happy couples exchanging messages to each other on the social networking site.

Anecdotal evidence aside, Facebook said that February 14th was the most common day that people changed their relationship status from “Single” to “In a relationship.”

One of those people who changed their relationship statuses was Amy Sasafi, who used the site to announced her engagement to Mark Petroff, Jr.

“Putting it on Facebook sort of announces to the world that this is the real thing,” she told the Erie-Times News.” Sasafi had accepted Petroff’s proposal back in June, but waited until Valentine’s Day to make it “Facebook official.”

Image via Shutterstock

"That's such an intimate moment, it doesn't need to be on Facebook right away,” she said, explaining why she waited to post.

Facebook said that the site experienced a 200 percent increase in the change of relationship statuses on Valentine’s Day. Over 70 percent of couples who list their status on Facebook first met on Valentine’s Day.

The more cynical might take refuge in the fact that breakups happen on the site as well.

"Before Facebook, if you would break up with someone, your friends would pick sides. And there's nothing really different," Meghan Corbin, assistant professor and chairwoman of the communication department at Mercyhurst University told the Erie-Times news. "Now you have defriending. In some regards, you had that before Facebook, it just wasn't maybe as public and as blatant as it is now."

Virgin Mobile (News - Alert) USA proclaimed the day before Valentine’s Day “National Breakup Day.”

"We want people to understand that they don't have to be stuck in a bad relationship," said Ron Faris, head of brand marketing for Virgin Mobile USA. "If you're in a tough spot, whether it's with your significant other or your current postpaid phone carrier, why delay the inevitable Just break free!"

The company claimed that 42 percent of people it surveyed broke up just before Valentine’s Day to save money, perhaps on phone bills.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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