Can you tell from a man’s speech pattern whether a breakup is imminent? Experts agree and say: yes
Actions count louder than words, but there is also power in words. If you analyze them properly, you can hear things that weren’t actually said at all. A new study from the University of Texas shows that certain language patterns can predict a breakup months in advance.
The researchers examined more than 1 million Reddit posts from nearly 7,000 users who had broken up. Specifically, they analyzed all contributions from a year before and after the separation. The result: up to three months before and six months after a break-up you can read it out in the language.
Pronouns indicate separation
“In general, people who are depressed or sad begin to use the words ‘I’ and ‘we’ more often,” explains Sarah Seraj, lead author and PhD student in psychology. The reason: You process something and are more focused on yourself than being able to relate to others.
Incidentally, this shift in language also happens when the topic is not the relationship but something else. “It seems – even before people are aware that a breakup is imminent – it begins to affect their lives,” said Seraj. “We don’t really notice how often we use prepositions, articles or pronouns. But the use of these functional words changes when you go through a personal break. And that can tell us a lot about our emotional and psychological state.”