From “I love you babe” to “Leave me alone” - romantic relationship breakups on Twitter

Venkata Rama Kiran Garimella, Ingmar Weber, Sonya Dal Cin

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    We use public data from Twitter to study the breakups of the romantic relationships of 661 couples. Couples are identified through profile references such as @user1 writing "@user2 is the best boyfriend ever!!". Using this data set we find evidence for a number of existing hypotheses describing psychological processes including (i) prerelationship closeness being indicative of post-relationship closeness, (ii) "stonewalling", i.e., ignoring messages by a partner, being indicative of a pending breakup, and (iii) post-breakup depression. We also observe a previously undocumented phenomenon of "batch un-friending and being un-friended" where users who break up experience sudden drops of 15-20 followers and friends. Our work shows that public Twitter data can be used to gain new insights into psychological processes surrounding relationship dissolutions, something that most people go through at least once in their lifetime.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSocial Informatics - 6th International Conference, SocInfo 2014, Proceedings
    PublisherSpringer Verlag
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Electronic)9783319137339
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    EventInternational Conference on Social Informatics - Barcelona, Spain
    Duration: 11 Nov 201413 Nov 2014
    Conference number: 6

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
    ISSN (Print)03029743
    ISSN (Electronic)16113349


    ConferenceInternational Conference on Social Informatics
    Abbreviated titleSocInfo


    • Breakups
    • Relationships
    • Twitter

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