A study to be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest found that online dating sites are no better at helping you meet your life-long mate than the local pub. That’s bad news for those of you who might be looking for love but the good news is that there’s a site that knows you much better than any online dating service: Facebook.
If you’re looking for love, Facebook might be a great place to start. According to Facebook, the relationship category with the most active users is “Single”.
Current Relationship Status Trends on Facebook*
- 37.4% are “Single”
- 31.0% are “Married”
- 21.6% are “In Relationship”
- 5.2% are “Engaged”
- 2.0% “It’s Complicated”
- 1.2% “Open Relationship”
(*active users with specified status)
Relationship Status Updates in 2011**
Of those who changed their status in 2011, the largest group was “Single”.
- 7.6% updated their status to “Engaged”
- 2.6% updated to “It’s Complicated”
- 20.7% updated to “Married”
- 25.2% updated to “In A Relationship”
- 31.9% updated to “Single”
Okay, there are plenty of single people on Facebook, but how do you meet them?
Here are two stories of people who met their spouses by taking Facebook’s advice and connecting with friends whom Facebook suggested.
In December of 2010, Amanda was busy pursuing her dream of being an actress in Los Angeles when Facebook suggested that she become friends with Tim, a former high school classmate. She didn’t really know Tim in high school but took Facebook’s suggestion and added Tim as a friend. The next night, Tim reached out to Amanda through Facebook Chat and began a nine-hour marathon chat session that began at 9 pm and continued until 6 am the next morning. During the chat, Amanda discovered that Tim was a private in the Ohio National Guard and still lived in her hometown. Tim discovered during the chat that he wanted to marry Amanda.
They continued to have Facebook chats and in January 2011, Tim flew Amanda back to Ohio so they could officially meet in person. During that three-week visit, Amanda realized that Tim was the man she wanted to marry.
She returned to California after her visit with Tim and on Valentine’s Day 2011, Tim got word that he would be deployed to Afghanistan in June. He broke the news to Amanda, encouraging her to stay in California to continue pursuing her dream of being an actress. Even though their three-week visit was the only time they had ever been together, Amanda knew that she had to come back immediately to be with Tim.
Tim flew out to California to help her move back to Ohio, packing her belongings in her car and heading cross-country. They stopped in Las Vegas and considered getting married there, but both wanted a more traditional wedding with their friends and families attending.
On April 11, 2011, they married in Ohio and were together until Tim deployed to Afghanistan in June. Before Tim left for his deployment, Amanda became pregnant. After Tim went to Afghanistan they continued to stay in close touch, connecting nearly every day on Facebook chat and on Skype so he could see her growing belly.
When it came time for Amanda to deliver her baby, Tim witnessed the birth of his new daughter, Brooklyn, by using Skype. Brooklyn was two weeks old when Tim was able to return home to Ohio on leave and hold her in his arms for the first time.
Since Tim returned to Afghanistan in December, he has been able to stay in touch with Amanda and Brooklyn through Facebook and Skype. Amanda posts pictures and videos of Brooklyn on Facebook and continues to use Skype and Facebook Chat to connect with Tim. “Thank goodness for technology because we are able to stay in contact every day, except when he goes on a mission,” said Amanda.
Tim is due to finish his deployment in May. Although he will miss being with Brooklyn for the first six months of her life, he and Amanda are grateful that they can stay in close touch through the Internet.
Amanda explained, “I would personally like to thank Facebook for helping me find my husband and the father of my daughter. Facebook has been such a great way for us to keep in touch. Without Facebook, I wouldn’t have my family.”
Patience was forty-one years old, still single and living in New York City when she received a Facebook friend request from Sam, a fellow graduate of her high school in Connecticut. She immediately remembered Sam, the class clown who was friends with everyone. She added Sam as a friend, doubting that he actually remembered who she was.
Patience had been a shy wallflower twenty-six years earlier in high school when she was a sophomore and Sam was a senior. She recalled a Sadie Hawkins formal dance where she had mustered up the nerve to invite a date, only to have him abandon her at the dance. That night would have left a painful scar on her high school memories if it hadn’t been for Sam, who pulled her onto the dance floor and danced with her for one song. “I felt so great because someone who was such a cool guy was paying attention to me,” Patience explained. Her heart soared as a friend of his took a picture of the two of them after the song was over.
After that dance, Patience and Sam had no contact for over 26 years. During that time, Patience tried online dating and Sam got married and divorced and spent time living abroad. “After about 15 years I just got really tired of dating. I was 41 years old and I was done with dating. I was feeling pretty good about spending the rest of my life by myself, doing my own thing,” she said.
Patience was working in New York City as an editor of romance novels. “I edit romance novels for a living and reading about romance every day kind of killed the idea that I might experience it.”
Then, in August of 2009 Facebook suggested that Sam and Patience become friends. He responded and connected with her on Facebook. He remembered the picture of the two of them from high school, which he had kept through all the years and all of his moves. “For me there were butterflies immediately,” explained Patience. “He was a stranger, but he really wasn’t a stranger. I knew all of his friends and I knew where he came from.”
They began talking one to two hours a day on Skype between her home in New York City and his home, first in Israel and later in Switzerland where he was teaching French for a semester. They continued to chat over Skype for four months.
In December 2009, Sam came to visit Patience in New York. The visit was supposed to last for a week, but instead became a permanent move. After Patience picked Sam up from the airport they didn’t leave each other’s side. “He had a return ticket back overseas but he didn’t use it,” Patience said.
Within a month of landing in New York, Sam had settled in with Patience and landed a teaching job. “I had lived alone for so long and I wasn’t sure how it was going to be living with somebody else, but it was effortless, especially since he cooks,” Patience explained. “He’s still a bit of a class clown and I melt every time he makes me laugh.”
In January 2011 Patience and Sam were married in New York. They celebrated their first wedding anniversary last month.
So if you’re single and looking for romance, pay attention to your Facebook friend suggestions. Who knows? By next Valentine’s Day you may be another Facebook romance success story!
Have you ever reached out to someone Facebook suggested? Have you have made a romantic connection on Facebook? Let us know in the Comments section below!