The theory behind why so many celebrities tend to split at this time of year.

Feel like somethings in the water? In the air? Just, well, around?

But of course, it’s break up season. Gigi and Zayn are all over, Justin and Selena (apparently) are too and Jen and Justin announced their own split just a few weeks ago.

You can roll your eyes – go on! – but science says it’s not actually a coincidence. In fact, break-ups are far more likely as winter comes to a close and as the sun begins to occasionally sprout its head from above. (Over in the US, of course, this is the case, as winter draws to an end.)

In 2010, British journalist David McCandless presented a graph he created at a TED conference in Oxford. Essentially, he and a colleague analysed 10,000 Facebook statuses, looking for the words “breakup” and “broken up”, to pinpoint the times of the year we’re more likely to break up.

We talk a lot about romantic break-ups, but what about friendship ones? Post continues after audio.

He reported an insane spike at the very end of winter, as people were slowly getting ready for spring.

This idea ties in nicely with a concept known universally as “cuffing season”, which refers to the winter period where people are more likely to fall into relationships.

As per Urban Dictionary, also known as the purveyor of all definitions good and true:

“During the Fall and Winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be “Cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.”

In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Dr. Danielle Forshee, a psychologist and social worker confirmed the phenomenon as a legitimate one.

“There’s a decrease in sunlight, and the body is producing more melatonin, a hormone that responds to darkness and makes you tired, and producing less serotonin, the neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy and good,” Forshee told the publication. “If someone if struggling with these things, they might be more vulnerable to being in a relationship.”

She also adds the opposite is true, too. That as we approach spring, the brain produces less melatonin and more serotonin, making us feel happier and less inclined to feel alone.

See? Science.

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