Alice Zhao is the data scientist and blogger behind this texting project. Zhao analyzed texts from the first year she started dating her now-husband and texts from this year.
"On our one year anniversary, his gift to me was a Word doc of all of our text messages since our first date," she wrote. "What I considered to be the most thoughtful gift ever (given that we are both nerds).
Zhao wanted to see what exactly changed after six years of being together. Right off the bat Zhao noticed that she doesn't greet her husband anymore and instead just agrees with him.
She also pored through the texts looking for individual phrases and the frequency of certain words. "Love" has decreased in frequency, but the words "home" and "dinner" have stayed pretty consistent.
"The main difference is that while we were dating, we didn’t see each other every day, so a lot of our communication had to happen via text," Zhao wrote.
Zhao clarifies that while the data make looka little grim to die-hard romantics, the lack of cute things being texted back is because she and her husband live together and now just say nice things to each other in person.
We'd often message the other person to see what they were doing or tell them that we were thinking of them. As a married couple, since we're together all the time, we set up date nights and say sweet things to each other in person, so texting is mostly used to confirm logistics or share random thoughts.
Zhao told BuzzFeed News that, after doing this project, she now makes sure that every time she texts her husband "ok" she follows it up with “I love you!”
"I've learned that you can’t judge a relationship by its text messages," Zhao said. "Text messages and Facebook posts are only part of a relationship. The interactions that happen in person matter so much more."
Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Ryan Broderick at email@example.com.
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