10 things everyone wants to know about their relationship, according to Google

Christopher Furlong/Getty ImagesWe bet you’ve had at least one of these questions.
  • Google just released its top searches of 2017.
  • 10 trending relationship-related queries are listed below.
  • Those topics include managing long-distance relationships, understanding polyamorous relationships, and getting out of a toxic relationship.

Google just released its top searches of 2017 – i.e. the searches that had the largest spike compared to 2016.

One of the most compelling search categories is relationships – people wondering whether their partnership is sustainable, how to make it better, and how to get over a breakup.

Below are the top 10 relationship-related queries of the past year, along with some extra detail about each topic.

1. ‘How to make long-distance relationships work’


As Business Insider’s Jessica Orwig reported, about 3 million Americans and half of college students were in long-distance relationships as of 2016. And couples in those relationships can be just as satisfied as couples who live closer.

The key, according to research, is communication. One researcher told Orwig that satisfaction depends largely on the discrepancy between your expectations for the relationship and reality. Another important factor: having an end in sight for the long-distance phase of your relationship.

2. ‘How to change your relationship status on Facebook’

Getty Images/Tomohiro Ohsumi

In 2013, Business Insider’s Jim Edwards reported on somewhat creepy research that found it’s possible to see a breakup – i.e. a relationship status change – coming simply by looking at a couple’s friend networks on Facebook.

The analysis found the main predictor of whether two people are in a relationship is whether they have distinct groups of friends who are connected mostly through the couple.

“You might expect that a cluster of mutual friends indicates two people are in a relationship but the opposite is the case: You’re more likely to have cluster of mutual coworkers listing each other as friends than a couple,” Edwards wrote.

“A spouse or romantic partner is a bridge between a person’s different social worlds,” one of the researchers told The New York Times.

When the researchers’ algorithm failed to pick up this pattern, the couple was about 50% more likely to have broken up 60 days later.

3. ‘How to build trust in a relationship’

One place to start is by exchanging answers to these seven important questions before you and your partner get serious.

Those questions include, “How much debt do you have?” and “What do you consider cheating?” There isn’t a right or wrong response to any of these prompts – the idea is to make sure you’re on the same page, or getting there.

4. ‘What is a poly relationship?’

Shutterstock/ wavebreakmedia

“Poly” here refers to “polyamorous,” or having multiple romantic partners.

Business Insider’s Lindsay Dodgson outlined a few important characteristics of polyamorous relationships, including the idea that kids don’t complicate things as much as you’d think, and that sometimes people just fall into the polyamorous lifestyle without advance planning.

5. ‘How to save your relationship’

Couples therapist Esther Perel previously told Business Insider about the two behaviours that are the “saving grace” of a struggling relationship: showing empathy and taking responsibility.

Showing empathy can be as simple as listening to your partner talk about a problem and reflecting back: “So what I’m hearing you say is…” Taking responsibility means you consider the role that you’ve played in your relationship issues – not just your partner.

6. ‘What is an open relationship?’

Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, who is also the chief scientific adviser to dating site Match, previously told Business Insider there are two kinds of open relationships: swingers and polyamorous couples.

Swingers go out together and have sex with other people; polyamorous people typically have individual romantic relationships with others (see slide four).

Fisher cautions that if you’re thinking about initiating an open relationship, be prepared to set a lot of rules – and potentially to feel more jealousy than you thought you would.

7. ‘How to get over a relationship’

Dragana Gordic/Shutterstock

Likely the best way to get over a relationship is simply giving yourself time to grieve and heal.

But there are certain mistakes to avoid while you’re getting over a breakup, including Facebook-stalking your ex and writing about just how bad you feel. Instead, consider making a brief list of qualities you want (and don’t want) in a potential partner and writing about the silver lining you’ve found in the breakup.

8. ‘How to get out of a toxic relationship’


On Psychology Today, writer and former clinical psychologist Alice Boyes presented a list of “alarm bells” that suggest you might be in a toxic relationship.

Those signs include, “There is an absence of affection in your relationship – you rarely kiss, touch, or smile at each other” and, “There are times you avoid coming home because going to Starbucks, or a bar, is more relaxing after a stressful day than coming home to your partner.”

If you recognise some of these signs in your own relationship, it might be time to think about leaving. Psychologist Jeffrey Bernstein has some solid tips over at Psychology Today: Have a mantra, stop all possible contact, and keep knowing your value.

9. ‘How to know when your relationship is over’

‘The Break-up’/Universal Studios

It’s hard to spot a failing relationship when you’re in it. But there are certain warning signs that you and your partner might be heading for disaster.

For example, if you have a lot of dramatic downturns in your relationship or if you think you have a good “alternative” partner, that doesn’t bode well for the future.

10. ‘What does a healthy relationship look like?’

Every relationship looks different – but researchers have identified a number of commonalities among the strongest.

One is having a similar sense of humour as your partner, and being able to make each other laugh. Another is splitting chores evenly, which many adults say is important to a successful marriage.

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