Valentine’s Day has arrived, evoking excitement for some, dread for others, indifference for a few and horror at prix fixe restaurant menu markups for all. Adore it for its romance or hate it for its consumerism, Valentine’s Day has come to symbolize L.O.V.E. Over the past year, Medium readers spent 110 years (that’s 58 million minutes) reading about love. And hearteningly, readers spent 15x more time reading about love than breakups, with the average reader reading four posts about love for every single post they read about heartbreak.

Writers have turned to Medium to tell their stories, giving us a glimpse into their most tender and painful moments. Some gave us hope for romance at the end of the tunnel and others made us mourn for love lost. We read about online dating done wrong, online dating done right, online dating dealbreakers, online dating as a job interview and online dating with religion (and not getting #blessed). We learned that promiscuity can lead to empathy, love can’t always conquer politics and Beef Stroganoff is not an ideal meal for a breakup.

The most romantic month — i.e. the month people read the most stories about love — was June of 2016 (maybe Juno, the patroness of marriage was doing her thang?) with people spending 2.5x more time reading about love than during the average month last year. April 2016, on the other hand, was the least romantic month (turns out April Fools’ Day is a popular day for breakups), with people spending roughly half the average amount of time reading about love.

So, if springtime is for haters (or at least really tasteless pranksters) and summer is for lovin’, where do the most people tend to read about love? We looked into which cities spent the most time reading about love relative to the total time people from that location spent reading on Medium and things got interesting. Those top ten cities were:

  1. Lagos, Nigeria
  2. Clover, South Carolina
  3. Delaware, Ohio
  4. Wellington, New Zealand
  5. Bridgetown, Barbados
  6. Abuja, Nigeria
  7. St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
  8. Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
  9. Singapore
  10. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

And while where people read about love was unexpected (Canada and Nigeria: tell us your romantic secrets), we also wanted to find out who was tugging at readers’ heartstrings most. The most popular writer on relationships is C. Brian Smith who wrote ‘The Straight Men Who Want Nothing to Do With Women’, a story about men who prioritize their relationship with themselves over traditional partnerships, followed by Heidi K. Isern whose story ‘Why You Cannot Find the One’ prompted hundreds of readers to reach out to the author asking for love advice, which she gave in a follow up post. Emma Lindsay, another top writer, struck a chord with readers for her candid account of the challenges of singlehood and finding a partner in ‘Being Single Is Hard’ and Jack Preston King tackled the pain of diminishment in a marriage with ‘How Men Die’. Other top writers include Jessica Semaan, Tracy Moore, Tiffany Sun, Abbie, Charlie Sierra Bravo and Brooke Maggs (check out the full list here).

These writers and scores more have made us laugh, cry and cringingly-self-identify, and in honor of the day we’ve rounded up your favorites here and here. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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