CHAPEL HILL, NC—Confirming that the average boyfriend’s thoughts immediately turn to the subject during any period of silence, a study released Thursday by the University of North Carolina found that whenever a boyfriend isn’t speaking, he is, on 90 percent of occasions, thinking about ending the relationship. “By studying hundreds of couples we were able to determine that, nine times out of 10, if a boyfriend trails off in conversation or hesitates before answering a question, it’s because he’s currently contemplating how to break things off,” said the study’s author, Paul Hagerty, who added that even seemingly innocuous gaps in conversation caused by failing to hear something that was said or taking a lengthy pause between sentences are all-but-certain indicators that a boyfriend is mulling over how best to let his girlfriend down easy. “No matter how long or short the silence is, unless words are actively coming out of your boyfriend’s mouth, he’s likely formulating a plan to call it quits and leave you. Even if he appears to be focused on driving the car or reading peacefully next to you in bed, his thoughts are almost certainly racing with multiple ways he could end things right then and there.” Hagerty added that on the majority of occasions when a boyfriend says “I love you,” he’s actually preparing to segue into a rehearsed breakup speech.

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