Research reveals that, on average, having a new romantic partner pushes out two close friends from your inner circle. Falling in love comes at the cost of losing close friends, because romantic partners absorb time that would otherwise be invested in platonic relationships, researchers say. A new partner pushes out two close friends on average, leaving lovers with a smaller inner circle of people they can turn to in times of crisis, a study found.
The research, led by Robin Dunbar, head of the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University, showed that men and women were equally likely to lose their closest friends when they started a new relationship.
No One to Turn to
When your friends are stressed because you have been neglecting them in favor of more time spent with a partner, you’ll be less likely to be able turn to them when you and your partner are going through a rough patch. The message here is to be better about sharing your time fairly between your partner and your friends. It won’t be equal all the time, but being fair about your time could keep you from damaging your friendships.
According to another Oxford study, men and women take different approaches to gathering their Facebook friends. Men make as many friends as they can, while women tend to me more choosy. As it turns out, the man with most Facebook friends wins. That’s because women rely on other women’s opinions when deciding whether a man is a good catch or not. So that guy with a ton of female Facebook friends is more worthy than you think!
The Ex-Lover Turned Friend
If you think you can turn an ex into a friend, you may be fooling yourself. According to Canadian researcher, having recurring thoughts of an ex can diminish the feelings you have for your current mate. This is especially true when your relationship starts to travel down a rocky path. When you think about your ex at this time, they seem more attractive than they really were. It’s risky enough to have an ex on your mind, but when you’re actually friends with them, the risk is multiplied. How about not turning your ex into a close friend?
Friend of the Opposite Sex
Research in Scientific American suggests that while women can have platonic friendships with men, men in platonic relationships with women see these relationships as potential opportunities for romance. In fact, survey results suggest that men are five times more likely to consider a friendship with a woman they have feelings for as more preferable than one whey they aren’t attracted to the woman. The more attentive a male friend is to you, the more likely it is that he has romantic feelings for you.
Couple friendships can improve your romantic relationships because they make you appreciate your significant other more. Going out with people you don’t see every day puts you and your significant other on your best behavior. Double dating makes couples act like they did when they first got together.
Another theory is that by interacting with another couple, you can see you and your partner’s quirks from a different perspective. For example, you’re out to dinner with another couple and one of them remarks that they think it’s cute when your partner finishes your sentences. You have always found it annoying, but having someone else say it’s cute may make you feel less annoyed with your partner.
Friendship is an important part of your life. However, you should be aware that certain friendships may be more viable than others when it comes to the health of your romantic partnerships.