Choose one Mate or Two friends
Ever found yourself dumped by a friend embarking on romance? Don’t worry, you’re probably not the only one. For according to Oxford University scientists, every time we start a relationship we jettison two of our closest friends.
Most of us simply don’t have enough time for intimate friendships with more than four or five people, their research shows. And a new love interest leads to two friends being pushed out of the inner circle.
Professor Robin Dunbar, one of Britain’s leading experts in
evolutionary biology, explained: “If you go into a romantic relationship it
actually costs you two friends in that inner core of relationships.”
“Instead of having the typical five friends, you only have four in that inner circle. And bearing in mind that one of those is the new person that has come into your life, it means you have to give up two others.”
Men tend to have four or five intimate friends, women five or six, he said.
However, men were just as likely to jettison friends at the start of a new romantic attachment as women, found the sturdy of those aged 18 to 60.
“When your attention is so wholly focused on the romantic partners, you just don’t get to see the other folks you had a lot to do with before,”
the professor told the British Science Festival in Birmingham. “Those
relationship starts to deteriorate.”
But it is not just romance that can push out close friends, he explained. Children or buying a dog can have the same effect.
“You can only have five slots for deeply intense and meaningful relationship. These individual don’t have to be human. They can be your
dog, or your favorite chrysanthemum plant. They can be people in an entirely fictional world or they can be soap opera characters. They can also be God or they can be saints.”