Falling in love costs you friends

Falling in love costs you friendsFalling in love costs you close friends, according to a study. We all probably know that a new relationship can leave others little time. But now science has put some numbers in the observation. Researchers from Oxford University asked people about their inner core of friends. You have seen how this number changed when romance entered the equation.

They found that the core, which has five people, was cut in two when a new lover came to dominate daily life. «People who are in romantic relationships, instead of having an average of five [individuals], they only have four in that circle.» This explained Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary anthropology at Oxford. «And considering that one of those people is the new person who came into your life, it means you have had to give up on two others.»

Falling in love costs you friends

The research, which has been recently submitted for publication, was shown at the British Science Festival at Aston University. Professor Dunbar’s group studies social media and how we manage its size and composition. Previously, it showed that the maximum number of friends that can be made is approximately 150. In the social network Facebook, for example, people usually have between 120 and 130 friends. This number can be divided into smaller and smaller groups, with an inner clique that counts between four and six.

These are people we see at least once a week; people we go to in times of crisis. The next layer is the people we see once a month, the «sympathy group.» They are all the people who, if they died tomorrow, we would miss and be angry.

In the latest study, the team questioned 540 participants, age 18 and older, about their relationships; and the strain those relationships suffered when a new romantic engagement began. The results confirmed the widespread view that love can lead to a smaller support network. Generally a family member and friend are expelled to accommodate the new lover.

«The intimacy of a relationship, your emotional commitment to it, is very closely related to the frequency of your interactions with those people,» observed Professor Dunbar. «If you don’t see people, emotional engagement begins to decline, and quickly.» What I suspect is happening is that his attention is so focused on his romantic partner that he simply cannot see the other people with whom he has much to do; and therefore, some of those relationships begin to deteriorate and disappear. in the bottom layer. «