Falling in love costs you friends, says study

Last Updated: Sep 17, 2010, 16:44 PM IST

Spicezee Bureau

London: Passionate relationships leave little time for anything else. According to a study conducted by Oxford University researchers, falling in love comes at the cost of losing two closest friends.

A passionate relationship leaves little time for other things. Oxford researchers conducted a research by questioned people about their friendship and how it changed when they were romantically involved. The results showed a drastic change as the core group of friends dropped from five to two when a new lover came in someone’s life.

According to professor Robin Dunbar, "People who are in romantic relationships - instead of having the typical five [individuals] on average, they only have four in that circle. And bearing in mind that one of those is the new person that`s come into your life, it means you`ve had to give up two others."

Professor Dunbar`s group also studies social networks such as Facebook that showed similar results.

"The intimacy of a relationship - your emotional engagement with it - correlates very tightly with the frequency of your interactions with those individuals," observed Dunbar.

"If you don`t see people, the emotional engagement starts to drop off, and quickly.

"What I suspect happens is that your attention is so wholly focussed on your romantic partner that you just don`t get to see the other folks you have a lot to do with, and therefore some of those relationships just start to deteriorate and drop down into the layer below."

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