The price of falling in love, sadly very often, is two close friends!
Have you ever noticed that your best friend has a dimmer light in his/her eyes ever since your romantic relationship got serious? Have your friends been complaining to you in jest that they don’t get to see you anymore? At group outings when you cast a glance at your bestie do you see him/her not at their fun-nest best? If yes, they’re probably missing you by their side, laughing heartily at their jokes and eating your favourite snacks together! As happy as they are for you, they’re trying their best to not miss you so much and to not hurt.
As wonderful, intoxicating and heavenly a new relationship is to a couple, it often comes with two ‘side effects’. The first being that the two individuals newly in love, lose two of their closest friends. The second area of impact is the shrinking of core circle of a couple’s friends that they can turn to in times of crisis.
Related reading: I know we are friends but…
As would be expected, it is not just the women; men are as likely to lose their closest friends when they start a new relationship. According to the research led by Robin Dunbar, head of the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University, people typically have five very close relationships – that is, people whom they would turn to if they were in emotional or financial trouble. He explains, ‘if you go into a romantic relationship, it costs you two friends. Those who have romantic relationships, instead of having the typical five ‘core set’ of relationships only have four. And of those, one is the new person who’s come into their life’.
Their own findings surprised them. Speaking at the British Science Festival in Birmingham, Professor Dunbar had confessed, ‘we hadn’t expected it.’
But if one thinks about it pragmatically, it does make sense, a lot of sense! Dunbar continued, ‘when one does not see people, their emotional engagement with each other drops off and it does so quickly. What I suspect is that one’s attention is so wholly focused on the romantic partner that one doesn’t get to see the other folks they had a lot to do with before, and so some of those relationships start to deteriorate.’
If you are one of those people who have kept your dearest friends close to you even though you are in a deep loving committed relationship, give yourselves a pat in the back; you’re a darling and your friends are thankful for you.
And if you’re one of those who just realised that somewhere you’ve neglected your dearest friends (or family members) maybe it is time to pick up that phone and get those precious friendships back!