A recent study by Oxford University may have you thinking twice about falling in love. Their research has found that falling in love with one person may cause you to lose two close friends.
The study initially began by observing the average number of people one has in their closest circle of friends. The amount of friends one person can maintain a constant, engaged relationship with averages at around 150, which is then broken down into smaller and smaller groups based on intimacy and trust.
Think of your friends on social networks. You probably have somewhere over a hundred people that follow you, or are named as contacts. If there are more than 150, go and see who you actually consider a friend rather than acquaintance. Who would you call up to hang out with on the weekends? After narrowing it down further and further, most would find that the inner circle of friends is generally narrowed down to around five people.
These five people are the friends we talk to as often as possible, and trust with some of our deepest secrets. They are the friends we turn to in moments of need.
After interviewing close to 600 people over the age of 18, researches found that after beginning a romantic relationship, their inner circles dropped by two people. Because of the new relationship, the time one puts into maintaining past relationships gets shorter and as a result these connections lose their hold.
The participants in this study noted that all of their attention was on the new relationship, which held a completely different sense of trust and intimacy from family or friendship. This caused the past relationships, no matter how much history there was between the two friends, to deteriorate and fall apart. The time required to maintain a close level of friendship was now being focused on the romantic partner.
So, when considering starting a more serious relationship, either remember to devote time to maintaining your friendships, or be prepared to lose the close contact you now have with two friends.