A new study carried out by Oxford University in the UK has shown that when you find a new love, it comes at the cost of losing two close friends.

As we all know, when you meet someone new, you have less time on your hands so it makes sense you will have less time for your friends. The study shows you actually lose two of these close friends.

The researchers asked a number of people about their core friendship curcle and how it changed when romance was entered into the equation.

The findings showed the the core which is usually five people, dropped to three people when the new lover came on the scene.

“People who are in romantic relationships – instead of having the typical five [individuals] on average, they only have four in that circle,” explained Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary anthropology at Oxford.

“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.”

The research has been presented for publication at the British Science Festival at Aston University.

The professor leading the research has previously shown that on a social network such as Facebook, the maximum number of friends you can actively look to really interact with is about 150.

Although this is a large number, the number can be broken down into different groups with the inner clique numbering between four and six.

The inner core group include people we go to in a crisis and see on a regular basis (at least once a month). The next layer in the friendship circle is those we see around once a month. They are people who if we knew we would never see again, we would be bothered but not so bothered you want to see them all the time.


This latest research involved asking 540 people aged 18 and over about the strain relationships put on their friendships. The results showed that typically one family member and one close friends get pushed out hen the new love interest comes on the scene.

“The intimacy of a relationship – your emotional engagement with it – correlates very tightly with the frequency of your interactions with those individuals,” observed Professor 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 focused 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.”

I think we should all make an effort to hang onto our friendships and our family support network. They are always there for you when love interests can unfortunately come and go.