Opinion Brief

Does falling in love mean losing your friends?

British anthropologists say people sacrifice an average of two close friendships when they start a new romance

Falling in love comes at a price — specifically, it can cost you some of your closest friends, according to anthropologists at Britain's Oxford University. On average, people have five close friends they see weekly and rely on in moments of crisis. But when someone starts a new romantic relationship, his or her new partner forces two of those people out of their circle of friends. If that's the case, is love worth it?

Letting love kill friendships is a big mistake: "When you're in an exciting new relationship it's hard to think of anybody but that special someone," says Frances Perraudin at Time. So it's hardly surprising that people in love may let some friendships die from neglect. But it's a huge mistake to let that happen — these are the people who "will be there for you when the person in question dumps you for a younger/ richer/ better looking spouse."
"Falling in love loses you precisely two friends"

You can always win your buddies back: Anything can happen when a romance is new, and "raging hormones" cloud our judgment, says Irene S. Levine at Psychology Today. But as romances "mature," we tend to regain our senses — at that point, we may be able to "recover neglected friendships," and pick up where we left off.
"The price of falling in love: Losing two close friends?"

The researchers make it sound worse than it is: Falling in love may push two people out of your inner circle, say the editors of Live Science, but the researchers are overlooking one important point. At the same time, you're gaining one friend "who is, well, actually a lover." These anthropologists need to check their math — because they're making your circle of friends sound smaller than it really is.
"The price of love: Two friends"

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