Bros Before Hoes
A new study led by Robin Dunbar of Oxford University has surveyed the effect of a romantic relationship on your number of friends. It should be no surprise to any of us that you lose friends when you enter an intimate relationship:
“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.”
It’s a natural shift in life that when you are with someone, you start to neglect others. Realistically I think this is a good thing; you have to change your lifestyle and focus on what’s important. This doesn’t mean abandoning your friends completely, but it means a downshift in how close you are to each other. You should acknowledge to yourself that being with someone means committing to them and making a decision: you have to give them your time and make sure they are number one in your life.
This is part of why I think women should choose well in their relationships. You don’t want to invest time and energy in a man, only for the relationship to break up. You don’t want to do this over and over, crawling back to your long-suffering friends every time, especially if they disapproved of your choice in the first place. You want a lasting bond and someone who is worth it. Repeatedly engaging in very intimate, dramatic relationships which then later implode into a chaotic mess means you will find yourself alone to deal with the aftermath soon enough.
“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 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.”
Now this is interesting from the point of view of both men and women: how often the girl wants to see her friends is an indicator of how intimate you guys are being, and the quality of your relationship. Take note!