The Hard Facts: Friends and Lovers

It’s Research Wednesday! Where I share the latest, or most fascinating, in the science of friendship.

“According to the study, two fifths [of women] admitted to needing their friend’s approval [in a romantic relationship,] whilst 12% would even end a relationship if their pals didn’t approve.” (“Tenth of Women Would Dump Boyfriend if Friends ‘Didn’t Approve’” ; Female First 5/10/2012)

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen any of these twelve percent in action. I’ve seen friendships end when a pal doesn’t approve of a romantic interest, but never the other way around.

I know there are some women who might not pursue a guy that her BFF doesn’t approve of. And if a bestie revealed that a guy was cheating or some such horribleness, I’d like to think the pal would act on that information and end things. But I’ve never seen a friend say, “You know what my darling friend, that guy you’re dating is a jerk and you should dump his sorry ass,” and have it end in anything other than a girl fight.

The study, which was conducted by the double dating site Date With a Mate, surveyed 1,193 women across the UK — so it’s possible that this kind of “sisters over misters” (yeah, I said it) is more common across the pond. But I doubt it.

Here are some more numbers to come out of the research:

  • When asked if they needed their friends approval when they started dating a new person, more than two fifths, 42%, of respondents answered ‘yes’. (This seems more accurate. We’re more interested in our friends’ opinions before we fall for someone.)
  •  Only 8% of the respondents said that they would end a new relationship if their mother didn’t approve. (I guess moms aren’t the same as BFFs after all.)
  • 14% of respondents said a friendship has ended after a friend didn’t approve of the partner.
  •  89% of respondents said it was important that their friends ‘approved’ of their new relationship. But only 59% of the respondents said that they believed it was important that their new partner’s friends like them.
  • 21% of the respondents said that they felt nervous when introducing a new partner to their friends

Any of this research suprise you? Or stricke a chord? Have you ever ended a relationship because your BFF didn’t approve?

6 Comments

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6 responses to “The Hard Facts: Friends and Lovers

  1. I am part of the 14% who have lost a friend because I didn’t approve of her husband; actually, it was that he didn’t approve of me, and made my friend distance herself from me. More than not approving of him, I was scared of him, and I told her so. Our once thick and unbreakable cord of friendship is now more like thin, scrawny dental floss.

    • Adored the imagery at the end!
      _______________________________

      I’m part of the 14% that’s lost a friend because they didn’t approve of my partner, mainly because he was unnecessarily jealous over the extra time I spent with them. Your friends don’t have to like your partner as such. One of my friends never really liked my ex but he tolerated her, admirably, as good friends do as he knew that we were good together.

  2. I’m too independent to care what others think of my choices, but I will say that I in the 21% that was nervous about introducing my now husband to my friends. I wouldn’t have dumped him if they didn’t approve, but what they think does matter and makes for a happier life when everyone gets along. And having friends that were not jealous and ok with me not being around so much is important too of course.

  3. My mother’s opinion has more of an impact than a friend’s, and she tends to like everyone! I wouldn’t break up with anyone based on a friend’s opinion unless their concerns were really serious, i.e. concerns for safety, drug abuse, etc

  4. This gets so much more complicated when your friend marries someone you are not crazy about. Before I was marred, I dated a disaster of a guy and friends tried to warn me about him and it strained some friendships. The friends who trusted that I would figure it out in the end are still on my speed dial. Great post. Glad I just found your blog!

  5. I have been on the end of friendships that have ended when I couldn’t keep my big mouth shut about the guy a friends was living with. He was physically abusive & I was always there to help when his temper flared & she needed someplace to go. As time went on, I did the unthinkable & tried to encourage her to leave him & for a few weeks she actually did. But then she decided to go back & there went our friendship! She would have nothing to do with me anymore.
    Right now I have a friend who started dating a guy a little over a year ago. The guy doesn’t much care for my husband (who can be way too talkative at times I agree) & so now my friend & I don’t see much of each other anymore. I have stopped doing all the pursuing to keep the friendship going & it seems to be dying a slow death.

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