Research: UK adults state they have just two best friends

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The team at social network www.thefr.app, who believe in helping to cultivate real friendships, recently undertook a study of almost 2,500 UK adults aged 18 and over to determine what friendship looks like in adulthood.

While the average UK adult is in a friendship group with five others, they only consider two of those to be their best friends. Best friends are typically those who they’re very similar to, can tell anything to without fear of being judged or exposed and who have a similar sense of humour. Almost all groups have cliques within though, so it’s not as though anyone is being left out. Two in three admit they’re more likely to confide in their bestie before their partner.

It was initially revealed that the average UK adult friendship group consists of six people, not including partners who are often drafted in for social gatherings. Of those however, adults confessed they would only consider two of those to be best friends, on average.

Asked what the key differences were with a best friend as opposed to a standard friend, respondents revealed the following five traits to be the most common and most important:

  1. We’re basically the same person – 71%
  2. I can tell them anything and they’ll never judge or tell others – 68%
  3. We have a similar sense of humour – 54%
  4. They’ll always tell me the truth – 53%
  5. They will always have my back, even when I’m not around – 52%

Only 12% stated their best friends are the people they’ve known the longest. When asked how long it took them to realise that a friend was indeed a best friend, the majority stated they ‘clicked right away’ (49%), while a further 22% realised when the friend was there for them through a tough time.

Additionally, when asked why more of those within their friendship circle weren’t considered best friends, the top reason cited was that the others weren’t trusted to quite the same level (46%), followed by simply not seeing them as often as they do their besties (28%). It was stated by almost all however (93%) that everyone within the friendship group was in smaller cliques within that group.

Finally, when asked who they were most likely to confide in and/or turn to, two thirds (67%) admitted that in most cases they were more likely to turn to their best friend than their partner in the first instance.

Anna Lee, Founder at Fr. App, commented on the findings: “It’s good to have a mix of friends with different hobbies and interests, but it’s our best friends who shape us the most; they’re those people we can turn to for everything, whether that’s to share the load, celebrate the successes or just chit chat about general day-to-day life. Many of us would go as far as considering our best friends our soul mates; they’re just as important to us as our partners.”

Main Photo Credit: Connor Olson via Unsplash

Sorted Staff Writer

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