This is how many close friends most women need, survey suggests

Most women only need three close friends, new research suggests.

A survey of nearly 5,000 women, conducted by the Peanut social network, found that 76 percent of participants have fewer close friends than they did a year ago.

More than half (52 percent) said they consider three people “close friends,” while 53 percent said this is the perfect number of friends.

Of those who lost friends in the past year, 65 percent said their relationships became strained due to work commitments.

About a third (33 percent) said their friendships suffered due to physical distance, 27 percent said it was due to childcare responsibilities, while 17 percent said they had prioritized spending time with family over friends.

An overwhelming majority (94 percent) said they wanted to see more of their friends.

Worryingly, seven percent of women said they had no one they would consider a close friend.

Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of Oxford and founder of Dunbar’s number, the number of social relationships a person can maintain, says the survey results correlate with his research on close friends.

Dunbar found that most people have an “inner circle” of five people, made up of two or three close friends and family members.

He said that this limit exists because of the maintenance that our relationships require. “These five people consume 40 percent of all your social capital, whether measured as available social time or emotional capital,” Dunbar said. The independent.

“We give these five an average of almost 30 minutes a day of our focused time.”

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In 2005, an Australian study based on information from more than 300,000 people found that the survival rate increased by 50 percent in people with stronger friendships.

On the benefit of maintaining close friendships, Dunbar pointed to evidence that friendships significantly improve mental and physical health, and life expectancy.

“We have shown, for a very large study in a dozen European countries, that your future risk of depression symptoms is minimized if you have five close social contacts,” Dunbar said.

“The effect is stronger than anything your friendly GP is worried about except smoking (diet, exercise, alcohol, local air quality, the medications you are taking).”

For women who struggle to maintain close friendships or feel like they’ve drifted away from their friends in the past year due to family or work commitments, Kate Leaver, Peanut’s friendship expert, recommends taking “baby steps” to stay in touch.

“Get used to approaching people. Start small, but start: whether it’s WhatsApping an old friend for a walk in the park, sending memes while breastfeeding at 3am, or exchanging survival tips with other women on an app like Peanut,” she said. Leaver. “Little moments of connection can go a long way.”

For friendship groups going through life changes or at different stages of their lives, Leaver said it’s important to “manage your expectations.”

“It doesn’t have to be just long, drunken lunches, extravagant group lunches, and deep, heartfelt conversations,” Leaver said.

“Do what you can, as often as you can: text ‘I’m thinking of you,’ share a stupid celebrity gossip story you think they’d like, ask them to rank their favorite Taylor Swift songs.

“The little reminders that you care, and you know it, and you’re still there, are very powerful in keeping the friendship going.”

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