Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

One in 10 people have no close friends, survey finds

beacheshero.jpg
relhero.jpg

Almost five million Britons don't have a close friend, a new large-scale study has found.

Despite social media making it easier than ever to connect with people, a survey of more than 5,000 Britons by Relate has discovered that one in 10 people - the equivalent of 4.7 million Brits - don't have anyone in their lives that they would consider to be a "close friend".

The report, entitled The Way We Are Now, also found that people with multiple close friendships were also more likely to rate the quality of those relationships as "good" or "very good", while only a quarter of those with one close friend described their friendship with them as "very good."

However, the study also found that 7% of people with 10 or more friends admitted that they "never or rarely" feel close to others.

The study findings challenged the notion that women are more likely to have more close friends than men, with one in 20 male participants reporting having 15 or more close friends, compared to just one in 50 women.

A summary of the relationship charity's wide-ranging study findings:

]

Women's relationships with their friends appear to get better with age, according to the findings. While one in four 16-24-year-olds described their relationships with their friends as "very good", this figure rose to three in five for women aged 65 and over. Men’s views about the quality of their friendships remained much the same across their age groups.

The study found that people who lived with their partners were more likely to have less contact with their friends and warned of the importance of maintaining friendships.

"Friendships shouldn’t be seen as second best to couple relationships – they form part of a wider network of relationships that all contribute to how we feel about ourselves," Relate counsellor Christine Northam explained. "Friendships often take a back seat when people enter into couple relationships, but this can be a mistake, as friendships can actually help to strengthen couple relationships."

How many close friends do you have? Have you experienced loneliness through a lack of close friendships? Share your experiences, anonymously if you prefer, at stories@stylist.co.uk

Infographic: Relate

Related

wine-main-2.jpg

Is drinking the secret of great friendship?

use.jpg

Female friendship in fiction

rexfeatures-3497506ho.jpg

Lucy Mangan talks friendships: "We can’t be all things to all people"

hero.jpg

Celebrity bridesmaids; the A-list stars who supported their friends on the big day

taylor swift blake lively.JPG

Unexpected and adorable celebrity friendships

dog.jpg

A duck and a dog have a long friendship as seen in viral videos

More

Get free tickets to see Call Me By Your Name

17 Oct 2017

“In defence of birthdays: why we should celebrate each and every year”

Writer Kate Townshend on why birthday parties shouldn’t be sacrificed on the altar of adulthood

17 Oct 2017

Life can be ‘torturous’ for a sex addict, according to an expert

“It sounds like fun... that couldn’t be further from the truth”

by Susan Devaney
17 Oct 2017

Why you should wear red if you want to succeed

From ancient history to modern catwalks, why are we all so obsessed with red?

by Alexandra Jones
17 Oct 2017

These are the world’s best and worst major cities to live as a woman

London makes the list – and it’s not all bad news for the capital

by Moya Crockett
17 Oct 2017

Your Starbucks Halloween Frappuccino fix is here and it’s fangtastic

Sink your teeth into this

by Megan Murray
17 Oct 2017

This Princess Bride revelation will make you see the film in a new way

It’s been 30 years since it hit the big screen

by Susan Devaney
17 Oct 2017

Hold up, there's an avocado chocolate bar – AND it’s vegan

Don't fight it

by Megan Murray
17 Oct 2017

What is perspecticide and could it be happening in your relationship?

This form of coercive control is incredibly damaging

by Megan Murray
16 Oct 2017