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The average Brit counts four neighbours amongst their friends, a report revealed yesterday.
Researchers who studied modern friendships, based on face-to-face relationships rather than online acquaintances, found we typically have 26 close friends.
And almost one in five of those are people who live in or close to our street, close or cul-de-sac.
The study also found one in two of the average adult’s friends are mates from school or university.
The research, which was carried out among 2,000 adults also revealed despite bonds formed at university, school pals and colleagues are more likely to be called upon to be bridesmaids, best men or godparents.
Shelley Boyd-Platt, of My Blue Nose Friends which hosts the final of Britain’s Best Friend, said: ”Sharing a past with someone binds you together forever; you have a connection which can’t be matched by anyone else you meet later in life.
”And the majority of people tend to have very fond memories of their childhood, particularly from their younger days where there are no responsibilities, and friendships are simpler and easier to maintain.
”Keeping these friendships allows you to remember the good old days, and keep the memories alive.
”It is very telling that of the 26 friends we make over the years, 13 are developed during our school days.
”You would assume that over time we would lose touch with older friends, but the research indicates the exact opposite.”
The study also revealed we are still friends with five people we have worked with or currently work with.
Additionally, we are close to four people who live in neighbouring houses – showing community spirit as very much alive and kicking.
Finally, for parents, four important friendships are forged with other mums and dads they have met as a result of their children’s classmates or school pals.
Interestingly, one third of people cite their absolute “best friends” as being those people they have met through work.
Fifteen per cent claimed their secondary school friends were amongst their nearest and dearest.
And 12 per cent said they believed their closest friends were people they have met through other friends.
More than three quarters of those who took part in the poll cited loyalty as the most important quality in a friend.
Being reliable (72 per cent), was hailed as the second most important factor, while being ‘fun’ was third with 67 per cent of the votes.
An ability to be ‘understanding’ was the next most popular trait (64 per cent).
Shelley Boyd-Platt added: ”Friendships are complex and depending on where and when they have been made, offering different things.
”Older friends bring nostalgia, familiarity and it is easy to maintain the relationship – months can pass and it is still possible to meet up and pick up where you left off.
”Newer friendships made through work or other parents mean you have more in common with each other and can relate to each other’s lives well.”
|Primary school friends||3|
|Secondary school friends||5|
|Total friends in circle||26|
You would assume that over time we would lose touch with older friends, but the research indicates the exact oppositeShelley Boyd-Platt, of My Blue Nose Friends