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Ending a long term relationship means losing an average of eight friends, a study revealed yesterday.
Researchers found that people taking sides or simply moving away means that splitting with a partner results in a smaller circle of friends. And while three of those are friends that people only met through their ex-partner and three were mutual friends met by the couple together during the course of the relationship - two were known from before the relationship even started, but either ended up siding with the other half or got fed up hearing about it.
Almost one in ten heartbroken Brits actually said their fed-up mates stopped speaking to both of them. Worryingly, more than 27 per cent of people even admitted to staying in a relationship longer than they really wanted to because of their fears about the impact it would have on their friendships.
Chad Schofield, founder of HealBee.com, which commissioned the study, said: ”When a relationship is falling apart, it’s inevitable that some friends get caught in the crossfire, especially if it is a particularly messy breakup.
”But while all you are concentrating on is your partner and the relationship which is ending, it seems it is also highly likely you could end up losing several friends too.
”Friends can soon get fed up of being caught in the middle, especially if you force them to choose a side.
”Although you may expect to lose contact with those people who you met through your partner, it seems that you can easily end up falling out with their friends from before the relationship started – just when you really need them most.”
The study, of 2,000 Brits who have recently split from a partner also revealed that 31 per cent now regret their actions during the breakup, or even the relationship ending altogether – because of the effect it had on their friendships. But it’s not surprising as 21 per cent of people admitted they actively worked to get their friends on their side inside of their ex’s. Almost two thirds (64%) shared some mutual friends with their ex-partner, with just over half of those (54%) socializing together as part of one big group of friends.
And once the relationship came to an end, 49 per cent claimed either they or their ex were pushed out of that group. While almost half of those (49%) said their friends simply started avoiding them without any explanation, another 32 per cent said that one of them had to leave the group as things became too strained. One in five admitted their friends thought they were in the wrong, so they sided with their ex, while 27 per cent said it was down to one of them moving away from the area.
Sadly the study also revealed that almost one in ten think their friends were no help whatsoever during their relationship problems, while another 12 per cent said they couldn’t have asked their mates to be more supportive during the difficult time. Regardless of any support received from friends or family, 48 per cent of heartbroken Brits still admitted there were still times when they felt isolated and alone as they got used to their new relationship status.
Chad Schofield, Founder of HealBee.com, added: ”You really need all the support you can get during and after the break-up of a relationship, yet the experience can easily leave you feeling isolated.
”No matter how supportive your friends and family actually are, there’s often a need to make some big life decisions which may well affect you for years to come – all at a time when you may not be fully ready to or be at your most rational.
”There are many types of professional services which can help you make an informed decision on what you are legally entitled to before negotiating your position for a fee.
”With HealBee we have created a free to use, discreet and impartial website which provides anecdotal advice and allows you to anonymously voice how you really feel about your experiences and also rate companies.
”After a simple registration process we provide access to services, articles and forums which may be of use to you – essentially a support network of people who have been or are going through a similar situation to yours.”
No matter how supportive your friends and family actually are, there's often a need to make some big life decisions which may well affect you for years to comeChad Schofield, Founder of HealBee.com