The REAL cost of a break-up: We lose EIGHT friends when a long-term relationship ends
11:43 GMT, 30 April 2012
A typical adult loses eight friends when a long-term relationship ends, a study found today.
Researchers found the taking of sides and the rights and wrongs of the circumstances of the split are the biggest reasons for broken friendships.
Around one in ten people said their fed-up friends had stopped speaking to both them and their former partner after the break-up.
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.
Torn apart: Eight friendships are lost in the break-up of long-term relationships – in large part down to the behaviour of the warring couple
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 break-up.
'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 eight friends who will be lost are likely to be three friends of the ex-partner and three mutual friends made during the relationship.
The other two were known before the relationship even started, but either ended up siding with the other half – or got fed up hearing about the conflict.
Of the 2,000 people polled – who have recently split from a partner – 31 per cent now regret their actions during the break-up because of the effect it had on their friendships.
Tiresome: Most friendships are lost not because friends choose sides, but because they are fed up with listening to their love-lorn pal's constant moaning
Unsurprisingly, 21 per cent of people admitted they actively worked to get their friends 'on their side'.
Almost two thirds shared some mutual friends with their ex-partner, with just over half of those socialising together as part of a 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 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 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.'