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08th Aug 2016

Science says this is the age at which you start to ‘lose’ friends


If science says so.

I’ll be taking the below with a pinch of salt BUT according to a recent study, after you reach 25, your circle of friends starts to get smaller and smaller.

Researchers at Oxford University in England and Finland’s Aalto University used data from over 3 million mobile phones to analyse the patterns of how many people were contacted and how often.

Although the above might sound a little intrusive, it definitely yielded some interesting results.

The study showed that although men and women made lots of contacts up until their mid-twenties, things started to drop off around the age of 25.

Interestingly, once the decline started, it continued rapidly and according to the researchers, women lost friends faster than men.

In other news, science says this friend fall continues for the rest of your life which sounds rather pessimistic to be fair.

Oh, and just in case you were no wondering, Facebook friends (presumably this also applies to followers on any type of social network) aren’t considered relevant for this type of research.

Squad goals

At this stage, you’re probably wondering what’s the reasoning behind this result and the experts in question appear to have it all worked out.

The theory is that at this age, people have decided which friends matter most and so, they make a conscious effort to ensure these friends stay friends.

Speaking about the results, co-author of the study, Kunal Bhattacharya, a postdoctoral researcher at Aalto University said:

“People become more focused on certain relationships and maintain those relationships. You have new family contacts developing, but your casual circle shrinks”.

Chatting to CNN, added Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of Oxford, another co-author of this particular paper said:

“Once you’ve made decisions and found the appropriate people, you can be much less socially promiscuous and invest your time in these people”.

Dunbar also spoke about the importance of nurturing friendships and how women in particular often have a “best friend” or close circle of friends.

“Women have this idea of a best friend, who is similar to a romantic partner … and women work hard at these relationships.

“Particularly with friendships, if you don’t invest in them or see those friends, they will decay and quite rapidly drop”.