68 percent of couples were friends before starting a relationship. At the same time, the friendship, especially among young people, was long - one or two years. It also turned out that people prefer to start relationships with acquaintances, rather than look for a couple on the Internet or in public places.
Specialists from the Society for Personal and Social Psychology have noticed that most of the research that touches on the topic of romantic relationships between people focuses on the sudden "spark" that arises between us. And only eight percent of the work focuses on ex-friends. “We may have a good understanding of how strangers are attracted to each other and start dating, but most relationships just don't start like that,” Anthony Stinson, author of the study, told Danu.
The team did their own research. Scientists surveyed nearly 1,900 university students and adults. 68 percent of respondents reported that their current or recent romantic relationship began with a friendship. Gender, educational level and nationality did not particularly influence the answers. Among the LGBT + community, the indicator was higher: 85 percent of couples were friends before starting a relationship. Details of the work were published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
The students were friends for a year or two before becoming a couple. And when they met, they did not consider the partner attractive and did not plan a relationship. The researchers noted that the average duration of friendship confirms the respondents' claims that their feelings for each other were not initially romantic.
In addition, it turned out that students prefer to develop relationships with people they already know - this method is more popular than online dating or, for example, a chance meeting at a party.
“Our research shows that the lines between friendship and romance are blurry,” says Stinson. "I think this forces us to rethink the assumptions about what defines good friendships and good relationships." The authors added that they would like to see more research on this topic. Stinson hopes the team's findings will push people to rethink their notions of love and friendship.