You never know where you’ll find love, but according to new research, there’s a good chance your future partner is already in your circle of friends. A study of close to 19-hundred college students and adults, including 677 who are married or in common law partnerships, reveals that about two-thirds of couples start off as friends before dating.
A majority of participants (68%) report their current or most recent romantic relationship began as a friendship, regardless of gender, age, education level or ethnic groups. And that number is even higher for 20-somethings and LGBTQ+ couples, with 85% of them reporting their romance began as a platonic relationship. And these friendships lasted a long time before turning romantic, an average of 22 months before sparks started flying.
Almost half of the participants say the friends-first approach is the best way to kick off a new romance, but study authors say the distinction people make between friends and lovers is all over the place. Some described behaviors including holding hands, meeting the family, going on trips together, cuddling by the fire and even having sex as friendship, while others categorized those as romantic. “So there is a huge, messy, blurry line between friendship and romance … it emphasises how you really cannot define for somebody else what a friendship is versus what a romance is,” explains researcher Danu Anthony Stinson. “They define it for themselves.”
Source: The Guardian