Ever wonder how much love costs? It’s got to be a pretty hefty price tag to start a new relationship — the dates, the new clothes, the cell-phone overage charges. No doubt, the wallets of both men and women (mostly the man if he’s a gentleman) take a hit at the start of a new relationship.
And most have noticed the lack of free time, which can easily eliminate quality time with friends. But did you know that the actual cost of love, as it relates to those bonds, is two friends?
While starting a new romance can be an exciting experience, anthropologists at Oxford University have discovered it can also come at the price of shrinking your social network.
They have found that on average people have two fewer close friends when they are in romantic relationships than when they are single.
A surprise finding to some of the anthropologists who led this, but I would gather not too much of a surprise to readers here. And it probably isn’t a surprise to this Irish columnist, who says “best friendships are a precursor to romance”:
These are the friendships that mark your life and in many ways contribute to who you become, it’s someone with an influence to compete with your family and the oracle “my teacher.” A friendship like this is a place to grow away from your family in safety, a next step. And precisely because of what they give you, independence, they commit a sort of harakiri.
A next step in obsessive best friends is romance, and the best friend left behind often feeling, well, dumped. Along has come someone who offers not only competition, but another level.
A level of intimacy that all individuals long for. This intimacy includes an appreciation for one another’s personalities, gifts, and strengths, while challenging one another to grow in virtue – if and when it reaches a certain level of seriousness, a love that’s unconditional in nature, mirroring the love of God.
So while you may lose a best friend at the start of a new relationship, what you’re hopefully gaining — a best friend like no other — is a priceless gain.