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9% of Us Lack Close Friends

UK study's results about right for the US, too: expert
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2014 7:37 AM CDT
9% of Us Lack Close Friends
In this Aug. 22, 2001 file photo, Bert and Ernie, from the children's program "Sesame Street," are shown in New York.   (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser, File)

(Newser) – Having no close buddies might sound lonely, but it's not so rare—at least not according to a British study that finds that almost one in 10 people lack close friends. In other words, about 4.7 million Britons don't have BFFs, the Guardian notes; that's a "significant minority," a researcher says. The study was based on 5,778 people over the age of 16 in the UK. Does the same friendship figure apply in the US? An expert tells Today it's "a fairly safe bet." But a lot of people, he notes, see their spouses as their best friends.

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And spending a lot of time focused on one's partner can limit one's outside friendships, Geoffrey Greif adds. "Every couple has the same struggle: How much time do I spend by myself as an individual? How much time do I spend with my partner?" he notes. "How do we balance these issues around time? It’s usually the couple's friendships that go." The study also found that four in five people report a good romantic relationship, but one in four feels sexually dissatisfied, the Guardian notes. Well, there's always chocolate. (Read more friendship stories.)

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