Valentine’s Day is coming. You might have plans to spend the night on the couch tucking into some Krispy Kreme Valentine’s Day doughnuts with your significant other, or decide to make the evening a bit special with a fancy M&S meal deal. And if you’re planning to spent the night before with your BFFs for Galentine’s (thanks, Parks and Recreation), you’re not alone. Meghan Markle is (probably) doing the same, given that she won’t be spending February 14th with hubby Harry.
But as much as we love our girl friends, a new study shows that nearly half of us feel we don’t spend enough time with them.
A study conducted by personalised gift company The Book of Everyone asked 1,027 women aged 16 and over about their closest female friendships. The data revealed that women put a lot less work into maintaining their friendships compared to their romantic relationships, despite female friendships lasting longer and being viewed as more ‘honest’.
The new research revealed that on average a UK woman has six significant female friendships throughout her life, compared to three significant romantic partners, and the average female friendship span for women in the UK is 16 years – six years longer than the average romantic relationship.
Despite the longer duration and closeness of their female friendships, women are still prioritising their romantic partners. They spend 67% more time improving their romantic relationships compared to their friendships, and 30% of women say they are more likely to cancel plans with their best friend rather than with their boyfriend or girlfriend.
Kate Leaver, a female friendship expert and author of The Friendship Cure, says: ‘Female friendship is one of the most beautiful, vital things in the world.
‘Female friendship is made up of gestures of love and solidarity. Together, women navigate the experience of being female: the joys, the inconveniences, the dangers. We talk about everything from family problems to pizza toppings, how to negotiate a pay rise to the latest Kardashian scandal. With our female friends we are in a safe space, where we can be our full, unfiltered and uncensored true self. Without our close female friends we wouldn’t know our place in the world.’
We’ll take that as our cue to Whatsapp the girls and get a dinner date booked in.