(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)Female friendships are beautiful, vital and infinitely complicated.
And on the scale of friendships, some are more important than others. Right at the top of the scale is the ‘best friend’.
Your ride or die. The one you can call crying at 2 am because you’re drunk and lost, the one who will help you move house without complaining, the one who will let you hibernate in her bed after a heartbreak.
But despite the concept of BFFs (best friends forever) these ‘best’ friendships don’t actually tend to last a lifetime.
In fact, new research conducted by The Book of Everyone has found that the average woman has six best friends over their lifetime.
The figures also found that female friendships have an average lifespan of 16 years. While that isn’t exactly forever, it is pretty good going, and far longer than the average romantic relationship of 10 years.
Friendships beat romantic relationships in other ways as well, with one in ten women admitting that they have more fun with their best friend than with their significant other, and 47% of women wishing they could spend more time with their bezzie.
One in four women also acknowledged that their best friend knows them better than their romantic partner.
So does six best friends sound about right? When you take into account school, university, and starting different jobs, it does seem to make sense.
The best friendships slot into the circumstances of our lives perfectly, and when we have major changes – be that moving cities, changing jobs or leaving university – those friendships often fizzle or become less significant.
But the friendships that do survive the life upheavals are the truly special ones, the ones really worth preserving.
If you have friends that you have remained close to despite the changes life throws at you both, then it is pretty likely that they will fall into the ‘best friend’ category.
As we get older and we are burdened with more responsibilities it can feel harder to maintain significant friendships. Women spend 67% more time improving their romantic relationships compared to their friendships.
But the figures are also encouraging – women over 55 have an average friendship length of 23 years – so it seems that it is something we get better at with age.
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