Brits lose touch with almost half of the friends they make – and just six will last for a lifetime, researchers found.
A study charting the social lives of 2,000 Brits showed the average person cuts ties with five friends and family members in their lifetime following a serious fallout.
On average, Brits make 29 proper friends over the years, but will then lose five to arguments and lose touch with eight – meaning four out of every ten will come and go.
Arguments over money are the most likely to spark a divide, while other bones of contention were workplace disputes, relationship break ups and being lied to.
People simply living very different lives, moving away or putting a partner before a friendship saw many ties severed with the average person seeing eight friendships also fade out over the years.
The research was commissioned by Sky Atlantic to mark the launch of new drama ‘The Leftovers’ which is set three years after 2 per cent of the world’s population abruptly disappeared without explanation.
Sadly the study found six in ten people had friends who seemed to just disappear out of their lives with no real explanation as to why they stopped being friends.
Yesterday a spokesman for Sky Atlantic said: ”It’s easy to take our connections with those around us for granted and believe that once someone is in our live they’ll always be there.
”But we live in a hectic modern world where people’s routines, habits and locations are continuously changing, so it’s inevitable that our social circles will change over the years.
”It’s a shame to see in the results that fallouts are inevitable for many people with those who used to be friends or loved ones. Sometimes it’s easier to cut ties or fade away from one another because we assume there will be a second chance or won’t permanently lose them but it’s not always the case.”
The study also found that, although we lose touch with 45 per cent of our friends, those we stay in contact with for over three and a half years last the distance.
But in an age where people garner hundreds of ‘friends’ on social media, many fall by the wayside – the average person considers just a fifth of the people they are connected to on Facebook as actual friends.
Despite the average person having close to 30 real friends in their life currently, the ever-shifting nature of our social circle was shown with people expecting to realistically still be in touch with just six of those people for life.
The most common reason for seeing a friendship fade is a person moving house, followed by people generally ‘drifting apart’ or choosing to live very different lifestyles.
While having an argument or socialising with a new circle of people and not having the time for both groups also puts an end to many friendships.
And 40 per cent had a family member they’d lost touch with completely after falling out with them.
Where attempts to re-connect were made, they were successful on just over a third of occasions, results showed.
In a fast-moving world lasting connections are hard to find- respondents thought less than half the people in their lives currently would still be around in 10 years’ time.
The Sky Atlantic spokesman added: ”It’s inevitable people go missing from our lives as friends can naturally grow apart, move location or follow different paths and where it occurs gradually it’s easier to process.
”But the results show people do drop off the radar, whether it’s following an argument or other reasons and it’s important to appreciate those around us and never assume there will be time to make up later.
”As in the show, dealing with the immediate loss or disappearance of friends or loved ones can be hugely traumatic. The Leftovers looks at the ways ordinary people react to inexplicable events that can unite or divide families and communities.”
The Leftovers starts on Sky Atlantic HD on Tuesday 16th September at 9pm.