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Friends to Lovers is the Best Way to Start a Relationship, Study Finds

Couple in love with string lights

If Hollywood romcoms tell us anything, it’s that the friends-to-lovers trope is tried and true — 13 Going on 30 is a classic for a reason! It turns out that it’s not just a cute plot point for the silver screen, because it’s the best way to start a relationship, according to a new study.

The study, published in the Social Psychology and Personality Science journal, discovered that romances that start as friendships (regardless of whether the friends are strangers or acquaintances first) are way more common than we think. Approximately 68 percent of romantic relationships blossom from friendship.

Related: Celebrity engagements in 2021: all the stars getting married.

Researchers also had participants rank the ways to initiate a relationship from best to worst, and friends to lovers topped the list. Other ways people preferred to spark romance was via mutual friends, and meeting someone at school. At the very bottom was by going on a blind date, and through online dating was also not people’s fave way to find a partner. See the full list below:

  1. A friendship turning romantic
  2. Through mutual friends
  3. At school/university/college
  4. At a social gathering or party
  5. At a place of worship/religious community
  6. Through work
  7. Through family connections
  8. At a bar or social club
  9. In an online community/social media
  10. Through an online dating service
  11. On a blind date

Researchers got the data from seven separate studies in which 1,897 people answered this question:

“What was your relationship with your partner before you became romantically involved?” (a) friends; (b) a friend of a friend; (c) acquaintances; (d) worked together; (e) had never met before (strangers); (f) other.”

Related: How to use your love language on yourself.

Most people agreed that being friends first was the key to finding love and, in one of the studies, they found that 47 per cent of university aged participants felt this way.

So if you have feelings for your bestie, it may be worth acting on them. You might just find true love!

Related: 10 signs you’ve found the one.


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