New research from dating experts match.com shows that many Brits are turning to ‘friendcest’ in their search for new dates, with one third of Brits admitting they have had romantic feelings for a friend and 40 per cent of 25-34 year olds having previously dated a friend.
As iconic TV series Friends celebrates its 20th anniversary, match.com reveals just how common dating your friends is in real life, with nearly one quarter (24 per cent) of Brits saying they have had a sexual encounter with one of their mates . Just like Monica and Chandler, whose relationship developed from a night together, nearly a fifth (19 per cent) of Brits admitted to kissing a friend on or after a drunken night out.
However, the research showed that dating within your friendship group can have its drawbacks. 17 per cent of 18-24 year olds, and ten per cent of 25-34 year olds revealed that their relationship with a friend did not end well, whilst 13 per cent of 18-34 year olds said that they regretted getting involved.
Over one in ten (13 per cent) of 18-34 year olds said they would like to meet someone outside their friendship group, but almost one fifth (19 per cent) of 18-24 year olds admitted they find it hard to meet people when they are out, as they just talk to their friends.
Many of us are familiar with the love triangle of Rachel, Joey and Ross, but one in ten of 18-24 year olds have also been involved in a love triangle within their friendship group. Echoing another of Friends famous storylines, eight per cent of 25-34 year olds admitted that they have dated a friend’s brother or sister.
The research also showed that men are more likely to get involved with their friends than women; 38 per cent revealed they have developed romantic feelings for a friend, compared to just 29 per cent of women.
Kate Taylor, relationship expert for match.com, here reveals the pitfalls of ‘friendcest’
“Friendcest is an easy trap to fall into. If you socialise in a close circle of friends, your opportunities to meet new people can be limited. This may also scare off potential daters, who could be wary to approach you if you’re always in a large group, and your social life might keep you so busy that you don’t make time to look for love.
“Dating a friend might feel like the perfect solution, but there are dangers. You might have friends in common, but not necessarily share the same interests, goals or ambitions. You might stay in an unhappy ‘Friendcestuous’ relationship longer than you should, because you’re scared of splitting up your social circle or losing some of your mutual friends. You might mistake friendship for love, and be disappointed if the relationship never delivers on passion, romance or excitement.
“I’d advise other ways to find the perfect match for them, rather than just looking around to see who’s nearby.”
match.com’s top ways to avoid friendcest and meet new daters:
Notes to editors
About the research
Research undertaken by OnePoll, interpretation by Brands2Life. All figures are from OnePoll. Total sample size was 2,000 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5th – 8th September 2014. The survey was carried out online.