While women immerse themselves in their romantic relationships, men place their romantic partners and best friends on a distant footing, claims a new Oxford study.
The research by Dr Anna Machin and professor Robin Dunbar from the University of Oxford studied a total of 341 people. The participants took part in an online psychological research forum where they answered questions regarding the maintenance, role and value of their best friend and romantic partnerships. Women saw the maintenance of their romantic partnerships as a team sport, involving equal input from both partners with shared goals and beliefs being the key to success. Further, their happiness and contentment were intimately bound up in both their best friendships and romantic partnerships.
In contrast, men were found to be at a greater distance from both of their closest relationships. Their responses indicated as if they were freely available to date despite being in committed relationships.
Women preferred cooperation, not competition with their best friends. They also scored their partner consistently higher than themselves, seemingly placing their partner on a pedestal. “Our research shows that successful relationships are much more essential to women’s well-being than men’s. Men seem to keep their relationships at arm’s length with one eye on the dating market,” Machin said.