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Study: Half of Your Friends Don't Think of You as a Friend

(Image: NBC)

Good news: you're not stuck in the friendzone.
Bad news: you're just an acquaintance.

Researchers gave a survey to 84 college students in the same class. It asked them to rate their relationships with each other on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 was "I don't know this person" and 5 was "One of my best friends." A rating of 3 or higher qualified as a friendship.

The authors found 1,353 instances of friendship. In 94% of those cases, the person denoting friendship said the other person would feel the same way.

But friendship wasn't reciprocated 94% of the time--just 53%. New York magazine comments:

Which makes sense — you probably wouldn’t call someone a friend, after all, unless you thought that definition was mutual. That’s why we have terms to capture more one-sided relationships, like friend crush or hey, I don’t really know her but I think she’s neat. Both of which, come to think of it, might have been better descriptors of a lot of the relationships in the study. In reality, only 53 percent of the friendships — a small, sad, oh honey number of them — were actually reciprocal.

-via Joe Carter


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