Strong Friendship Promotes Lasting Romantic Relationships, Study Suggests

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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What’s the secret of a great relationship? A new study suggests the most successful pairings are grounded in shared friendship first and passion second.

Published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, the study found sharing a strong friendship with your partner is the best way to ensure a powerful, lasting commitment.

The study also found couples who valued their shared friendship also enjoyed their sex lives more than couples who primarily saw their partner as a vehicle for meeting their intimacy needs.


“Sharing a strong friendship is the best way

to ensure a powerful, lasting commitment.”

Individuals and couples who were primarily interested in finding someone to settle their personal desires experienced less satisfaction and a lowered chance for a lasting bond than individuals and couples interested in finding a true partner.

The study’s lead author, Laura VanderDrift, of Purdue University in Indiana, noted:

“Romantic relationships are, at their core, friendships. As such, it may be the case that valuing that aspect of the relationship fortifies the romantic relationship…and serves as a buffer against breaking up,” she said.

“The results indicate that valuing the friendship aspect of a romantic relationship is important to relationship quality. It seems likely placing greater importance on the friendship component of the relationship relative to other components (e.g. sex) may promote lasting relationships.”

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