The Lifecycle of Friendship

Having friends is one of life’s great joys and it’s something that many young people take for granted, but recent research by Loose Ends, an app designed to return the ‘social’ to social media, has revealed how friendships change as we age, and provides a clue as to why loneliness is a consistently growing problem.


  • Most adults only have one or two close friends
  • Almost two thirds (63%) of adults would like more friends
  • Seven out of ten (72%) adults found it easier to make friends when they were younger


The Lifecycle of Friendship


In a survey of 1000 social media users, Loose Ends asked participants to assess the friendships they’d had throughout their life. While the results weren’t hugely surprising, some of them were quite depressing, with 63% of respondents admitting that they now have fewer friends than they had at school. The same number (63%) of people also said that they would like to have more close friends now, while 61% confessed that the majority of their friendships were presently carried out via social media platforms, rather than physically meeting to maintain the relationship.

So how have friendships changed in terms of numbers? While most (56%) adults now only have one or two close friends – a not unacceptable figure – it’s still a bit of a jar given that back in their college days the majority (47%) claimed 4-6 besties, while at school 83% of people had between 1-6 BFFs. As adults, only 10% of people say that they have more than six close friends.

As we age it’s not just the number of friends that we have which changes, but the type of friends and the number of times we see them too.  Although 72% of people say that it was easier to make friends while still in education than it is at work, more than half (54%) still said that they interact more with colleagues these days than they do with old friends from school or college, and the majority (92%) see those close friends less than once a month, many (43%) only seeing close friends between one and four times a year.  In spite of this, 61% of people still say that they met their BFF at some point during their education, compared to only 24% who met them at work.

Loose Ends creator, Daniel Lewis, comments: ‘Everything changes when you grow up; you have new commitments; work and family and other responsibilities get in the way of the time that you were able to spend with your mates when you were younger, but having a strong network of friends is really important.

‘There are times in every life when it will be friends who pull you through; sometimes you don’t want to talk to your family about your problems… Sometimes it’s your family that causes your problems! Social psychologist Dina McMillan says that making time for the friends you want to keep in your life is as important as making time for your family and that social media maintenance just isn’t enough.

‘I’m really hoping that Loose Ends can help turn people’s social media friendships into properly functioning face to face relationships.’

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About Loose Ends

LSE graduate, Daniel Lewis, conceived the Loose Ends concept in 2008 when after many busy days in the city working for Artemis he found himself kicking his heels. With everyone working and beginning family lives, meeting up with mates was proving difficult and the usual trip to the local was becoming tedious. He wanted a way to find out who was available and when, without making endless phone calls… Or sounding desperate!

Many hours have gone into developing the Loose Ends app, with time, money (or lack thereof!) and unreliable partnerships causing delays. The final product is well worth the wait, offering something which no other social media platform provides: true sociability.


For more Information please contact:

Aylish Jarvie, 07535 937357 or [email protected]


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