life, love, relationships

The closer, the better (when your group of friends strengthens your romantic relationship)

Can Facebook predict if your romantic relationship will last? Yes, according to Jon Kleinberg, a computer scientist at Cornell University and Lars Backstrom, a Facebook engineer.

It depends on the mutual friends you share with your romantic partner on Facebook (or in real life). Your couple has a better chance to last if your romantic partner is well connected to your network. “A spouse or a romantic partner is a bridge between a person’s different social worlds” said Kleinberg when his study was released.

In fact, it’s not the number of mutual of friends you share with your romantic partner that will predict if your relationship can last.

It’s a different dynamic at play.

Common friends can act as a counselor or mediator between you and your romantic partner. Of course, it depends on your common friends.

Many people I know don’t share many common friends with their spouse or romantic partner. Simply because they choose someone outside of their circle of friends. One of my friends, who’s about to get married, met her future husband on a dating site. I’ve never heard her speaking about their common friends. She went on holiday with her group of friends, without him, several times already. But she also tried to include him in her larger group of friends. I know him a little bit, but he’s always stood behind her whenever I went to their place. He didn’t try to be friendly with me. But it would have been weird for me if he started to act as my best friend. It’s curious, because two of her friends have now become two of my friends too. Whenever they are in my city, they call me for a drink of a dinner.

Besides, one of my friends got a bad experience with the common friends he shared with his ex. She left him after five years for one of his best friends. They are now married with two kids. My friend has moved abroad.

And how do you make common friends with your romantic partner? That is a difficult question. It can happen because you bonded separately with them before your relationship started. One of my friends met her husband through their common friend.   She accepted once an invitation to an exhibition by one of her friends. Her friends also invited a group of his friends, including her future husband. He simply introduced her to him during the exhibition.

But it’s true Facebook can give you an indication on how connected your common friends are with your romantic partner. The study shows we tend to like status, pictures and posts posted by people who are close to us. We may not like those posted from someone you just met twice in your life but asked you to be friends on Facebook. But for the people we like, it’s the opposite. For instance, I tend to like every picture, even if these are failed, posted by my sister, and my friends. I get that too, from my closest friends. I’m not surprised, when I get some analysis from my datas on Facebook, to see familiar names coming up in the statistics.

In real life, it’s also the same.

In a world where it is easy to find a romantic partner (or a one-night stand – hi Tinder), the common friends are much harder to find.