British women more likely to prioritise friendships this Valentine's Day

Women are more likely to turn to their friends for advice on their romantic relationships. (Getty Images)
Women are more likely to turn to their friends for advice on their romantic relationships. (Getty Images)

The old saying goes, ‘The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ - but what about the way to a woman’s heart?

Some may suggest that romantic gestures like gifts, flowers and dates might be the right answer, but they’d be wrong. New research suggests that the best way to win a woman over is to get along with her friends.

Previous surveys show that women receive more emotional support from their friends compared to men, and female friendships are extremely important as women express their feelings more openly.

This is reflected in the new research by dating app Pure, which surveyed 2,000 women and found that almost a quarter of women said they receive more support from their female friends than from their romantic partners.

More than half (62%) of respondents said they would prioritise their female friends by cancelling plans with a romantic partner immediately if their friend needed support. In addition, 15% of women in relationships said they would skip a Valentine’s Day date to spend time with a friend.

The survey also revealed just how much importance women place in their friends’ opinions when it comes to their love lives.

Female friendships are important as sources of emotional support. (Getty Images)
Female friendships are important as sources of emotional support. (Getty Images)

Half of women said they find their friends’ advice and support “invaluable” when it comes to navigating the dating scene, while three-quarters (75%) relied on their friends’ opinions when seeking dating advice.

Meanwhile, 66% said they would always consult their friends before considering ending a relationship, and one in five women said they wouldn’t date someone their friends don’t like.

Even further emphasising that sisters come before misters is the statistic that nearly 80% of women said they have never ended a friendship because of a romantic relationship.

It should come as no surprise, then, that one in five women are planning to celebrate ‘Galentine’s Day’ - a day to celebrate and appreciate female friendships - instead of Valentine’s Day.

Why are female friendships so important?

Men and women have different approaches to friendship, with studies showing that men seem to prefer friends who elevate their own status, whilst women place more importance in friends who offer emotional support.

This was revealed in a series of three studies led by psychologist Keelah Williams, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour in January 2022.

A much older study from 1996, carried out by researchers from the University of Washington, also found that women are more likely than men to talk about how close they are to their friends compared to men.

Women are also more likely to identify someone as a “best friend”, whilst men appear to designate people as “friends” much more loosely.

Anna Hintsyak, dating expert at Pure, said of the app’s findings: “Women are more inclined to share their dating stories with their friends. I think vulnerability, empathy, emotional availability, and openness are key ingredients of womanhood.

“Whether it's a positive or negative experience, we come to other women for advice or just to share what we are going through. They give us comfort when we need it the most. It's only natural our girlfriends sometimes can get overprotective if they see we are constantly being hurt by the same person or just following the same unhealthy pattern again and again.”

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