Study Reveals A Lonely Britain Where 1 in 5 Feel Unloved

22:47Ciaran McCormick

Friendships and partners are relationships that all of us can relate to, but the charities Relate and Relationships Scotland have released some concerning data. In spring 2014 they asked over 5,000 people questions to try and expose the state of our relationships as a nation. It included questions on partners, friends, families and colleagues.

There was a lot of positive feedback with 85% enjoying a healthy and happy relationship with their significant other. A similar number describe their friendships as either good or very good. I like to think that these statistics reflect my own life. At university, I am blessed with many friendship circles, some people I feel very close to and a loving boyfriend. This summer I have been delighted to reunite with many old friends that I was sad to lose touch with over time.


However, I sometimes worry about the friendships I will have beyond that time. When people are scattered far and wide and are busy with graduate careers. I think I will sorely miss the structures of societies and organised fun that have cultivated my friendships over the past two years. Concerns like these are corroborated in the data of this study. 19% of people, almost 1 in 5 said that they never felt loved in the two weeks before the survey. The most shocking finding to emerge for me was that 1 in 10 feel that they don't have a single close friend and have to go to family to discuss problems, if at all.



After the sad and untimely death of Robin Williams, a lot of questions about mental health have been raised. Loneliness can lead to depression, stress, anxiety and severely reduced confidence. A study of women with breast cancer revealed that those with fewer friends and family to lean on were five times more likely to die as a result of their disease than those with a stronger support network. Loneliness is a medical and social crisis in this country. It disproportionately affects vulnerable people such as the elderly, people suffering from illnesses, and those in poverty and unemployed. The full report can be read here.


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