Participants were asked to list the names of people they had discussed "important matters" with over the previous six months. Brashears surveyed more than 2,000 adults ages 18 and older from the nationally representative Time-sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS) program. Visit our corporate site. Ideally, friends work together to eat better, team up to exercise, or weather the horrors of stopping smoking together. The survey found older people were less likely to be lonely (stock image). This doesn't mean other people are unimportant, just that their relationship is different, in terms of how your brain handles it. Dumbar's research was also the basis for the recent discovery that the average human can have five best friend relationships at the same time, and that's what we're talking about right now. The most commonly reported number of close friends is two or three, with 18 per cent of people selecting each number, while six per cent of people feel they have more than 10 close friends. On a positive note, the research found that 83 per cent of people in the UK enjoyed good relationships with their friends. While again, there's nothing wrong with having tons of Facebook friends, it does suggest that we perhaps interact with our Facebook friends differently than we interact with our "real life" friends, or even our "best friends.". However, it's interesting to keep in mind that over the years, the people we're closest to will likely change, even if those people are still important in our lives. And just over 4 percent of participants didn't list any names. Younger people were more likely to report feeling lonely than older people, with almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of 16 to 24-year-olds saying they felt lonely at least some of the time, while almost a third (32 per cent) felt lonely often or all the time. They also found that almost half (45 per cent) of UK adults felt lonely at least some of the time and almost a fifth (18 per cent) felt lonely often or all of the time. On average, participants had 2.03 confidantes. Obama says rise of Trump was racist reaction to 'having a black man in the White House', blasts President for birtherism and says the rot set into GOP when McCain named Sarah Palin as running mate, Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group. Relate said it was concerned that increased dependence on social media, lack of work/life balance and the pressures of bringing up children could be affecting people's friendships. Yeah, really: According to the MIT Technology Review, the ideal number of best friends for any one person is limited to just five at any given time. 18 per cent of people said they had two or three close friends. By Tim Collins For Mailonline and Press Association, Published: 05:49 EST, 1 March 2017 | Updated: 05:49 EST, 1 March 2017. Seven million people, more than one in eight adults, say they do not have a close friend. You will receive a verification email shortly. Chief executive Chris Sherwood said: 'It's often said that we should be able to count our true friends on one hand but it's very concerning that so many people feel they don't have a single friend they can rely on.