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Falling in love means losing two friends

Love
Virginia Mayo and Ronald Reagan romanced each other in "The Girl From Jones Beach." (Warner/AP)

At what price love?

It seems Oxford University researchers have discovered the cost: two close friends. People not in a relationship counted five friends in their close circle. After someone fell in love, the number of close friends dropped to four.

Because the new love will be in that inner core, two others have to be kicked out to make room.

Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary anthropology at Oxford, led to research. If the name sounds familiar, it's because Dunbar previously determined it is realistically possible to have a maximum of 150 friends. Dunbar's number is often cited when discussing the rise of friend lists on social networking sites such as Facebook.

For people in love, two friends will not be dropped entirely. They will most likely move to the next circle of friends: the "sympathy" circle.

Read more about the study here.

By Melissa Bell  | September 16, 2010; 1:40 PM ET
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