A Qualitative Study of the Role of Friendship in Late Adolescent and Young Adult Heterosexual Romantic Relationships


  • Billy Kidd
  • Magy Martin
  • Don Martin


Friendship is considered one of the pillars of satisfying, long-term, romantic relationships and marriage. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the role of friendship in heterosexual romantic relationships. Eight single participants, ages 18 to 29, were selected from two West Coast metropolitan areas in the United States to explore whether or not friendship facilitates future long term relationships. Participants reported that friendship helped establish economic independence, adult identity and improved communication skills.  Participants also reported that the development and stability of long term relationships was tenuous and temporal in their lives. Late adolescents and young adults in our study believed that their selection of partners was very different than their parents and that the success of their long term relationships was enhanced by a strong friendship with their partner.