Friendship in America vs. Romantic Partners: Who Do You Confide in More?

A trio of people spending time together

SpongeBob and Patrick, Elvis and Priscilla, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Those are just a few of the iconic duos that come to mind when we think about friendship in America and romantic partners. There is some age-old advice that you should marry your best friend, but is it possible for the lines to get a little blurry? Here at Shane Co., we wanted to find out whether Americans turned to their significant other or BFF more. With questions like “Would you rather give up nights out with your best friend or date nights with your partner?” we dug up all the tea you’re dying to find out. Confiding in someone is important, but with both friendship and love on the line, the answers we discovered in this survey will shock you!


Shane Co. surveyed 1,000 people across the U.S. in April 2022. We asked participants a variety of questions like “Would it be weird if your best friend and your partner hung out without you?” and “Do they both know your most embarrassing secret?” To learn what romantic partnership and friendship in America look like in this day and age, read on!

Best Friend vs. Partner

Survey responses about best friend vs. partner

Friendships are bound to change when a significant other enters the picture. Whether you’re someone who completely loses themselves in a relationship or does a great job balancing your energy with close friendships, we wanted to find out which factors pull you toward each important person in your life. 

84% of participants surveyed revealed that they were more likely to call their partner with big life news, which makes sense — especially if you’re talking pregnancy or a job promotion!

Surprisingly, only 34% of those sampled stated they feel they can be more themselves around their best friend compared to 66% of those who can open up more to their significant other. Perhaps this is due to the social distancing precautions over the pandemic, which put life and friendship on hold for the past couple of years.

Spilling secrets could cause friendship challenges, which may be one reason why 67% of participants would rather entrust a secret to their partner, compared to 33% of those trusting their friend to keep their lips shut. Michael Scott’s character faced this exact predicament in an episode of The Office when deciding whether to spill his guts to his girlfriend on the show. Thankfully, Elizabeth the stripper was there to offer him some sage words of advice with the iconic line, “Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets, secrets hurt someone.”

Best Friend or Partner?

chart displaying survey responses about best friend vs. partner

Girls just wanna have fun, which is why 32% of women would take their best friend to a concert over their partner, compared to 22% of men. While men can be Swifties too, most women relate to Taylor Swift’s epic breakup and love songs and aren’t afraid to awkwardly dance along with her at concerts. 

Interestingly, 13% of men are more comfortable crying in front of their best friend, compared to 30% of women. Bro code does dictate that you are sworn to secrecy if your bro cries in front of you, which may make close friendships the safest place to cry for some dudes. 

Unless you’re helping to throw a surprise party for your best friend, hanging out with their significant other alone could cause friendship challenges. 53% of women agreed while less than half of men (44%) said it would be weird if their best friend and their partner hung out without them.

Top 3 Reasons to Turn to Your Best Friend

Chart displaying top 3 reasons to confide in your best friend

In the words of Winnie the Pooh, “It seemed they had always been, and would always be, friends. Time could change much, but not that.” Whether you find friendship in America or the Hundred Acre Woods, friends play a special role for many reasons. 

Over half (51%) of respondents said their best friend laughs at their jokes more than their partner. This could be due to cultivating inside jokes that develop over a life-long period when compared to a shorter amount of time spent with beaus who are new to the scene. 

Even though we don’t always admit to doing it, 56% of those surveyed revealed they enjoy spilling tea with their BFF more than with their partner. Researchers have found that gossiping can actually draw people together and may have played a big role in helping our ancestors to bond. 

Confiding in someone can lead to an argument, but that is the risk we take in our interpersonal connections. 70% of respondents reported they are more likely to become annoyed with their significant other than with their BFF, which makes sense as you’re more likely to have arguments with your lover that can make or break your relationship. 

Top 3 Reasons to Turn to Your Partner

Whether you’re a lover or a fighter, the best way to connect with your romantic partner is to be there for them. Relationship expert Esther Perel believes that love needs to be active, not just romantic. So the next time 79% of respondents wind up crying in front of their partner instead of their best friend, their partner should be there to wipe their tears — and admit fault if need be!

When it comes to family and friends, 68% of those surveyed said their partner gets along better with their family than their best friend. When it comes to friendship in America, most sitcoms portray friends as annoying characters who overstay their welcome and eat too much food — ahem, we’re looking at you, Kimmy Gibbler.

According to 74% of participants, when they need to calm down, they are more likely to reach out to their partner instead of their homie. If your love language is panic-calling your boyfriend to ask if he would still love you if you were a worm — then you’re not alone. 

Closing Thoughts

We hope to have shed some light on the matter of confiding in someone and whether it’s more likely to be a romantic partner or your best friend. 

Whether your BFF is a package deal in your relationship or your partner happens to be your best friend, one of the best ways to show your platonic or romantic love is with a gift. Shop Shane Co.’s beautiful selection of everything from pearl necklaces to pepper diamond jewelry

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