MILLIONS of people in the UK do not have a single friend and one in five feel unloved, according to a survey published by the relationship charity Relate.
According to The Guardian, one in 10 people questioned said they did not have a close friend, amounting to an estimated 4.7 million people in the UK may be leading a very lonely existence.
Ruth Sutherland, the chief executive of Relate, said the survey revealed a divided nation with many people left without the vital support of friends or partners.
While the survey found 85% of individuals questioned felt they had a good relationship with their partners, 19% had never or rarely felt loved in the two weeks before the survey.
“Whilst there is much to celebrate, the results around how close we feel to others are very concerning. There is a significant minority of people who claim to have no close friends, or who never or rarely feel loved – something which is unimaginable to many of us,” said Sutherland.
“Relationships are the asset which can get us through good times and bad, and it is worrying to think that there are people who feel they have no one they can turn to during life’s challenges. We know that strong relationships are vital for both individuals and society as a whole, so investing in them is crucial.”