bestoffriendsRead the following text and choose for the questions below the best answer (a, b, c, or d).

Best of friends

Who needs friends? According to most psychologists we all do, particularly nowadays when so many other aspects of modern life are changing. It seems that having friends keeps us both healthy and happy.

The number of TV series about groups of friends shows just how vital friendship is to us. Psychologist Dorothy Rowe says that many of us now turn to our friends, instead of our families, for advice, comfort and security. One woman she interviewed even told her that if she had to choose between her husband and her friend, she would choose her friend.

Since our friends mean so much to us, it is not surprising that the happiest marriages are also friendships. ‘Once the romantic stage of a relationship has passed, it is friendship that holds people together’, says Rowe. If the couple do not make the transition, they will either split up or stay together and seek friendship with others.

But is friendship equally important to women and men? According to author Rhonda Pritchard, women are more likely than men to have close friends. ‘You tell a friend things that you’d never tell a partner’, says one woman she interviewed. ‘Friends just accept you as you are.’

For men, friendship is usually based on doing things together rather than the intimate conversations that are typical of women friends. Men share time and activities like building a fence or a business, running, riding a bike, fishing or watching football, but they don’t often share their feelings.

Whereas many women find their relationships with a husband or boyfriend is not enough, many men say that their partner is their best friend. Even women who are very happily married are likely to become depressed without a close friend and can even find the break up of an intimate friendship as painful as the end of a marriage.

People often say that there have been times when a close friend has not only saved their sanity but their lives. There is, in fact, more and more evidence that having friends protects us against illness and depression. The uninhibited laughter that is typical of many friendships reduces the effects of stress and helps the immune system work properly.

Lasting friendships can provide a lot of the same support that families provided in the past, but the ideal situation is to have your family there for you as well. For most people, this is still very important. Friendships and family relationships can both change, but a friend will not take you into account when making really important decisions in the same way that a family member will.

1.What did the woman who was interviewed by Dorothy Rowe say?

a. She broke up with her husband because of her friend.

b. She thinks her husband means more to her than her friend.

c. She thinks her friend means more to her than her husband.

d. She had to choose between her friend and her husband.

2.Why do some couples look for friends outside their relationships?

a. Because they are not in love with their partners.

b. Because they break up with their partners

c. Because they think romance is more important than friendship.

d. Because they do not get what they need from their partners.

3. According to the text, what is the main difference between men’s and women’s friendships?

a. Women prefer to spend time doing things with their friends.

b. Men don’t spend as much time talking about their emotions.

c. Women talk to their friends about men.

d.Men talk to their friends about work and sport.

4. How do some women react when a friendship ends?

a. They begin to think of their partners as their best friends.

b. It upsets them as much as splitting up with a husband would.

c. They become unhappy with their husbands.

d. They decide never to trust a friend again.

5. How does friendship help us physically and mentally?

a. There is no evidence that it does.

b. We are more likely to stay physically and mentally healthy.

c. It keeps us happy but it doesn’t keep us healthy.

d. It can make us depressed but it doesn’t make us ill.


Reading KEY ANSWERS: 1.C, 2D, 3.B, 4.B, 5.B

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