Forget about looking for love. We need to be focusing more on friendship!

That’s the gist of a new book called Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are. It’s by Carlin Flora, a former editor at Psychology Today, who says friendship is undervalued in our society.

After all, many studies have shown that our friends bring us lots of health benefits – including lower blood pressure, and an increased sense of well-being. And some new research suggests that our friends may be even better for us health-wise than our romantic partners!

Flora says one reason is that more people are living alone today – staying single and not having kids so we need more platonic friends than ever before.

Plus, friends are much more consistent in our lives. Most of us have a couple good friends we can turn to – even as our romantic relationships come and go. We also fight more with romantic partners, and those relationships are much more volatile, while friendships are much more solid and stable.

However, friends are typically at the bottom of our priority list, we tend to make more time for our family, partner and even our co-workers, than for our closest friends.

But studies show that when we make time for our friends, our happiness level goes way up. And having hardly any friends is the mortality equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day!

That’s why Flora says we have our social priorities all wrong! Because instead of just planning date nights and romantic getaways with our partner, we should be putting as much effort into setting aside time for our friends!

Want to go further? Check out the book Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are, by Carlin Flora.