Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Type

Honors Project



First Advisor

Dr. Marianne Dainton


This research project examines cross-sex friendships. First, I will describe the research associated with friendship. This body of research discusses maintenance of, motivations for, and intimacy levels in both same-sex and cross-sex friendships. Next, I will examine heterosexual romantic relationships and expectations that characterize this type of relationship. Finally, I will describe existing research on friendships between former romantic partners.

The goal of the research is to look more in depth at a specific kind of cross-sex friendship: friendships between former romantic partners. While most research on friendships between former romantic partners studies the likelihood of the friendship, there is a gap in research investigating the quality of and motivations for the friendship, especially when compared to heterosexual cross-sex friendships. After extensively exploring existing research on cross-sex friendships, I decided to do independent research on cross-sex friendships by surveying heterosexual adults over the age of eighteen. The results from this study have helped me to measure the quality and motivations for cross-sex friendships between partners who have never been romantic, who have had a casual romantic relationship, and who were once in a serious romantic relationship. I have also examined sex differences in motivations for forming friendships with former romantic partners.