Anna Machin and Robin Dunbar of the University of Oxford said the study involved 341 people who took part in an online psychological research forum, answering questions regarding the maintenance, role and value of their best friendships romantic partnerships.
The study found women saw romantic relationships as partnerships involving equal input from both partners with shared goals and beliefs. Men kept themselves at greater distance from their closest friends and from their partners.
Women preferred cooperation, not competition, with their best friends, but they also scored their partner consistently higher than themselves -- seemingly placing their partner on a pedestal.
"Our research shows that successful relationships are much more essential to women's well-being than men's. Men seem to keep their relationships at arm's length with one eye on the dating market," the researchers said in a statement. "It seems that regardless of our culture of monogamy and commitment the biological imperative still operates, to a greater or lesser degree, for men. The war of the sexes is still alive and kicking within our relationships."
The findings were presented at the British Psychological Society's annual conference in Harrogate.