Good friends are made in good time

We all have those friends in life, who we cherish spending time with.

There are those we sit down with for hours on end. We laugh, discuss life goals, offer support during difficult times and share stories of love, loss and misadventures.  

There are also those friends we catch up with less regularly. Perhaps the chat isn’t as deep with these friends but it still leaves us feeling good. 

How often do you think back to when your friendships all began? Did you instantly click or was it a friendship that grew slowly but surely over countless hours? 

Have you ever wondered just how many hours it took to solidify a friendship?

Wonder no more, because in 2018 a researcher from The University of Kansas published some findings on just how long it takes for an acquaintance to become a friend.

Researcher Jeffrey A. Hall surveyed 112 college students every three weeks, during their first nine weeks at a Midwestern University. He also gave a one-time questionnaire to 355 American adults who had moved to a new city in the past six months. In these surveys, the newcomers picked a friend or two and reported how much time they spent together and how close the friendship became.

According to the research:

  • It took students 43 hours and adults 94 hours to turn acquaintances into casual friends.
  • Students needed 57 hours to transition from casual friends to friends. Adults needed, on average, 164 hours.
  • For students, friends became good or best friends after about 119 hours. Adults needed an additional 100 hours to make that happen.

How the participants spent those hours varied and Hall found “no one clear path to intimacy”.

It is clear that when it comes to making friends, there can be no short cuts. It takes time and effort from both parties. 

We know the prospect of having to make new friends (especially when you’ve arrived to a new place) can be a daunting one – but the investment toward future return is one money really can’t buy! 

As the Greater Good says on their article this research, “you have to work on the ones that count”.

Closer to home, the old Mainland Cheese advert provides good food for thought too…“I always thought me and Billy Wallace would be good friends. But, we’ll see. These things take time you know.”

This article is adapted from one by our friends at the Greater Good.