May 27, 2024

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How long does it take to make a friend?  Science answers

How long does it take to make a friend? Science answers

“The desire to have friends is quick, but friendship is a fruit that ripens slowly.” These are the words of the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Indeed, he knew what he was talking about. Recently, research conducted by the University of Kansas (USA) identified. The hours it takes to make friends.

According to the results published in the magazine Journal of Social and Personal RelationsSome are needed 50 hours of time together So that someone goes from a simple acquaintance to an accidental friend; 90 hours to move from this category to a friend; And over 200 hours to appreciate someone as a close friend.

How long does it take to make a friend?Getty Images/iStockPhoto

But spending time together means sharing moments of fun, joking around, playing video games, or having a few drinks, for example. This means that shared hours in a work environment don’t count as much, according to this study.

“We have to dedicate this time. You can’t snap your fingers and invite a friend to show up,” he says. Jeffrey Hall, the researcher responsible for this work. “Maintaining close relationships is one of the most important things we can do in life“, he points to.

To reach these conclusions, the scientific team developed an electronic tool that determined the degree of friendship of participants based on their answers to several questions.

The level of friendship between the people analyzed was taken into account based on the hours they spent together, the activities they shared and their daily conversations.

Furthermore, data were extrapolated from previous studies suggesting this A person’s mind can only “accept” about 150 friends..

On the one hand, it analyzed 355 responses to an online survey from adults who had moved in the past six months and were looking for new friends in their new homes. They were asked to think about someone they had met since moving and how that relationship developed. And so they stayed Correlations between degree of friendship, hours spent together, and type of activities they engaged in.

A group of friendsGetty Images

Participants then categorized these relationships into one of four levels of friendship enhancement: Acquaintance, casual friend, boyfriend and best friend. The number of hours during which people began to move from one friendship level to another was also calculated.

On the other hand, students who had recently transferred for their first year at the University of Kansas were surveyed. The researcher asked them about two people they had met at the beginning of their studies, and then followed up with that person four and seven weeks later to see how the relationship had developed.

Invest time in making friends

In this way, the research reveals it It takes 40 to 60 hours to form a casual friendship; Between 80 and 100 hours to become friends; And more than 200 hours to become good friends. “When young people communicate, they communicate powerfully,” Hall says.

“Once people move from one level of friendship to another, they double or triple the amount of time they spend with that other person after three weeks,” according to the scientist. Meanwhile, he says, “I’ve even found new students spending a third of their hours a month with a good friend.”

But it’s not just about wanting to be friends with someone. According to this expert, the other party should also be interested. Plus, as Hall points out, “young people would do well to invest that time.” According to previous studies. Strong friendships are linked to happiness later in life.

For example, in 2015, research claimed that having friends is an important predictor of happiness and life satisfaction. But despite these benefits, People don’t always prioritize spending time with that environment.. Therefore, according to experts, it is important to properly manage the time you spend on friendships.

“The amount of time and type of activity shared with a partner can be taken into consideration Strategic investments to meet long-term belonging needsHall said.

The scientist says: “You can’t force people to spend time with you, but you can invite them.” In his opinion, “we should make it a priority” to spend time with potential friends. “If you’re interested in friendship, change the context; if you work together, go out to eat or drink. These things tell people you’re interested in being their friend,” he concludes.


  • Jeffrey A. Hall. “How many hours does it take to make friends?” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (2018)
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