Making friends, eh? That’s a tough job - gotta put yourself out there, do the time, make the friends. But how long does it actually take to get a proper, real-life, not make-believe, friend? Well, an interesting science-person has put in the tireless work to find out.
University of Kansas professor Jeffrey Hall researched the subject, and published a report that found it takes approximately 50 hours together to turn an acquaintance into a casual friend. Then, if you’re still mates after that time, to make the significant jump to proper friend, it’s about 90 hours.
But what about the Holy Grail - a close friend? That’s a whopping 200 hours. Get to that milestone, and well done - you have a new bestie.
To work out the estimates, Hall used online surveys and surveys of college freshman about their friendships and worked from there. He said:
“When people transition between stages, they’ll double or triple the amount of time they spend with that other person in three weeks’ time.
“I found freshmen who spent one-third of all waking hours in a month with one good friend.”
So what are his tips for going the extra mile to nab a BFF?
“You can’t make people spend time with you, but you can invite them.
“If you are interested in a friendship, switch up the context. If you work together, go to lunch or out for a drink. These things signal to people that you are interested in being friends with them.”
So don’t let things slip, basically - if you want to maintain and start friendships, you can’t be lax about it.
Hall agrees: “Maintaining close relationships is the most important work we do in our lives. Most people on their deathbeds agree.”
Of course, as much as I agree about the need to make the effort with friends, I’m not too sure about Hall’s hourly estimations. I once decided I wanted to be best mates with a bloke because we spent twenty minutes in a pub drinking an entire pint each by scooping the beer out of the glass with our hands. Didn’t need 200 hours to work that one out.