Have you ever felt like it’s impossible to make friends as an adult? Speaking from experience, it’s an uphill battle to meet new people—let alone make new friends. Trying to transform a casual acquaintance or colleague at work into a good friend is hard! Well, according to a new scientific study, the key to making friends as an adult is time. Great, the one thing we don’t have.
Professor of Communications Jeffrey Hall detailed how long it takes to form new friendships in a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Hall used a combination of online surveys and hundreds of interviews to estimate how many hours it takes for people to form new friendships after they moved to a new place. The study reveals that it takes approximately 50 hours to move from an acquaintance to a casual friend. It then takes an additional 40 hours to cement that friendship. Looking for a new BFF? You’ll need upwards of 200 hours to form a close friendship. (Take the online survey for yourself and see.)
Hall believes he knows why making friends as an adult is so hard: we just don’t have the time. Think about your best friends—they’re from high school or college, right? These are places where you spend almost every day with your peers. It’s so much easier to make friends in high school or college than it is to make friends as an adult!
If you’re looking for a new friend, make time in your life to get to know each other.