If you’re past the age of 22, you’re probably well aware of how hard it can be to make friends as a grown up. Something that came so naturally as kids becomes a big challenge as an adult. And now science has figured out just how long it really takes to make friends.
New research from the University of Kansas shows getting to be friends with someone new takes an incredibly long time. Professor Jeffrey Halllead the study and explains, “It takes roughly 50 hours of time together to move from mere acquaintance to casual friend, 90 hours to go from that stage to simple ‘friend’ status, and more than 200 hours before you can consider someone your close friend.”
So no wonder it feels so hard to make meaningful friends. When was the last time you spent 200 hours hanging out with someone cultivating a new friendship? But as busy as everyone is today, we still need our close personal relationships. Research has shown that having friends can help us live longer, keep our minds sharper, and of course, they have our backs when life gets tough, so it’s worth the hard work to develop friendships.
"We have to put that time in," Hall explains. "You can't snap your fingers and make a friend. Maintaining close relationships is the most important work we do in our lives — most people on their deathbeds agree." So it takes a long time, but it’s worth every second.