How many times have you heard, “It takes time to build relationships”? Ever wonder exactly how much? Yes, it depends on the type of relationship. Here, friendship helps us. Casual, good, close and best friends help us define types. So, the time it takes to make friends will vary by type.
The Time It Takes To Make Friends
A University of Kansas study by Jeffrey Hall quantifies the time it takes to make friends. It also provides related research. Many have worked and are working on this topic. Here’s an initial summary:
- Casual friendships take about 30 hours.
- Friendships 50 hours.
- Good friendships 140 hours.
- Best friendships 300 hours.
These do not include communication time such as phone calls, emails, texts, messages or any form of social media interaction. Yes, these support relationship building. Yet, their time spent poorly predicts the nature of a friendship. The only time that matters is time together sharing the same physical space.
Impact Of Work And School On Making Friends
Work and school increase the amount of time we spend with people. However, this time is not as good as personal time we enjoy with others. Therefore, if the time is mainly work-school time, it takes much more time to make friends:
- Casual friendships take about 94 hours.
- Friendships 164 hours.
- Good friendships 219 hours.
- Best friendships 450-600 hours.
Still, no matter how much time two people might interact at work or school, if they don’t do things together outside of those settings the friendship won’t rise to a higher level. It will remain an acquaintance, a casual friendship or a friendship.
Great Friends Are Like Trees
In the end, making great friends is like growing great trees:
- The roots take a lot of time to grow.
- It needs physical space.
- Digital space alone won’t do.
Most likely, relationships that live off digital space alone will remain acquaintances, casual friends or simply friends. Great friendships are about sharing space doing things together.
Since all people have the same amount of time, the number of close friends for even the most extroverted will fall in the four to eight range. The number of close relationships that are most indicative of how happy one is.
Thus, choose your close friends wisely. Our path in life allows only so much time to do right by them.
Research note: Jeffrey Hall’s research article contributed greatly to this post’s content. It has great source material and is enlightening. I highly recommend reading it.