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Research by Hall, Jeffrey. A. (2018).
Written by Bethany Wellman, M.S.
Having friends predicts happiness and life satisfaction. How long does it take to make a new friend?
A University of Kansas scientist examined over 450 participants across two studies who had recently relocated to a new residence. In study one, participants completed a questionnaire regarding a person they had just met. In study two, students wrote on what they talked about.
Overall, hours spent with another was associated with having closer friendships. In study one, the time spent engaging in leisure activities also predicted closeness. Results indicate that the chance of developing a casual friend versus an acquaintance is doubled when spending about 43 hours together in the first 3 weeks after meeting. In study two, the type of discussion people had (joking, sharing, and catching up) predicted their level of closeness. Furthermore, those who remained only acquaintances rarely spent more than 30 hours together in over 9 weeks. Overall, it takes 40 to 60 hours to move from acquaintanceship to casual friendship.
It takes time to make a new friend. But think what value your social life plays in your happiness. Make meaningful conversation. Invest in time with others. Now that’s how you make a friend!
Hall, J. A. (2018). How many hours does it take to make a friend? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 1-19