When you're a child, making friends seems like the easiest thing in the world. You might end up sitting next to someone you've never met before in class and by the time the bell rings, you've made plans for the next weekend. As you get older and move into adulthood, it can be much more difficult to make connections with people.
Everyone seems to already have established friendships, and when you factor in the everyday stresses of adult life it can seem impossible to make a new buddy. A new study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships has shed some light on how long it can take for an adult to make a new friend, and it makes total sense.
According to the research, the days of simply sharing crayons with someone and giving them the title of BFF are well and truly over. Now, if you want to make a new friend you're going to need a free schedule for the foreseeable future. The study suggests that it takes around 50 hours of hanging out before most of us would consider someone a casual friend, 90 hours before you're true friends and 200 before you're close friends.
The author of the study, Jeffrey Hall, conducted two experiments with adults who had just moved to new cities. He asked the adults to rate and track how close they felt to new acquaintances, along with the amount of time they spent trying to cultivate the new friendships. The study concluded that the leap of going from casual friendship to close friendship was greater than 50% after around 100 hours spent together.
The majority of us spend the most time with other adults in the workplace, but according to Hall, it's not just spending time in close proximity to someone that can develop long-lasting, deep friendships. Taking the time to make plans outside of the workplace is far more likely to transform a co-worker friendship into a bond that could last for life.
That's the kind of overtime that will pay off in the future.