Skip to content
Personal Growth

This is exactly how long it takes to build a friendship

This study shows just how long it takes to make a good and lasting personal connection with someone.
Friends (NBC, 1994—204), being friendly

Friends. You either have them or you don’t. Some people have several. But a new study shows just how many hours it takes to naturally form a friendship with someone. 

The Journal of Science and Personal Relationships reports that it takes 50 cumulative hours of hanging out to go from ‘acquaintance’ to ‘friend’, 90 hours to go from ‘friend’ to ‘good friend’, and 200 cumulative hours to become someone’s best friend. 

These numbers were found by interviewing 467 people. 255 of them were people that had recently moved, and a further 112 of them were freshmen in college (a prime time for meeting new people). Both study groups were asked over the next 9 weeks how the relationships were progressing, and rough cut-off points were found. 

And, editorially speaking, it’s worth pointing out that face time with people really and truly matters. Say yes to more experiences. Go to a baseball game or a movie. Add those hours up. It might seem corny or coy to some, but putting in “hang time” with your “bros” or just grabbing a coffee or a drink with a new girl friend can make you a ton happier. Even if you have a busy life, prioritize time face-to-face with people. 

(Puts on old-man hat) We can all agree in this age of social media that interpersonal relationships in real life — IRL, as the kids might say — are of utmost importance. After all, humans are a social species and studies have shown that this increase in screen time breeds loneliness and depression. So get out there and make a friend. 

A new episode of “Your Brain on Money” illuminates the strange world of consumer behavior and explores how brands can wreak havoc on our ability to make rational decisions.

Up Next