Turning an acquaintance into a true friend takes between 80 and 100 hours, according to new research.
That means that if you take a four-day holiday with someone you’ve just met, the two of you might just be friends by the end of it.
Or, if that feels too ambitious, watching roughly 200 episodes of the TV show, Friends, together could do it.
Friendship – distinct even from romantic or familial relationships – has been shown to more life satisfaction, better health and overall well-being, time and time again.
Yet, a 2016 survey found that nearly three quarters of Americans feel lonely, raising their risks for Alzheimer’s and even premature death.
Time, may be the key, however, according to new research from the University of Kansas.
Some say we’re in the midst of a loneliness epidemic. Others say we are more connected by social media and more isolated from reality than over. Still others bemoan that making friends after age 30 feels close to impossible.
So much of the population seems to crave and recognize the need for friendship, and yet these lonely people aren’t finding it.
‘Given the importance and how important it is to have friends, I wondered: ‘”how much time does it take to actually make one?”‘ asked lead study author Dr Jeffrey Hall.
Coveted best friendships take work and time, unsurprisingly, and did not emerge until people had spent 300 hours together.
Not all time spent together was the same or had the same effect on the closeness people felt to others.
‘It’s not enough to just be in the company of someone…it matters how you spend the time,’ said Dr Hall.