How long does it take to become best friends? The answer in a new study

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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An old saying states that true friends can be counted on the fingers of one hand, while a new study revolutionizes the concept of friendship, establishing that you become best friends after spending about 200 hours together.

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An old saying states that true friends can be counted on the fingers of the hand, while a new study revolutionizes the concept of friendship, establishing that you become best friends after spending approximately 200 hours together.

Friendship is one of the most beautiful feelings because the lack of human contact in one's life can be devastating on a psychological level. Clearly, carving out some space to reflect on your own is good, it's different if we spend periods in complete solitude that could undermine our emotional fragility.

Today also thanks to social networks it is easy to find old friends who for one reason or another have lost sight, but the recommendation is (when possible) to talk to each other, laugh and go out together in real life, perhaps over a cup of coffee or a good glass of wine.

Friendship can transform over time as we become adults, but true friends never change and try to always be there in difficult situations. How many times has it happened to you not to see each other for a long time and then at the first meeting the distance was canceled?


The Fox and the Little Prince

Or again, who does not remember the beautiful story of friendship between the fox and the Little Prince? Here is one of the passages that summarize its meaning:

"Who are you?" asked the little prince, "you are very cute ...".
"I am the fox," said the fox.

“Come and play with me!”, The little prince proposed to her, “I'm so sad…”.

"I can't play with you," said the fox, "I'm not tame."
“Ah! Sorry ”said the little prince.
But after a moment of reflection he added:
"What does 'tame' mean?".

"You are not from around here, you", said the fox, "what are you looking for?".
"I'm looking for men," said the little prince.

“Men,” said the fox, “have guns and they hunt. It is very boring! They also raise chickens. It is their only interest. Are you looking for chickens? ".

"No," said the little prince. “I'm looking for friends. What does it mean to "tame" '".

“It's a long forgotten thing. It means "creating bonds" ... ".
"Create bonds?".

"Sure," said the fox. “You, up to now, for me, are nothing more than a boy equal to a hundred thousand children. And I don't need you and you don't need me either. I am for you only a fox equal to a hundred thousand foxes. But if you tame me, we will need each other.

You will be unique in the world for me, and I will be unique in the world for you ".
“I'm beginning to understand”, said the little prince (…).

The friendship study

Jeffrey Hall, a professor of communications at the University of Kansas, is the author of the theory of Communicate Bond Belong (CBB), which states “that a social interaction operates within a homeostatic system, developed by internal pressures that go to satisfy the need to belong and conserve social energy ".

Without getting lost in big words, in short Hall establishes that to satisfy social needs, people invest time and energy. And so far, nothing new. The novelty is, however, that the researchers have quantified how long it takes to become a best friend.

A time for friendship

In the study, the researchers interviewed 355 adults who had moved to a new city in the previous six months. The participants were, therefore, all people who were forced by circumstances to build a new social circle to restore their environment.

Each participant was asked to identify new people they had met, excluding family members, people known for romantic interests or who they had met previously. Participants specified where they met the new person and how much time they had spent together. Every new person introduced into a social circle was rated on a scale: from acquaintance to best friend.

A second study involved 112 freshmen of the University of Kansas, then students with opportunities to meet new people and make friends. They were asked to name two new acquaintances and then report to the researchers three times over the course of nine weeks of college how these relationships had changed.

What emerged?

In terms of time, it took 50 hours of interaction to go from an acquaintance to a casual friend, 90 hours from a casual friend to a friend, and more than 200 hours for a person to fall into the frame of the "best friend". Acquaintances who have never moved into the social circle have usually spent less than 30 hours together, but obviously it's not automatic because spending time together doesn't turn two people into friends.

Some of the participants reported spending hundreds of hours with colleagues who were still classified as acquaintances at the end of the study. This usually happens when acquaintances do not spend free time together (outside of school or work). Beyond studying, which might be debatable, having friends is wonderful because they fill our life and load it with happiness.

About friendship, you might be interested in:

  • The most beautiful quotes and phrases about friendship
  • The beautiful short film on the importance of emotions and friendship (VIDEO)
  • How friendship changes when we become adults
  • 5 things only true friends do for you

Dominella Trunfio

Fonte foto: Caroline Tillery – Etsy

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