When you were a kid, all you had to do to make a fast friend was bust out your Rugrats lunch box and share your prized Fruit Roll-Ups. Unfortunately, making a new BFF as an adult tends to not be so easy. According to a new study, the secret friendship formula comes down to one thing: time, and lots of it.
In a new study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Jeffrey Hall, PhD, examined survey results from 355 adults who were getting to know a new acquaintance after moving. The survey asked about how much time they spend together, what they do when they hang out, and how close they’ve felt over the course of getting to know one another. Then, he asked 112 college students the same questions, reports Today.
After some follow-up, Dr. Hall got a good grasp of how long it takes to become BFFs with someone you meet and instantly feel connected to: While it takes 40 to 60 hours together to become casual friends, becoming a true friend takes 80 to 100 hours. Then best friend-status is typically achieved after 200 or more hours, according to his results.
Best friend-status is typically achieved after 200 or more hours.
Now, time at the office with your work wife while you’re on the clock doesn’t register as valuably since it’s the time spent together by choice that really leads you to #friendshipgoals. And, what you do while you’re with each other matters, too: Dr. Hall says simply hanging out and enjoying each other’s company and making a connection—even if that’s binge-watching TV—was what made people become closer. So avoid small talk at all costs if it’s a close friendship, not a business connection, that you aim to cultivate.
While this study is limited and more research is needed to draw a stronger connection between time and friendship quality, passing hours with someone whose company you enjoy shouldn’t feel like work. Need some activities to help you create some memories? Try hitting the gym, firing up Netflix, or cooking a delicious and healthy meal together.