This article was published on April 23, 2018

Study: This is how long it takes adults to make new friends

Study: This is how long it takes adults to make new friends
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

In a landmark study, a University of Kansas professor now believes he knows why making friends as an adult is just so difficult. Short answer? Time.

The study: Published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Associate Professor of Communications Studies, Jeffrey Hall, found that it takes about 50 hours to cement a friendship between two adults. That is to say, going from mere acquaintance — that person you find yourself waxing poetic about the utility of avocados in the super market every week with — to a casual friend.

If you’re ready to kick it up a notch, it’ll take about another 40 hours (90 hours total) to be actual friends — the type you might ask to water your plants while you’re on vacation, or to help you move.

For good friends, you’re looking at an investment of about 200 hours, at minimum. These are the friends you communicate with using a series of shifty glances and grunts, and they just sort of understand what you mean.

Takeaway: As an adult, a common gripe I hear from other adults is how difficult it is to make new friends once you’re past the days of bonding over a shared hatred of trigonometry.

As kids, you’re almost forced into these relationships based on the amount of time you spend together in and after class, at lunch, and doing after school activities. As an adult it takes actual work. That means finding the energy to nurture a friendship when Netflix is the only appealing thing on your radar after yet another 50 hour work week.

Adulting is hard.

Our advice: Just get a dog, people are overrated.

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