We all know the importance of friendships on our health and wellbeing, but how long does it take to progress from acquaintance to casual friend? Casual friend to true friend?
According to Jeffrey Hall from the University of Kansas, it takes roughly 50 hours to progress from acquaintance to casual friend. It takes 90 hours to progress to ‘friend’ status, and more than 200 before someone can be considered a close friend.
Acquaintance to casual friend: roughly 50 hours
Acquaintance to friend: roughly 90 hours
Acquaintance to close friend: more than 200 hours
So the more interactions you have with someone, the higher the likelihood of developing a close friendship with them.
Having said that, merely spending time with someone is not a precursor to an intimate and long-term healthy friendship. Superficial interactions, idle chit-chat and small talk do not make a close relationship.
Two ways to cultivate a close friendship
The first way is to participate in an activity together. Engaging in leisure activities heightens the closeness of friendships as it implies that you are willing to spend and invest your time in something other than yourself.
This could be everything from playing a game of tennis together, catching up for a coffee, cooking a meal together, or playing a board game at someone’s home.
The second way is to open up, emotionally. Self-disclosure in friendships has been shown to bring people together, cultivate intimate relationships and deepen trust and loyalty. So don’t be afraid to share your emotions. Share your experiences. Share pictures of your children and grandchildren. Voice your concerns.
Words of advice from Jeffrey Hall
“You can’t make people spend time with you, but you can invite them … Make it a priority to spend time with potential friends. If you are interested in a friendship, switch up the context. If you work together, go to lunch or out for a drink. These things signal to people that you are interested in being friends with them.”
At Stitch, we’re a passionate international community who are all over 50 and seeking meaningful relationships and friendships. If you’re a member, we’d love to hear from you about how Stitch has enriched your life.
If you’re not a community member and would love to know more about Stitch or have any questions, feel free to contact us.