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In the first study of its kind, a University of Kansas professor has defined the amount of time necessary to make a friend as well as how long it typically takes to move through the deepening stages of friendship. This means time spent hanging out, joking around, playing video games and the like. Maintaining close relationships is the most important work we do in our lives — most people on their deathbeds agree. Hall and a colleague developed an online tool where, based on your answers to a few questions, they guess your friendship closeness.
In the first part of his study, Hall analyzed responses to an online survey from adults who said they had moved in the last six months and were looking for new friends in their new homes. Hall asked them to think of someone they had met since moving, and how their relationship had proceeded, drawing associations between friendship closeness, hours spent together and types of activities. In this study, Hall asked the participants to rate their resulting relationships in one of four deepening stages: acquaintance, casual friend, friend and close friend.
Then he estimated the of hours where people began to transition from one level of friendship to another. In it, Hall surveyed KU freshmen who had recently moved to Lawrence.
He asked them about two people they had met since starting school two weeks before. Then he followed up with the respondents four and seven weeks later to see how that relationship had progressed. Combining the of both studies, he estimated it takes between 40 and 60 hours to form a casual friendship, hours to transition to being a friend and more than hours together to become good friends. They have to want it, too. And younger people would be wise to make that investment of time, Hall said.
He points to studies associating early friendships with happiness later in life. 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 al to people that you are interested in being friends with them. The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. The university's mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world.
KU News Service. When young people fall for each other, they fall hard, Hall said. Hometown news. Graduation and honor rolls. Subscribe to KU Today.
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