But we digress. A new study has come up with a definitive answer to question one, at the very least: 200 hours. That equates to just eight and a third solid days of “joking around, having meaningful conversations, catching up with one another,” in the pursuit of best friendship, says lead researcher Jeffrey Hall told Psychology Today.
The study, published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, surveyed two groups of people to find out how long it takes to become best friends: the first, 350 people who had recently moved to a new town; the second, more than 100 university freshmen (aka first-year students).
“Friendship status was examined as a function of hours together, shared activities and everyday talk,” the study explains.
Delving further, the study determined that 50 hours of interaction is required for an acquaintance to become a ‘casual friend’, and 90 hours to progress to a proper friend.
The take-home? Next time you’re not sure where you stand with a budding friend (or should that be acquaintance?!), whip out your calculator.
This article originally appeared on marie claire.