Do you want to make some new friends this summer?
Yes? Well, you're in the right spot! And you're not alone in that beautiful desire!
Unfortunately most of us just want that to mean "I want to meet my best friend in such a way (hopefully today!) that we both immediately know we're best friends and therefore can start acting like best friends immediately."
But, as I've been saying for a looooong time: we don't just discover a best friend, but rather we develop a best friendship. And no matter how much chemistry we might have with someone... it still takes time to see each other, know each other's stories, and figure out who we are together.
In fact, recent research from the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships revealed that it takes approximately 200 hours for a 'best friendship' to develop! 200 hours!!! That means if we grab lunch for 90 minutes with someone that we'd have to schedule 132 more lunches before we felt that close, knew each other that well, and felt like we were tired-and true. That seems a bit high to me... but nonetheless, the point is well made: feeling safe and close to someone takes time.
So while it's perhaps unrealistic that we can go from meeting someone this summer to being best friends by September... it's certainly do-able to start logging the initial 50 hours of interaction that they found turns an acquaintance into a 'casual friend'. That we can get started on!!!
Like this summer.
I challenge you this month.. while it's still May, to actually write down realistic goals for your friend-making journey this summer. The season of festivals, walks, outdoor dining, and long days is ahead of us-- and it's made better with friends beside us. So start by being both realistic and hopeful as you answer the following questions:
- Is my situation that I need to meet more people or that I need to devote more time to some of the people I've already met?
- How much time (and where is it? weekends? evenings? at work?) can I devote to friend-making this summer? In other words, how much of a priority is this to me?
- And what's the best use of that time? Where can I meet new people OR who do I need to be reaching out to now to start scheduling time on the calendar?
- What will most support me in this journey? What will help me stay motivated? What will hold me accountable? (Want a resource to help? We're starting an 11 week journey together this summer!)
This is our work, GirlFriend. There is hardly anything more important in this lifetime than our relationships.
And this is our time. While what we ultimately want are close and intimate friendships-- we know that we have to start by simply putting in the time to meet people and get the friendships started. It's not what we like doing, but it's where we have to start. So we will.
This is our summer for making friends! Let's at least get started!