How Long Does It Take to Make a BFF?

I think this search might be working.

Last Friday, Matt and I went to dinner with one of my new friends. She brought along another friend, who I’ve slowly been getting to know as well.

On Saturday, a friend from book club came over for a TV marathon. It was our first non-book club playdate, but felt as easy as if we’d been doing these weekend viewing sessions forever.

Low-key group dinners? Hours in front of the TV? This is just what I’ve been looking for.

Both of these friendships evolved slowly over time. They involved months of seeing each other on a scheduled basis—weekly or monthly—before the friendships graduated to girl-date status. A real lesson in patience.

Of course this doesn’t mean that I’ve found my BFF. Apparently there is more to being a best friend forever than simply having the same taste in television. (Though that’s a pretty good start.) Still, I realized over the weekend that I’m a long way from where I was when I started this blog: desperate to meet new people and begging for any help I could get.

I offer this piece of insight to anyone who might be discouraged as to how long the friend-making process takes. I hear from so many women regarding promising friendships that seem to be moving at a snail’s pace. They worry that time is keeping the friendship from moving to the “next level.” I say wait it out. Continue making other friends and moving on with your life, but don’t write off a potential BFF just because you didn’t immediately start making plans for every day of the week. Like anything, friend-making takes patience. A lesson I’ve learned the hard way considering I’m the least patient person in the world.

What about you? Think about your own local BFF: How long did you know her before you started considering her The One?


Filed under The Search

10 responses to “How Long Does It Take to Make a BFF?

  1. foxflat

    I came across your blog this weekend (love it) and this post is coming at a good time. I moved to a new city early last fall and am still feeling a little sad about my (lack of a) social network. I have the nice work friends and the kind neighbors, but nothing that reaches bff level yet. And isn’t that what we’re always hoping for?? But you’re right…making bffs takes time and it’s always good to have a reminder of that 🙂

  2. My current bffs I found in August of 2009. We were in the same book club and I knew I liked them instantly. They were both moms of kids my oldest’s age and their daughters were bffs in school and they had realized they themselves had quite a bit in common as well. I started hanging out with them in January of 2010 and haven’t stopped since. We started having weekly Thursday dinners with our families in early March of that year. I realize how lucky I am to not only have found them but to have hit it off so quickly. I dread, not only leaving them for Texas in July, but making new friends. I know it’s not that easy everywhere. 😦

    When I first moved from my hometown to the city my husband went to law school in, I found a girl at my work that I thought was funny and sweet, but she was sooooo shy. It took me months to get her out of her shell to just join the rest of us for drinks after work. I lived there 3 years and we were at the “good friends” stage when I left. We still keep in contact, but that was a slow moving friendship.

  3. katieleigh

    I’m glad to hear you’re at a good place in the search. Gives the rest of us hope!

    My local BFF moved up to Boston from TX around the same time I did – we went to college together – so we had a head start, so to speak, of several years. I’m trying to be patient as I develop the newer friendships I’ve found here.

  4. Kate

    It really does take time in many cases. And I think this is the difference between being an awkward friend hunter or coming off like a cool cat. I’ll admit, I’m being pursued pretty heavily by a gal I just met and I’m feeling a bit suffocated. I’m compassionate toward the fact that she really wants to be friends/make more friends. But I’m getting a pushy, needy vibe that makes me want to duck behind fruit stands when I see her in the grocery story.

    Patience is necessary because 1) friendships evolve slowly and 2) because no one wants Jennifer Jason Leigh as their BFF.

    • M

      You don’t live in CT do you? Lol. I know of someone like this in my town and I managed to escape but other people haven’t. When I first started hearing stories, my first thought was Single White Female and JJL.
      I wish they could install a “Like” button for these comments!

    • foxflat

      Aughh! This is one of my epic fears…not that I’ll be you in the situation, but that I’ll be the person you’re trying to avoid. Double encouragement to be patient!

  5. My BFF (who turned out not to be F, but that’s another story) in college and I didn’t hit it off at all until much later.

    My BFF now: same story. We got along OK and I liked her well enough, but I didn’t really want to spend all that much time with her for probably a year or so. Then we started talking more and hanging out more, then the friendship really developed. So … a long time 🙂

  6. I don’t know how long it takes but I think it takes longer when you cannot proceed along recognized BFF-forming pathways. I am crippled in my BFF search in my new city by the fact that a crucial step in my BFF-finding process has been snatched away from me (or rather, I have been snatched away from it). You wrote a post a while ago about meeting your BFF’s family and how it cements the bond, and this is so, so true for me. I have what is widely acknowledged to be the loveliest family in the world, and normally if I am getting fond of someone and want them to be my friend, I invite them round for Family Dinner at my parents’ place. And then they of course want to be my BFF so they can spend more time with my fantastic family. I am struggling to figure out how to make BFFs without inviting them round for Family Dinner. :/

  7. M

    The best friendships start off slow. I learned the hard way that when you take your time and really get to know someone, you’ll have a solid foundation. If you meet someone and overnight become BFF’s, you’re just asking for Psycho, the friend version. The overnight BFF doesn’t really know you and so it’s easy for them to turn on you for something silly but a BFF that you took it slow with will always remember who the true you is.

  8. Layla

    This is probably a bit nitpicky, but I thought I’d add it anyway:

    It also depends on how wise and experienced you are at having friendships. If you have previous experience with friendships and how to make friends, it should take less time.

    You’re in elementary school, and last time you checked, everyone invites their entire class to their swimming-pool birthday party or whatever. All of a sudden, it’s an entirely new situation where only 4 or 5 girls have a sleepover and not everyone is invited. You don’t have the knowledge or experience to fix this (you didn’t pay much attention to your parents’ interactions with people, and you had never seen an episode of Friends.) It takes a while to figure out.

    You’re 19 years old and you move away for university. You’re worried about making friends, but in a healthy moving-away-for-university sort of way. You do frosh week. You make sure to attend events and get involved. You make a point to try and make plans with people. It takes less time to figure out, because you can transfer your skills from previous friendships.

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