It probably comes as no surprise, but we spend a considerable amount of time over here at Pen Pals HQ thinking about all the ways people become friends. To be honest, we're kind of obsessed with the idea of finding you new friends that enrich your lives and the best ways to make that happen. That said, we're also big fans of science, so we get pretty excited when new research emerges about the science of friendship.

One question we've always pondered around here - How long does it take to make friends? We had all kinds of crazy theories scribbled out on our glass walls, but it turns out - thanks to an associate professor from the University of Kansas - we don't have to guess anymore. It looks as if Professor Jeffery Hall has answered that very question in a first-of-its-kind study that specifies how many hours it takes to make friends. Spoiler Alert: it takes time. Lots of it. But how much?

According to a release from the University of Kansas, it takes roughly 50 hours of time together to move from mere acquaintance to casual friend, 90 hours to go from that stage to simple “friend” status and more than 200 hours before you can consider someone your close friend. So, the next time you see a new chat message from your new friend - remember, it takes time and effort to build up to that elusive BFF status.

But wait, there's more! We all know that having friends feels good, but new research suggests a strong social network could also be the key to preserving memory.

In this new study from The Ohio State University, they found that mice housed in groups had better memories and healthier brains than animals that lived in pairs. That's right - having a group of good friends could mean no more forgetting your keys before you leave the house!

So, what does this all mean for Pen Pals? We're building even more fun ways to connect new friends together, which we hope leads to a stronger social network for each of you. But we also know, building strong friendships is up to you! Once we connect you with a new person, you'll need to put in the time to build trust and create a meaningful friendship. We think it's worth it (and not just for the healthier brains!), don't you?