This study explores the particular instances or events/situations that must occur, or be shared, between two people to reach a level of close friendship. Using qualitative interviews, I investigate the details behind how participants met their best friend, what allowed them to connect, when they felt their connection grow stronger, and what factors helped or hindered friendship development. My study adds to existing research on social relationships and friendship; it confirms existing theories concerning how individuals form close bonds and what makes people become remarkably close with certain individuals. This study additionally reveals that, in addition to the specific qualitative factors that promote friendship, people rely on abstract descriptions and vocabulary to narrate their intuitive, closest friendship experiences and that there is collective understanding of this abstract process, which differs in nature from the more concrete, identifiable predictors of a close friendship.

Type of Work

Thesis - Limited Access

Department or Program



Hamilton College


Bachelor of Arts

Date of Graduation


Faculty Advisor

Stephen J. Ellingson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.