In dealings with the Chinese, you often hear about how “Lao Peng You” – or old friend, has a special place. The Chinese is taught that it takes many situations over a long period of time, better yet through both thick and thin, to form a valid judgment whether someone is a real friend or bad influence, beneficial or nemesis. So while there can easily be love at first sight, “instant friendship” is rare with the Chinese. Most Chinese likely believe that the trust that comes with true friendship takes substantial time to develop.
Road long [you] know the horse’s strength, days long (in numbers) [you] see the person’s heart. (SY1)