I think there is a better (more formal) way to say this phrase:

... and it is obvious this is something that takes time.

I would like to reformulate it like so:

... and it is obvious is this a [word] process"

I'm thinking about lengthy, but this is often associated with something tedious, which may not necessarily be the case here. For context, the process is something similar to building a network of friends

  • lengthy need not entail tedium. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 10 '17 at 23:21

It is a gradual progress, a lengthy process, a protracted process.


"extensive" process. Indicates it will take a long time but for good reason - - many steps or complexities are in the process

If you want to focus just on time, use "lengthy"

If you want to point out the process takes a long time and you are proposing it be shortened, try "time-consuming"

  • I like "extensive"! Thank you! I thought about "time-consuming", but it has this "negative" feel to it which is not true for my process. I wouldn't say making friends is "time-consuming" :) It just takes a while. – Ciprian Tomoiagă Oct 10 '17 at 23:54
  • Just a nitpick. Since a process can be involuted, extensive seems "off". Does a process extend? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 12 '17 at 11:07

"time consuming" is commonly used in this instance.

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