You know what the greatest compliment on earth is in this day and age, in 2019?
It’s not ‘you look hot in that dress’, or ‘nice indoor plants’, or even ‘love your artisanal collection of stationary’.
No, the greatest compliment is always received when you’re at your best friend’s house having dinner with their family on a Tuesday night in summer.
It’s when her mother announces that you are now part of the family.
It also means that you technically have to do the dishes once a week now. But you don’t care about that just at the minute. This is a very loaded moment. Arguably, this is the first time that the relationships you have been forming outside of your family for the first time are actually coming to fruition. And they are working. These bonds, they’re being validated. Basically, before I start getting too nostalgic here, the confirmation that your best friend’s family loves you is one of the best things on the planet. If I could bottle that feeling and keep it forever, I would. Don’t try me.
It’s a very similar feeling to when you’re told that ‘my parents would love you’. Or, ‘mum asked about your dissertation the other day, she hopes it’s going well’. These small gestures of affection that reveal how much you play in your friends’ minds – and even in their family! One of my closest friends surprised me the other day for my birthday when her mother sent up a card. I was close to tears, no word of a lie.
As such, the only thing that can truly rival this feeling is in the initial confirmation that you and your best friend are, in fact, best friends.
Oh yes, there comes a point in any good relationship worth it’s salt that you have … the talk. Who are we? What are we to each other? Commitment?
With best friends, this starts out by sending each other a few memes with the words ‘best friends’ in it. For example, the classic templates include: ‘tag your best friend ….’ Or ‘you know you’re best friends when…’ in comparison with what a mere ‘friend’ may offer. This then is recognised as a gesture of friendship, and double checking that the other person is also on board.
There’s nothing more awkward than having an unrequited best friend. You know, when they are your best friend but you aren’t theirs… that hurts, man. Truly. However, this is why we try to read the signals ahead of time while we’re getting to know our friend more intimately anyway. It saves time in the future.
Hopefully, though, in the future you can settle down with your best friend and reflect on all the great memories and nostalgic good times when you were younger.
And here we are, thinking about our best friend as you read this article. It can be platonic, filial or romantic, but we all have a picture in our head of who our special person is. Hold on to that.
The funny thing is is that we don’t even need to have known them all that long, and they certainly don’t need to be your oldest friend to render them your closest friend. People change and grow up in different directions, and that’s perfectly fine. Indeed, it’s generally when people start to mature and figure out what it is that they actually want or demand in a friendship that allows new, robust friendships to be forged more efficiently than in our pre-pubescent years when we didn’t know which way was up.
Now, when we make likeminded, adult friendships we have new considerations.
We still need hobbies and mutual interests like when we were younger, but that’s not the be all or end all. Unlike when we were younger, we make our own schedules now, not our mum. We have to arrange the play dates ourselves! This means we have to prioritise people over work, leisure and down time in order to test the friendship threshold and see how much of your time and effort you are willing to commit.
Usually, it’s worth the added effort in the early stages. Then, even if you don’t quite click like you thought you might, you know with plenty of time to spare – not wasting time that way. Nonetheless, that isn’t to say that the business of finding friends should be pragmatic or logical or efficient. It’s generally most successful when it’s anything but!
Moreover, it’s the old saying – opposites attract. This is true of lovers and this is true of friendships too. Sometimes you need a healthy amount of distance and different to keep things interesting and to stop you both from merging into each other. That’s no use to anyone! Ideally, you would have the perfect blend of a headstrong and impulsive individual with a more reserved, careful character – with various other attributes in between – so that you can learn to let loose with each other and be goofy, while also being able to plan trips and have a responsible time.
Get you a best friend that can do both!
At the end of the day, your best friend is your best friend for reasons that probably don’t compute in any sort of algorithm or checklist. They are simply always there for you, and put your interests above anyone else. You call them when you have news. They are frankly the only person who knows that you were expecting news in the first place. They’re always on your mind – be it in the form of a funny text, a joke that they would have enjoyed, or a meme that you just have to show them.
It’s all about showing that you know each other and love each other, warts and all. You can grow together in the relationship and come out more well-rounded and engaging individuals.
You can be honest with each other in a way that no one else can.