As a young girl on the playground, it was a wise decision to name a best friend—you needed someone you could count on to cheer you on as you brave the monkey bars. It was also very fickle. I remember receiving a note when I was out of school sick for a few days from another classmate. She wanted to comfort me by letting me know my best friend was now her best friend so, I didn’t need to worry that she my now ex-best friend would be lonely. That was very comforting, indeed.
Thankfully, early childhood pettiness doesn’t last forever, and best friendship can be a sweet relationship.
Growing up I had a group of gals that I certainly felt more connected to. Through high school and college, I had women I did everything with which made life rich and good. There was depth coupled with fun and silliness.
After college, things changed.
Now, as a thirty-year-old, I have had mini-crises moments wondering why I don’t have a best friend. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I find just one friend that spans all seasons of life?
Is it wrong to not have best friends?
One of the toughest realities of being an adult is realizing that we will most likely have fewer and fewer close friends. Our seasons and communities change so often it can be hard to give the title to just one person. Accepting this helps us work through the narrative: if I don’t have one best friend or a lose a friend then there is something wrong with me.
So, instead, let’s reframe the term “best friend” –because you will always have a friend that is “best” at something.
You may have a friend that is best at making you feel welcomed, a friend who is best at asking good questions, a friend who the best at serving others, or a friend who is best at making great party playlists. The list could go on and on. It just takes us a few minutes to see the best in each of our friends whether we just met, or we have known one another for years.
In Scripture, I see less emphasis on lifetime relationships and more emphasis on supporting every member of “the body” equally and fairly. Every person matters and has important value to your story and the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
If you do have a best friend—awesome!
…don’t allow this term to destroy the friendship when things change. The moment she moves away or has a baby, the relationship will be different. She will have less to give to the friendship maybe for a season, maybe forever. Learning to readjust and not hold the expectations of being a best friend over her takes the pressure off of her and you. It frees you to embrace the many friends God has put in your life instead of winding up in a friendship fight over unmet expectations.
If you do need to have a tough conversation with a friend who has hurt your expectations and you need to find clarity: check out the post “What to do when you need to have tough-love conversation with your friend.”