Chances are, you have a best friend — they’re not only there for you during the good times, but also the not-so-good ones, like when you and your boyfriend break up and you need to talk to somebody at 4 a.m. Hands down, your best friend is available for you, no questions asked.
If you were ever a Girl Scout, you probably remember the song, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” Of course, some friends become better than others — we get each other and connect with them more. But what are signs of a best friend that make them stand out from the rest?
“A best friend is someone that you feel you can totally be yourself around,” said Carolyn Cole, LCPC, LMFT, NCC. “You don’t worry about them judging you, and you can let down your guard and just be you. When life gets busy, if you don’t talk to them for a while, when you reconnect, it’s like you pick right back up where you left off. You and your best friend will know each other really well, talk about deep topics, sometimes for hours and hours, and they will know your fears and hopes and dreams — it won’t be a superficial relationship where you are just talking about surface-level things.”
Cole also says that your best friend will be very honest with you — whether it’s about their apprehension over who you’re dating or if they’re worried about how you let others treat you. “You can laugh together and cry together, and you can count on your best friend to be there for you when you need her, whether it be to celebrate a promotion at work or watch romantic movies and eat ice cream after a breakup. They genuinely care about you, and there is no envy or jealousy.”
1. “Someone that truly sees you and accepts you unconditionally”
“As a practicing shaman, sometimes one encounters some really bizarre stuff when working in the various energy realms. We naturally walk a path with one foot in the light and one in the dark. Needless to say, finding someone to share experiences with can be challenging; not everyone can relate. My best friend is totally my ride-or-die weirdo-in-crime. She is just as much there for me when I come up against something strange as I am there for her when Spirit is putting her feet to the fire — no judgment, just honoring each other’s process regardless of how messy it may show up at times. Having someone that truly sees you and accepts you unconditionally is a gift beyond measure. It is that level of compassion and understanding of others that I truly love about my best friend.” – Libby, 32
2. “They’re a driven hard worker with big goals in life”
“I have a cluster that I would consider to be my best friends (can’t pick just one!) in my inner circle tribe. The one trait each person has that I love is that every single one is a driven hard worker with big goals in life. We each have a great job in the field we wanted to get into, from editorial to design to law. Individually, we worked very hard to get there. None of my friends are content to coast by in their careers either. We are all continually challenging ourselves to move up the career ladder and further establish ourselves in our given industries. Admittedly, work does keep us from seeing one another frequently, but when we do meet up, it is an absolute blast and full of lively discussion about where we’re at and where we’re going!” – Heather, 30
3. “I can call her at three in the morning if I’m worried and can’t sleep”
“I have known my best friend since age 10. I met her on a playground that had a metal slide and she shared her piece of wax paper with me so I could put it under my butt to go down the slide faster. She’s my best friend because: I can call her at three in the morning if I’m worried and can’t sleep — she would not be upset. I could tell her that I have a crush on someone and she would keep it a secret. Politically, we are polar opposites and learn from each other. And I can trust her to be my health care power of attorney — she would not be afraid to pull the plug if necessary.” – Jo, 65
4. “I love that my best friends love me regardless of what is going on in my life”
“I am lucky to have more than one best friend. The things I love about my best friends are: 1) We can lose contact for weeks, months, or years and it’s like no time has passed. None of us have an issue with the lapse in time because we know that we love each other and that life happens. 2) We can speak what we feel without the other person getting mad because the feelings are our own. We can also critique or ‘call out’ each other for looking or acting a certain way because it is out of love. 3) I love that my best friends love me regardless of what is going on in my life. No matter what I have done, no matter what I choose to do, and no matter what others say, they will always love me for who I truly am.” – Melissa, 35
5. “What I love about her is that she listens to me”
“I am 62 and my best friend is also 62. What I love about her is that she listens to me, and she remembers things that I tell her that are important to me, as I remember things that are important to her. We have been friends for 42 years, and, if we need something, we can count on each other no matter what time of day it is. I have four sisters that I have no connection with, and my BFF and I truly do love one another in all the ways that I would hope for and have never had with my sisters.” – Kate, 62
6. “She’s all about me living my best life”
“I met Malini, age 22, on Bumble a year-and-a-half ago. I can honestly confess something wild and she will completely support my decisions in life — nothing crazy or illegal, but she’s all about me living my best life, and is right there the entire step of the way, with her matching Resting Bitch Face (RBF). On our friend bucket list is to open a bar or lounge in the area together, a plan we discussed over mojitos. I don’t think anything can top our last-minute trips to Chicago and NOLA — we literally went to the airport and booked tickets for the weekend. If we can do that, who knows where we’ll go, but there will be pictures and laughs involved, so stay tuned.” – Jasmin, 23
7. “I can always count on her for anything”
“Jasmin is my best friend [see #6]. She’s reliable — I can always count on her for anything. Also, the RBF factor we both share. Favorite experience is Chicago: the 20-degree weather, mojitos, and deep dish pizza. Enough said. Our next adventure: New York City.” – Malini, 22
8. “We use each other’s stuff”
“Here is what I love about my best friend, Emily: We use each other’s stuff. She lives in Paris and we see each other every other year. When we do, we go into each other’s stuff, like makeup or clothes, and just use them without asking. Have to be close for that!” – Sonia, 49
9. “She reads my mind”
“It’s almost scary how much my best friend gets me, but that’s the best part. I don’t have to say anything at all, and she knows how I’m feeling, good or bad. Ever since we met in college more than 20 years ago, we’ve had this unexplainable bond, and no one can ever take it away (though other ‘best friends’ have definitely tried!). But through moving far away from each other to having conflicting thoughts over life choices, we always come out as better people, and have each other to thank!” – Jennifer, 42
As you can see, many of the above traits appeared more than once in terms of the qualities women value in a best friend. Of course, some people lose their best friends, whether it’s from growing apart, changing cities, or other life circumstances. But, the good news is, if you’re in the market for a best friend, there are apps these days that can help you out, like Bumble BFF, like Jasmin mentioned, and We3 where, yep, you find friends in groups of three. So, all is not lost; in fact, far from it. Your new best friend could be just a swipe away.