Exploring Best Friendship

best friends

“True friendship is like sound health, the value of it is seldom known until it is lost.” -Charles Caleb Colton

When somebody says “best friend,” who is the first person to pop into your head? Is it your spouse, your next door neighbor, or even your own pet?

What if no one pops into your head?

There are many reasons why you may not have a best friend. Perhaps you have trouble connecting, you don’t want to label yourself a best friend, you’ve had previous problems with a friend or you simply don’t want one. I’ve been there and done that, and now I would like to share what I learned along the way.

Firstly, I don’t suggest you put up signs all over the place when searching for a best friend. What I do suggest, however, is to always remain open to the possibility of making a new friend. Any person you meet could eventually become someone with whom you interact with constantly and often. It can’t ever hurt to be genuinely nice, and usually this will result in the other person realizing you are a pleasant human being.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy best friendship, I’ll be the first to tell you: you are missing out. There is really nothing to compare to somebody who connects to you on a level that is stars above the moon. Believe me, I was once unsure how I would be able to make a best friend, but it did happen. And it can happen for you, too!

My skepticism came from thinking that no one had a vast majority of similar traits as me (your best friend doesn’t have to). There was one school night though, about a year ago, where I asked a guy I didn’t know too well a question. He answered it with sincerity and happiness and from there the rest is history. We went cycling, to baseball games and to tennis matches. We’re best friends.

Enough about me though. What you are really doing when you have a best friend is creating a relationship that, hopefully, will last a lifetime. I write about it because it’s one of the many ways to fulfill yourself and create an everlasting bond between you and another human being. The benefits from having somebody close to you include:

  • Helping to reveal the best of you.
  • Comfort that someone is always there.
  • An outlet for information you keep inside.
  • Improving your physiological state.
  • Taking your social life to new levels.
  • The ability to live, laugh and love together.
  • A potential partner in crime.

For those of you who do have a best friend in life, who is it? What does he/she mean to you? Are there any particular reasons you enjoy this persons’ company?

Photo by Stu Seeger

18 thoughts on “Exploring Best Friendship”

  1. Dan,

    Thank you for this guest post. In regards to not having a best friend, I experienced this for a couple of years in high school (funnily enough I was around your age). It was a tough time. There would be occasions when we would need to form our own groups (eg for a table for a school ball) and I would experience uncertainty and awkwardness because I didn’t know who I would end up being in a group with. Seems silly to think about it now, but I was so shy back then….

    This is my favorite line from your article:

    “… always remain open to the possibility of making a new friend”

    I like it because it points to something I have discovered over the years: often it is not immediately obvious the people who we will become closest to.

    Finally, you asked who my best friend is? I have some great friends back in Australia I miss a lot (who definitely come under the “partner in crime” label”), but I’m happy to say my wife, Kathryn, and I are best friends =).

    1. @Peter Clemens, Your “uncertainty and awkwardness” come as no surprise to me (no offense!), I feel like many other kids are without that group of friends. And the truth is, you don’t need to have a group as you get older.

  2. I don’t have many friends, the ones I do have are few and far between. But I do have ONE best friend. She’s the one who will always be there when I’m at my worst and at my best, put up with my drunken rants, the one who will go along with my stupid ideas like breaking into a high school and hanging out on the roof just because we have nothing better to do.
    She’s the first one I’ll call when something wonderful happens or if I ever need to hide a body. I love her so much and I truly believe she is my soulmate.

  3. I have quite a few really good friends in my life, but I’d have to say that my best friend is the one that supports me the most, is always there (no matter what!) to listen to my woes, and is happy just to spend time with me. Friendships, in my experience, can change (sometimes for good, sometimes for bad) so it’s important to always cherish them and cherish the people who bring good, positive energy into your life. Thanks for reminding me of this!

  4. Dan,

    My best friend’s name is Keith. I consider him my “best friend” for one reason:

    1. I trust him completely. Money, life etc.

    He has the characteristics that all good friends have, as well. He is always very positive and it doesn’t hurt that we have some similar interests. We have been friends for almost 25 years.

  5. Hi everyone .. it’s brilliant if you can have a best friend. Having travelled a lot I too have friends all over the place – good ones .. we just get on with life together when we’re back in each other’s company. So my friends are terribly important .. as I’m not married, no children, but always open to friends fortunately .. those that will make a difference particularly.

    It’s a great to consider that we need others all through our life ..

    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

  6. Thanks for the nice article.

    A best friend is something I’d struggle with. The other day I was thinking about marriage and of course, the best man issue came up. I couldn’t name a best friend outside of my lovely partner. Since then, I’ve thought about having best men!

    As an anecdote, I’m from Australia, and being an Engineer, I run into lots of blokes. It’s quite funny to be in Engineering circles and people will talk about guys who are top blokes, good blokes, and not so polite things about the rest.

    Has anyone read “How to make friends and influence people” ? I get the feeling it’s a superficial way to make people yours “friends” and then use that to your own advantage, which isn’t wonderful.

    Anyways, thanks again for the thought-piece.

  7. I have two best friends who happen to be brothers. We live in different areas now, so it may be months between visits, but every time I see or speak to one of them, it’s like we just spoke yesterday.

    One of my goals in simplifying my life, is to be able to spend more time with friends.

    Your article has made me decide to contact them this week and set up a day to go surfing together.


  8. I have a best friend, but, we aren’t close anymore. The last time I spoke to him he didn’t sound happy with his present situation. Then we spoke online a month ago. Hey I’ll leave it in God’s hands. Maybe I’ll friendship will continue. There’s still hope.

    1. @Omar, The most important time to have a best friend is when you are in a time of need. Step in and offer him some help – assuming that you two did not end on bad terms.

  9. My best friend is my partner and I am so lucky to have her. People come and go and things change but it’s so nice to have one thing that is constant in all of that. I have another best friend too but I haven’t seen him for about 6 years now, he lives in another country, the good thing about a best friend though is that time and distance just don’t matter.

  10. Honestly I struggle with this issue. I’m not a very optimistic person, but I still put forth my efforts. I don’t know if I’m the one who is messing up. I’ve come close twice though that has given me a little bit of hope, but how can I make sure I’m not messing up?

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