I lost touch with my first best friend when I moved cities at age fourteen. The sudden loss of my then BFF broke my heart and I still think back on the devotion and love we shared and then lost, and sometimes wonder if our friendship would have lasted the test of time.
Since then, many besties have come and gone, for one reason or another. The old adage that we can’t choose our family but we can choose our friends is only true so long as we make the right choice.
And even though I’ve tried to choose my friends carefully, I have over the years developed less and less tolerance for those of whom I once thought I picked well.
Making and keeping a BFF takes perseverance and there has to be a mutual affection and respect for one another. An unwritten code of empathy, kindness, harmony, solidarity, support and compassion combined with friendship etiquette is essential to a long-term alliance.
Anyone who has a BFF gets what I’m saying here.
Friendship etiquette is something that ensures the growth and tranquility essential for a healthy and reciprocally beneficial relationship. Friendship etiquette also means that there exists between two compadres an understanding, loyalty, and acceptance when there is not a shared like or interest in something or someone. You silently agree to stand behind and up for your BFF because that’s what a good friend does. You have their back whether you agree with them or not—in good times and especially in bad.
Additionally, friends don’t become your frenemy because your life might happen to be better than theirs at some moment in time. Friends take pride in the progress and success of their BFF’s.
An actual friend will revel in your successes and knows when you’re in trouble. And they do what it takes to combat and control their possible jealousies and inner demons because we all have our insecurities.
True friends understand that even though they are BFF’s their lives are divergent and separate from each other. And they recognize that only through give-and-take respect can they secure an unforgettable and life-long attachment.
If you’ve ever had the honor of having a true BFF, it’s fairly easy to name the qualities you expect in a close friendship. And you go out of your way to be a legitimate and honest friend.
But is your BFF really for forever? The following questions should give you the answers you’re looking for.
Are they genuinely happy when something good happens to you?
Do they listen to your stories without changing the subject to something about them?
Do they give you a break when you’re clearly off your game, knowing that everyone has a bad day?
Do they cancel their plans to be with you in your hour of need?
Do they check in on you when the weather’s bad or just because?
Do they feel your sadness when something bad happens to you?
Do they accept your friends?
Do they say the negative things they feel about you to your face, and say only positive things about you behind your back?
If you’ve been a faithful friend or have a loyal sidekick, the answer to all of these questions should be yes. If not, maybe your BFF is not who you thought they were.
And jealousy is the quickest way to destroy a friendship. Let’s be honest, there will always be a friend out there with a better life than yours—a more successful job, a more luxurious home, in better shape, with a closer significant other. And maybe they’re more beautiful, handsome or spontaneous.
But you say you love them, right? You want them to be happy, healthy and prosperous, correct?
The wannabe BFF’s say they love you, but the authentic BFF lives it. Because your friendship is worth safekeeping, and they know it’s the real deal and that a BFF once found, is irreplaceable.
Keep in mind that your BFF will always include others in their lives, which doesn’t mean that they stop being your best friend. A BFF needs to be confident enough to give their friendship shared freedom.
You’re friends for a reason. You chose each other because the two of you have something you don’t find often enough, if at all. You mutually share things like consideration, trust, empathy, support, and you love spending time with them. A BFF is a gift that can’t be measured like material goods.
Being a BFF means being truly ecstatic in your friends’ success and happiness even if you’re not up to the same speed. In every BFF, there is an element of responsibility to care about what your friend needs and take the lead sometimes. Your BFF is always on your mind, and you don’t play games.
It takes two to make a BF—there is no such thing as a one-sided friendship. A bona fide BFF is one of the best things that can happen to us. They listen to us, do things with us, and bring out the best in us. They make us better people, share new experiences, make us laugh, and are always there with broad shoulders for us to cry on in times of trouble. A BFF is considerate and your problems are their problems.
If your BFF is not like this, then, take a closer look at your friendship. Do they lack empathy and/or consideration of your feelings? Have they said and done things that have hurt you or caused offense? And when you try to explain to them that you are terribly hurt by what they’ve said or done, do they still play the victim?
If you’re always overlooking the bad behavior or demands of your supposed BFF, and/or walking on eggshells when you’re around them, it’s probably time to say goodbye.
As hard as that might be, take the energy and caring you’ve been wasting on your frenemy and find yourself the BFF you deserve.