Who’s your BFF?

BFF by Eflon

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Confession time.

I must admit that I sometimes feel jealous when I see others who have a BFF. That is, a person they can call at the drop of a hat about anything; a person they can share everything with; a person they know is really always there for them; someone they can share stories, laughter and tears over a coffee and slice of something decadent; a person they can go shopping with and be honest about what looks good or bad; confide fears, hopes and dreams with; someone who can share this parenting journey, woman to woman; whose kids will grow up together and maybe even become BFFs themselves; a person who is a true kindred spirit.

Is this wishful thinking? Does anyone have such a BFF? Do they really exist?

Don’t get me wrong. I have friends, dear, lifelong friends, women I cherish and love and am loyal to. However, I’ve moved quite a bit growing up. It’s resulted in special and interesting friendships………but, for the most part, with people who are living too far away from me for any regular tangible contact. There is contact, but only as much as can be afforded across seas, oceans and borders.

I know that my moving has contributed to this but I know that these experiences and associated travel have enriched my life in other ways. Would I trade those to have a small group of childhoods friends, I grew up with, shared everything with? Truth be told, I would love to have both.

Anne Shirley & Diana Barry

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Do you have a BFF or a small group of close friends who are kindred spirits? Are they childhood friends or newer friends? Or are you currently “interviewing” for the role? Is your partner or spouse your BFF?

P.S: I drafted this post late in September but didn’t get to publishing it till now. During that time, I came across the Lonely Mother from Naomi from Seven Cherubs and realised, I’m not the only one. Neither was Naomi given the over 50 comments she received.

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I’m linking with Jess from Diary of a SAHM for iBOT.

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63 thoughts on “Who’s your BFF?

    • I’m learning that friendships seem to have seasons and your experience, Anna, just seems to confirm that. I’m a pretty loyal person so the learning to let go is quite tricky for me. Do you talk about the change and mutually acknowledge the distance? Do you just go with the flow? Navigating new territory with an old, familiar friend can be tough.

    • So true. Friendships have seasons. It’s also hard and conflicting sometimes when you heart remembers one thing about the bond you have but reality thwarts attempts to keep nurturing it. I guess it’s natural that distance can make it harder, just as it’s said about long-distance romantic relationships.

  1. We have moved around too much for me to have a best friend and I admit I am jealous when i hear someone refer to another as such. I have friends (and am still friends back home with my oldest mates), but I don’t think I am anyone’s automatic inclusion in things – like when an event is going on at school or a melbourne cup day celebration is planned…so it takes a lot of effort on my part to have a social life (unfortunately)

    • I totally know what you mean, Deb. I drifted away from a small group of close girl friends when I moved to Sydney. They did give me the impression we’d stay in touch, but maybe it’s like long-distance romantic relationships. They don’t always survive or thrive. We have since re-connected via Facebook and there is a familiarity there, but it’s strange too since we have 15 years of a gap in the experiences of our lives.

  2. Yes, they do exist. I have one of those BFFs. We’ve been friends for 20 years but it’s only since my son was born – nearly three years ago – that it’s become that sort of BFF relationship. She knows everything. Everything. And she’s my only IRL friend who knows about my blog. She knows everything anyway so she may as well read the blog version too!

    I also have lots of other close friends and acquaintances but it’s getting harder to see everyone now. A combination of Facebook, Skype, phone, texting and email keeps everyone close though.

    My mum always says “to have a friend, you must be a friend” – it’s always in my mind. I’m naturally a very selfish person so I have to step outside myself a bit and put myself in others’ shoes. I hope I’m as good a friend to mine as they are to me.

    Mothering must be so hard at times without the closeness of friends. At least there’s blogging! Have to admit, sometimes I like blogging more than seeing people IRL!

    • That’s lovely to hear, Kate. You are right in that it takes effort to develop friendships and it has to be a two-way street. You can’t sit and wait for a connection; sometimes you have to initiate the connection. And it doesn’t always last but at least you tried. The thing about blogging is that while it’s an effort, it’s an effort on your terms, in your own time. I guess that’s why I find it’s been easier to make new friends this way too. But despite that, I think many of us still long for face-to-face closeness with someone. We are connecting so much more via social networks, but sometimes, as I’ve heard it coined, they can be anti-social on another level too. Wonder what the future holds for our children?!

  3. I have the most wonderful BFF but but we didn’t meet until I was in my twenties & her in her thirties. I don’t have a really close circle of friends though. She is the only person aside from work & family that I see on a regular basis & I’m lucky that it’s her who organises me to get out otherwise I’d be a total antisocial homebody. So hard to coordinate a social life around smalls!!

    • That’s so lovely to have someone that close, Neι, who is also willing to put in the effort. It is hard being very social with little kids. I guess that’s why I had high hopes for my mother’s group but whilst we got on and stay in touch, it’s on a casual basis. I’d say two of them gelled closely and so did another three, but I wasn’t one of them. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for future opportunities as my kids grow up whilst trying to work more on some existing ones. One can only keep trying!

  4. I really get that moving issue. I moved so much myself – it’s really only in the past 14 years that I’ve remained more or less in one place (Melbourne, with a 6 month move to Bendigo that I don’t like recall). It is in the past almost 10 years that I’ve developed the sort of BFF friendship you describe here (so since my thirties). There have been many heartaches along the way as well. Friendships I thought might develop into BFFs but just didn’t have the right blend of personalities, interests, geography etc. I think those friendships are relatively rare. I also don’t take this relationship for granted as I’ve come to realise that nothing is forever really unless you have a certain amount of luck as well. So, I guess I view it all more as Best Friends For This Stage of Life (BFTSL???). It’s a very delicate thing.

    • I like that description, Sif – BFFSTL. I think that is very true. I do find I feel anxious even acknowledging that’s the way some friendships go. I wonder if it’s to do with the way we grow up perceiving friends. Or maybe it’s just me!

      On an aside, you are very good with these phrases. You’ve already suggested “Blog at your own pace” instead of “Blog your own race” and now you have the niche “Slice of Life”. Very creative!

  5. I think best friends change. My best friend from high school is now a good friend of mine, but we have grown apart so I can’t really call her my best friend now. My sister is really my best friend and I know she will be for life, so guess she is my true BFF.

    • I’ve had to learn that friends do change, and it’s not always anyone’s fault. It’s life and circumstances. I am not as close to my sister as you seem to be, Maria, (there are 5 years almost between us) but I do hope my girls will be BFFs knowing they always have someone to rely on even if they have other friends along the way.

  6. I do have a BFF. Amelia and I have been friends since year 12. We actually hated each other for the first six months we knew each other!
    We often joke that we are more like sisters than best friends – it’s that kind of love. We often disagree, but it doesn’t seem to affect our friendship. We are entirely honest with one another, for better or worse! She lives an hour and a half away so we practically live on the phone to one another. It can be difficult for both of us, and sometimes we feel “out of the loop” if we haven’t spoken for a day or two, but I think if we lived in the same town we possibly wouldn’t be as close or “in each other’s pockets” because we’d see each other more often if you know what I mean.
    I moved a lot as well – 26 times in my 27 years. It wasn’t until I was more in control of my own social life (as a teenager obviously, haha) that I found someone like Amelia. It can certainly be difficult to maintain friendships with all that space between you!

    • That’s funny how you and Amelia started, Daisy. My childhood buddy and I started the same, or rather she found me annoying. But somehow we’ve stayed in touch and it’s 30 years on! The thing is, i am one to make more of an effort but with distance and her family of four kids, I’ve had to learn she just doesn’t/can’t (and apologises for it too from time to time). It has meant things have changed between us but I guess that’s life. I’m not so sure we’d be close friends if we had met when we were older. We are quite different people. It’s just that childhood soul-tie, kindred-spirit thing that keeps us in touch, albeit, sporadically.

      And moving 26 times! I moved a fair bit but no where near that often. Good for you on keeping in touch with Amelia then.

  7. I’m going to have to agree with Bicultural Mama – best friends change. I do have a BFF (sounds so high school-ish, to tell you the truth) from (surprise, surprise) high school. But the past couple of years, I feel she’s let me down a couple of times – but in big ways (one that involved my wedding).
    Anyway, I was a bit hard up about it last year. But I’m learning to let it go. We still talk and we catch up but I’m definitely not seeing her as that wonderful, supportive person I used to for so many years.
    Life changes. Friends come and they go. Sometimes they come back again. In the meantime, I’m really enjoying meeting up with new friends through blogging – like you !!! πŸ™‚

    • It’s hard to let go, isn’t it Grace. I didn’t even understand that concept when I was 18 and had to accept an old friendship was changing. I was so upset and perplexed and hurt.

      I can relate to feeling let down by someone really close, someone I’ve known for 30 years actually but I’ve accepted that’s how it is, though it still hurts. I still keep in contact but not put in as much effort. I still give her kids and her birthday cards and gifts but haven’t had anything in return for years (not that it is conditional on that but it highlights the lack of effort). It’s just how she’s wired; not sentimental that way and she’s busy with her family of four kids. Friendships change because people change, I guess.

  8. I’ve a group of close friends that I’ve grown up with since secondary school. There’s 9 of us but within the group, we are even closer with a few. I won’t say i have a BFF, but I do have a few besties who I know I can call on for support and love anytime. Nowadays I don’t really get to meet up with friends very often, but I’m glad at the very least, technology helps :p not as gd as meeting up face-face but it makes those moments even sweeter..

    Ai @ Sakura HARUKA

    • I used to have a similar group, Ai, when I was in high school in Singapore, then at university in Australia. There was something magical about that type of relationship, or so I felt. Moving away has meant those ties have been loosened till they are no longer really connecting us anymore. Technology has brought some of us back into contact but it’s not the same, as you say. I think there is something to be said for face-to-face contact. I wonder what the future will be like for our kids as they grow up amongst so much technology. It’s both social and anti-social at the same time; quite a paradox.

  9. I know EXACTLY what you mean! I have always wanted a best friend. Growing up I had a circle of friends, but there was lots of nastiness interspersed in there. I always wanted a bossum friend like Anne and Diana. I still have never found that- although I am getting quite friendly with another Mummy from playgroup. But it still doesn’t seem to be that complete BFF thing. I’m starting to think that maybe I’m just not that kind of person? I tell myself that I have my family. I have 3 sisters and I am extremely close to my Mum, and I think not everyone has that amazing closeness we have, so maybe that is my BFF relationship and that’s enough? I don’t know. Sorry for rambling a little here, but I do get it.

    • Robyn, I guess we are spoilt for the idea of a kindred-spirit friendship due to our mutual appreciation of Anne of Green Gables. I do believe they are out there but if a marriage takes all the time and energy and effort it does, a long-term BFF relationship probably needs similar. That’d make them a bit hard to come by on a regular basis. I agree with a few others too in that there are seasons in our lives for everything meaning some friendships come and so go and some evolve. That’s been my experience too. If you can have such a close relationship with your sisters, that is really special in itself.

  10. No BFF here. Darwin is such a transient population, that it makes it hard to keep friends for long. I’ve stayed here, but they all move on!

    Boatman is my best friend, but I would love a girly friend to take shopping and that sort of thing. I’m like you and quite jealous of those who have that.

    I’m loving my bloggy friends though, particularly daisy. It’s good to have someone who understands the dramas of the blog world, and who knows you, in some ways, better than IRL friends, because I find it easier to share on my blog than in person.
    I consider blog friends good friends. There is almost always someone available on line who I can talk to if need be, even if it’s just a little rant! πŸ™‚

    • I started blogging because I saw a community there of possible friendships and even just basic moral support with this journey of motherhood, so I get your thoughts on bloggy friends, Jess. I think ultimately our partners have to be the ones we are closest too on the whole but there is something special about going shopping, talking hair or having tea parties with girl friends and I don’t include MILs or SILs in this (unless they are your best friends). It’s never too late and if you get the chance to move to Adelaide, you may get the chance to find a BFF too. πŸ™‚

  11. I’ve moved around too much to have one true BFF, if there is such a thing? I guess my opinion would be different if I had stayed in one place and grown up with the same group of friends around me. I long for this for my own children. I do have some very dear friends and love that when we catch up, it is as though virtually no time has passed. I find that now, when I’m struggling, that I tend to withdraw and don’t stay in touch with my current circle of friends. Silly isn’t it?

    • I feel quite similarly to you, Laney, on all those points. I have dear friends but no longer one or two BFFs because life and circumstances have led to changes. I don’t always open up to my close friends either because they don’t with me, especially as time has gone by. Silly that it should be based on conditional vulnerability, conditional love, but I suppose that only happens if something at the foundations is already going through change. I’m just reminded of a movie that talks of BFFs and growing apart and reconnecting again – Beaches with Barbara Hershey and Bette Midler. I guess we never know what the future might bring.

  12. I don’t really have a BFF, either. I have close friends and family members, but not really someone I would call a TRUE BFF, not like the kind of BFF I had before becoming an adult and having a family. I miss it sometimes, but I guess I’m quite set in my ways these days and I’m happy with what I’ve got.

    • Interesting thoughts, Bee. I guess we can get busy in our lifestyle of family and parent that we do trade off those other connections. Where’s the time anyway?! But given the comments to this post, I guess that doesn’t necessarily negate the desire to have that special connection. Maybe it will come one day in a different package from the past. A new mother in the school or something. Who knows.

  13. Much like yourself (and some of your commenters) I don’t have a BFF due to moving around so much in my life. I, too, am envious of others that seem to have these besties. You have articulated exactly what it is like – you still have women in your life that are important and enriching – but not that close tangible BFF who is ‘available’ for you at all times. Perhaps we need to stay in one place long enough to hopefully find a BFF. Maybe they will pop up when we least expect it. πŸ™‚

    • It would be interesting to hear from people who have had a BFF they’ve maintained successfully across the miles. I know it’s often said that long-distance romances don’t usually work. Can a long-distance BFF? Maybe everything just has its season depending on where we are in life both physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. The thing is not to have hangups when things evolve and change; I know I have struggled with this in the past. We don’t know what tomorrow might bring!

    • It’s interesting how you put that, Rhi. “BFF free” conjures up images of escape and liberty, as if it’s something you are glad to be free of. Not sure you meant that though. Maybe I’ve romanticised the idea from shows like Anne of Green Gables and the movie Beaches. I know there are BFFs shown in other contemporary shows like Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives and other reality tv shows but they also seem to contain a lot of bitching and backstabbing. That’s not the circle I’d like to move in. My hubby would probably joke about being in touch with his feminine side if I called him my BFF!

    • Love this, Jayne. I, like a lot of others who have commented, do feel some degree of loneliness and longing. It’s great you are so comfortable within yourself and your marriage that this is all you need.

  14. I do have one but unfortunately they’re not in Sydney or Australia. It saddens me. I want to have that BFF thing but it’s just too hard especially at this age. I wish one day they’d move here 😦

    • I get it, Kristyn. I have one close university friend who moved to Sydney recently but we don’t see much of each other because our lives are no so different. I have a family, she’s divorced and childless. I miss her. My other dearest friends are in Singapore, the UK and the USA or else interstate. The pros and cons of a globalised world! Technology only takes things so far. A virtual hug is never quite the same as a real one.

  15. I don’t have one BFF I am lucky to have three and they are not friends with each other, but they are so special to me in so many ways and they each give me something that the other doesnt. My hubby is my ultimate bestie though. he is the one I call or bust to tell something.
    One of my BFFs and I have been firends for 20 years and 2 of them I have only known for the past 5 years and I met them through my kids. They are mums of my kids best friends and we just totally clicked πŸ™‚ xx

    • You are, Sonia! Most of those I call my dear friends don’t know each other either so we relate about different things. I know some have a group of girl friends, a la Sex and the City style. I’m hoping to meet more new friends through my kid’s school too, once they get to that age!

  16. I have held on to one of my BFF from public school. We live in different towns and don’t get to catch up very often which sucks. We move fairly often so i havent really had the chance to make any more. yet! πŸ˜‰

    • It’s interesting, Jane, how you phrased that, “I have held on”. You may not have literally meant that but I find I’ve done the same with some old BFFs and it has been a challenge to let go and let things “die a natural death” so to speak. I tend to hold on too. I know you’ll be moving again soon; hopefully you’ll get that chance to find new ones real soon!

  17. I don’t really have much contact with any of my girlfriends from school, I feel that we don’t have any common bond anymore but I do have some very special and significant friends I have met who live closeby now and I feel that our relationship is very much as you described here. I do however have to give my husband the credit for these friendships though as they are all couples we have met through his work or sporting teams.

    • Erin, I expected to meet different types of friends once I got married and kids started school. I’ve been looking forward to those opportunities. Unfortunately, my hubby’s friends have met even less frequently since getting married and having kids so that hasn’t helped. He has gelled well with some of my girlfriends and their hubby’s and families but they mostly live interstate so regular contact is impractical. I’m waiting for the time my kids start school for a new season of friendships. Maybe I’ll come across some more in-between!

  18. I have been so lucky to have a best friend who lived 2doors down as we were growing up. We practically lived at each others houses and so I was devastated when they moved 30 minutes away. But it didn’t do anything to harm the friendship. Every holidays we would stay with each other, she was my bridesmaid, she sat with me every night in hospital when my daughter was sick and I feel so lucky to have that as I know not many people do. In saying that I also have some wonderful newer friends who are also very special too. I think sometimes too it is about meeting the right people at the right times of our lives. πŸ™‚

    • Martine, that is really special and a relationship to be treasured, for sure. I think newer close friends can be just as special as the old ones. It is a lot about what we need in the different seasons of our lives.

  19. I feel very much the same way as you do, having moved has made a big impact on my friendships. Although i do have a lot of good friends which i am very grateful for, i do not have a bff, someone i could call at the drop of the hat, happy to see without make up or in my pajamas.. I guess I rely on my husband or brother for that type of friendship.. to be honest it really is harder to make friends once you are older i think.
    Great post Veronica. xx

    • Thanks. I agree, Jody, it *is* harder to make new friendships. When I was younger, a lot of my closest relationships just happened due to circumstances and timing and they evolved from that through school, university and church. I think it needs to be a more deliberate action as we get older. When I say more deliberate, I see it as looking at new opportunities to meet other women and seeing if synergies develop, like the mothers at my daughter’s childcare. It’s all a work in progress.

  20. I haven’t had a BFF for years – probably since high school. Still very good friends with that BFF but it’s not the same. These days my hubby is my BFF!

  21. My BFF and I have known each since we were 5. For the most part, we have lived away from each other – but when we catch up, it’s like nothing’s changed. We moved 5 months ago, and I really miss having some friends to catch up with. It’s hard as you get older to establish some new friendships to ‘do life’ with. Some people don’t seem to have any room or time left for new friendships.

    • This is so lovely, Deb. I can only imagine the amazing memories you both share. I know what you mean about catching up like nothing’s changed. I can do that with a few dear friends because of our familiarity and past bond but part of me knows things have changed on a personal level and interests and experiences are quite removed from each other. Maybe that’s as good as it gets sometimes with old friends.

  22. Can relate to this. I did have a BFF. I certainly dont miss the horrible parts at all but BFF’s certainly are hard to come by. These days my hubby is my BFF & im happy with that. I still have a couple of friends from high school that i talk to but not BFF’s. I only really realised how much i wish i did have someone close when i went to get my tattoo done. I would have really liked a girlfriend to be there with me.

    • Your experience with your BFF sounds like it was difficult at times, Jocelyn. For me, most of my issues have been due to changing circumstances and/or just not having time or being in the same place to interact enough. Maybe if we accepted or understood there are seasons for everything, it might sit more comfortably with more of us. It’s nice that hubby fits the bill for you. Mine does but, there is a but, I still would love there to be a girlfriend in the picture.

  23. I do have a BFF but like most of my closest friends, she lives far away (in Thailand). Like you V, I have moved round a lot – lived in several countries both as a child and adult and now that I have come home to settle, many of my closest friends are still overseas or interstate. I have new friends but no one who shares a lot of history with me and it does get lonely sometimes, it doesn’t feel the same. I had a Skype sesh with my BFF yesterday and cried my heart out….something I can only do easily with my hubby or with her.

    • There’s something special about someone who shares your history, Kirri. I get that. I know that’s why I hang onto my old dear friends even though things have changed and we really aren’t as close anymore. I make the efforts more often now than they do. We are close on a certain level due to our old bond, but lots of recent history is not shared anymore so that makes us distant in a way too. It’s hard to go from seeing someone almost daily to barely seeing them at all as we get married, divorced, get busy with kids, travel, etc. The new dynamics take a bit of getting used to. It’s hard sometimes to know whether to bring attention to it by talking about it or just letting it be what it is.

  24. Oh I so love how you picked Anne and Diana Barry! I LOVE THEM SO!!

    I know what you mean Veronica. Although I am very fortunate to have a BFF also named Anne. She knows what to do when I need ‘help’ and we have been friends for 25 years. She is single and i wish someone would see what I see in her, she is first rate.

    • Another kindred-spirit, Gemma?! I love them too. I’ve watched the DVDs umpteen times. Maybe it’s their fault I romanticise friendships! But seriously, I think it’s great you have an “Anne-girl” BFF and that even though she doesn’t have a family, it hasn’t made it difficult for you to relate to each other.

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  29. I have a group of friends I grew up with through my church, the interesting thing is the ones I was “best” friends with as children are different to the ones I call “best” friends now. Even then my close friends all work while I am home with the kids so I don’t really have that friendship during the day when I probably need it!

    • I quoted something in my follow up post that aptly explains what you’ve described:

      ““People come into your life for a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime.”

      It took me a long time to realise this but it helped once I did. i still feel sad for old one’s that are no longer flourishing but not as guilty as I used to.

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