I think BFF relationships are a lot like ones we have with our significant others and that there are many tests we go through—often unplanned—to see if they (we) make the cut.
After all, aside from our SOs, our best friends are usually our closest confidants. This also means that not everything is 100 perfect 100 percent of the time.
The below was inspired by hurdles my BFFs and I have gone through—luckily, we lived through them all and still remain BFFs today—as well as plain old characteristics that make us us.
1. “In Good Times And In Bad…”
You haven’t laughed harder—ever—than with your BFF. Even without saying a word, you’ll both crack up at the same time, or cry at the same time, or feel what the other feels (even if the bad or funny thing is happening to them, not you). Telepathically, you are connected and no one can explain it. It just is.
2. You’ve Traveled Together
Yes, you’ve traveled together, and more than just a car trip across town. You’ve gone on an overnight vacation and have had to negotiate where you’ll go all day (sightsee via a tour or guide book or fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-style), how much money you’ll spend (hotels or hostels?), how you’ll spend your time (are you more of a go-go-go person or do you need some downtime, too?), and so on.
If the trip was a success – or even if it wasn’t – but you still remain friends afterwards—then congratulations! Your friendship is here to stay.
3. You’ve Lived In The Same Space (For A Night Or More)
This is similar to the above, yet different, for one of you is on your home turf and the other is between apartments for whatever reason (a roommate or boyfriend breakup, etc).
When you do share space, are you respectful of the other person’s living area – i.e., if they need a quiet atmosphere, do you wait to blast your fave Spotify playlist until after they’re out?
Plus, do you help them cook and clean and fold up your bedding each morning so it looks as though you’re not even crashing on the couch?
From 2009-2013, I couch-surfed through L.A., so I became a pro at sharing living space with many types of people. I am happy to say we’re still friends today. If I can master this, you can, too.
4. You Read Each Other’s Minds
It’s like magic—you can be sharing a table together at a café, both of you working on different things, yet when you do speak, you know what the other person is thinking.
You say the same thing at the same time, you know how the other feels about x, y, and z, and you think so similarly, you’re honestly surprised you weren’t birthed by the same parents.
5. “…For Richer, For Poorer…”
Your BFF accepts us exactly as we are, not a penny more, not a penny less. If we’re struggling, they’re there. If we’re having great luck, they’re there. For the day-to-day, they are a constant in our ebbs and flows of life.
No judgment, just unconditional acceptance. And we could all use such a cheerleader and consistent friend, right?
6. Your Family Is Her (Or His) Family, And Vice-Versa
You get along so well with your BFF’s parents that they might as well be your own. In fact, sometimes you wish they were.
They cry with you over your recent breakup, they have you over for holiday dinners, and they’re there for you the way any great (stand-in) parents should be.
7. People Mistake You Two For Each Other Since You’re So Alike
Yep, even though you may not physically look alike, people are constantly calling you each other’s names—and, of course, you don’t mind.
If someone can’t reach your BFF, they ask you the question they had for them, since they know you’d have the answer.
8. You Cannot Imagine Life Without Them
I have spent the last several months in Chicago attending to my elderly grandma. While I desperately miss my life and friends back in L.A., but I’m comforted in knowing they are still there for me (thank goodness for technology). We talk on the phone, we email, we write letters (yes, offline!), we visit each other.
Basically, we do anything and everything we can to stay connected and in each other’s lives, and I couldn’t imagine my life without them.
9. “…In Sickness And In Health…”
I think a test of true love among anyone—romantic or platonic—is how someone treats you when you are sick, and I mean really sick. This past summer, I was hospitalized for the first time. I’d managed not to be for over three decades and then—bam!
Who sat by my side in the ER, then in my hospital room, all night? Yep, my BFFs. And I would have done the same for them.
For more on best friends, check out this “Best Friend Challenge.” Do you and your BFF pass the test?!