What is a "BEST FRIEND" to you?

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    Jun 22, 2009 3:40 PM GMT
    Maybe Hollywood is to blame, maybe old age and added responsibilities are to blame, but lately I've been moping around about the fact that I don't really have any "Best Friends"....

    Oh sure I have associates, people I talk to maybe 1-5 times a year...And I have people that I casually call my friends that I may text and/or we may get together for a drink once every other month...

    But I don't have any of those "Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer" Best Friends, those Seinfeld/George/Elaine Best Friends, those Sex and the City Best Friends, etc...

    What I mean by that is a person (or people) that I can hang out with/call daily...That friend that you can call in the middle of the night because your car broke down or to pick you up from the airport, friend to call when you're feeling down and need advice, friend to just have some laughs with, etc...

    Two of my gay "Friends" recently got Boyfriends which is great for them but they completely shut me out now to do the quality time thing. We haven't seen each other in like almost 4 months now. Communication mostly through text or email. But even before they got coupled up, we never hung out/talked all the time...One of them claimed he had a busy life and that I should get an Xbox Live subscription so we could spend time together that way, playing video games online with each other from our own homes (WTF).

    They still call me their close friend but I have a problem with it...So here I am, wondering if maybe I have a skewed view on what a "FRIEND" is.

    What do you consider a real Close Friend? Do you have one?
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16412

    Jun 22, 2009 3:58 PM GMT
    I've always had close friends. I think friends can be grouped in categories and everyone might have a different approach (which is fine). For me there are 3 categories.... 1) Acquaintances in which you are friendly (and may or may not have real friendship potential) 2) Friends that you actively do things with and enjoy their company.... and finally 3) Real friends.. those that you trust (based on your belief that they really care about your well being).

    They are people in which you open up about personal views, secrets, thoughts, convictions. They have the power to shape your behavior (and to hurt you) all based on your trust in who they are, their personal natures.
    A "best friend" is the top of your "friendship" group. I've had "best friends"
    from early elementary school until now. Sometimes these friends shift, but many remain close. I have a close female friend since 2nd grade. There she is at my 16th birthday party, at my college and law school graduations and at my mother's funeral when I was 24. She knows the goods and bads.

    Recently I did a thread on RJ about a friend who called me up during the noon hour, crying and emotional about a host of issues, the main one is his recent breakup with his partner and a slightly illogical path he is taking with his life. I've listened, offered concern and support and he's doing fine.

    Friends are very important and I'd encourage you to build some new friendships. There are lots of ways to do so, from similar interests, background, etc. Good luck with it.
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    Jun 22, 2009 10:58 PM GMT
    I have 2 or 3 really "best friends" that I could and have hung around w/all day every day. Now we live in different locations, when we can get together, it picks back up like we've never been apart. There are friends that I hang around w/because the opportunity presents itself. Like when we are all traveling. Then there are friends that I may just bump into once and awhile and still feel close to them when we are together.
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    Jun 22, 2009 10:59 PM GMT
    i think the answer is entirely subjective icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 22, 2009 11:04 PM GMT

    Someone who would cry if I died.

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    Jun 22, 2009 11:16 PM GMT
    My idea of a good friend may be a shock to some.
    But the true definition of a friend is someone who is willing to sacrifice on your behalf, maybe to the point of laying down his life for you!
    I do believe that this sort of friendship is found among straights - mainly within married couples, it is practically non-existant among gays, and as for the internet, no way! Those you mark as buddies on the Buddies List on your profile are not true friends at all. They are just internet users who enjoy online chatting with you. Otherwise they are just strangers - you may not even recognise if you meet in the street. The best level of internet chatting reached is probably "Nodding Acquaintance" - a level where you find some liking for the person without any committment.
    Yes, I'm gay, but ten years ago I met this woman at church and we became friends. As the relationship grew, I admitted to her that I was gay when she said that she had already suspected. When we did marry, it is a friendship that is secured with a covenant that we would spend all of our lives together.
    Even in the marriage vows, sacrificial friendship was spelled out,

    "To you, my body, my worldly goods, and everything I have I bestow to you, for better, for worse, for sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, to you I pledge my life until death us do part."

    Ten years on, and three children later, our marriage is robust. This is because she accepted me even knowing my orientation, and she has never judged me on that. She knows too that I'm a RealJock member, and I don't hold back from confessing to her whenever I have hots for a man. In turn I have given up my strongest passion : world travel - she can't stand the thought of hostelling - but if she was threatened by an aggressor, I would stand to protect her - to the cost of my own life.
    That is friendship!
  • SFTraveler

    Posts: 171

    Jun 22, 2009 11:32 PM GMT
    I agree with NotThatOld.
    Luckily, I found such a friend more than 25 years ago. He's been the "bestest" man at my commitment ceremony and legal marriage. We been there for each other through the joys and sorrows of life.
    He knows things about me that even my husband does not know. And when I needed an organ transplant, he volunteered even though he has never had surgery and is scared to death of it. Luckily, I has not needed his donation yet.
    Someday, when he is ready to retire, he wants to live with my husband and I in either a big house or a duplex. But that's decades away.
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    Jun 22, 2009 11:53 PM GMT
    Best friend is people who you discuss important matters with and trust their judgment. For example, financial, employment, relationship, health, these types of issues.

    From what I've seen "best" friendships tend to be formed during the formative period of one's life, for example, college, or at the start of one's career. Later in life it's much harder to form "best" friendships, with the exception of running into someone with very similar growing-up experiences and cultural background. A "best friend" is as close as you can get to a "soul mate", or an ideal brother/sister, but it's not necessarily someone you hang out with a lot. Maybe not at all except by phone because you have moved geographically away from each other. A "best" friend understands your core personality and drive, what makes you happy, etc.

    Friends you hang out with day in and day out are completely different. They can develop into "best" friends if there is enough spiritual resonance, but most of the time that's not the case. You need this kind of friends even more than you need "best" friends. The fact that you enjoy shared interests or activities with these friends make them very important to your happiness.

    I met one of my exe's during grad school, who later became my best friend. He's moved to a different city for years now.

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    Jun 23, 2009 12:13 AM GMT
    Someone who would NOT hold back and trust in your friendship and call you out on your shit good OR bad!
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    Jun 23, 2009 12:27 AM GMT
    My "best friends" know and can hold my secrets just as I hold theirs...

    Also, they'd help me bury a body if I need them too. Seriously.
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    Jun 23, 2009 12:47 AM GMT
    FirefighterBlu3 saidi think the answer is entirely subjective icon_wink.gif

    Oh, completely...that's the fun part. ;)

    I have a few people I consider my best friends. Some I see, talk to, and hang out with regularly; some I see not as often (some are married with kids; some live on the other side of the US), but we've known each other for ages. For me it boils down to having the kind of friends you keep forever. That's what I look for in people, and I've been really lucky to meet so many.

    As for the "friend that you can call in the middle of the night because your car broke down or to pick you up from the airport, friend to call when you're feeling down and need advice, friend to just have some laughs with, etc...", I have a few of those...they know they can count on me as well. In case of emergency, I'm the reliable one who remains the most calm. icon_smile.gif

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    Jun 23, 2009 4:57 PM GMT
    Thanks for all the feedback....But wait...

    None of you get annoyed or feel any kind of way about "Friends" who don't call or hang out with you often?

    I had a "Best friend" that I became bitter towards because he thought it was cool to only Talk/Hang-out once every few months or so even though we lived in the same city...Then there are the friends I had that got into new realtionships and shut me out, I can understand giving a little spoace, but to totally shut out your buds for a boyfriend or girlfriend???

    I guess I'm needy, can't really understand having a "Best Friend" that I rarely talk to or see....I have "Long Time Friends" where we catch up after not talking for a year or two...But seems to me a "Best Friend" is one that is within arms reach, for advice, hanging out, complaining about your Boyfriend to, etc....

    Guess I'm jaded
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    Jun 23, 2009 5:09 PM GMT
    Those best friend friendships require 4 things to my mind: commonalities, truth, trust and space.

    They are often easier than romance, but can prove just as challenging in the tough times. But you need common interests and mental ground, you need truth always, trust that you can count on them, and space (yours or theirs) when needed.

    Plus, your best friend now may not be so in a couple of years. Life's ebb and flow includes your relationships. People come into your life at a certain time and perhaps go when they're supposed to - every friend isn't suited for every part of your life. My first gay friend...we were a TEAM for several years and then it dissolved very quickly as our lives took turns in new directions. I saw him once last year. We had dinner. The energy, the chit chat, the humor and vibe was as if it'd never stopped. But stop it did, as I've not seen or spoke to him since we had dinner. We just don't belong in each other's lives anymore. I'm not sad about that - I'll always cherish our friendship, our adventures, the things we learned and shared.
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    Jun 23, 2009 8:34 PM GMT
    The title of "Best Friend" seems a bit highschoolish.

    I wouldn't say that I have any friends that I see every day, but then I like being on my own.

    However I have friends that I would like to think that I can call in the middle of the night, etc., since they pretty much do it with me.

    Most of them have survived the time/distance/jealous exes thing, just going to have to see if they survive the post-college life thing.
  • imperator

    Posts: 626

    Jun 28, 2009 8:25 AM GMT
    The old chestnut about "a best friend is someone you would die for" is all fine and good, but I think an even better measure is this: a best friend is someone who-- if they told me they didn't want to live as a vegetable and subsequently suffered a catastrophic brain injury leaving them irreversibly dependent on life support equipment just to maintain their 'empty' body-- I would pull the plug on them and feel happy that I'd fulfilled their wishes.

    Dying 'for' (as in, in the place of) someone else (friend or stranger) is a brave enough gesture, but dying is the easiest thing in the world to do-- everyone does it eventually, so fearing it or acting as though it's unnatural, or the worst thing that could happen to you, is a neurosis everyone should work on overcoming. Certainly if you can save another person without killing yourself in the process, that's considerate, but trading your life for theirs? If the peril is so imminent that it's clear someone's going to die, aborting your own life to prolong theirs-- when ultimately they're going to end up just as dead anyway-- seems like a recipe for your friend's survivor's guilt. And whereas you can only account for yourself, you can undertake to make the loss of your friend meaningful while there's no guarantee that if they lived instead of you that they'd make your sacrifice worthwhile. Is it really that noble to die for someone who might go on to waste the life you saved with empty, petty pursuits? Meanwhile, being willing to pull the plug on someone but then selfishly feeling bad about "your loss" is obedience without the real spirit of charity.

    So yeah... I think letting me die with some dignity and being happy for that dignity is just about the most intimately caring thing a friend could do for me, rather than watch me waste away like a grape on a window sill. Whereas we're all going into the ground eventually anyway, I think the "how" is more meaningful than the "when." At least, that's my presently-lucid point of view. icon_neutral.gif
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    Jun 28, 2009 9:12 AM GMT
    A best friend is somone who can be trusted. Someone who knows you (perhalps better than you know yourself). A person you feel totally comfortable with. There are many factors. One thing though, I don't think you have to restrict yourself to one.
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    Jun 28, 2009 9:43 AM GMT
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    Jun 28, 2009 11:12 AM GMT
    First of alll you are putting an enormous amount of pressure on people who have their own life. A best friend to me is not about the quanity of time you spend with each other. But the quality of time.

    You also compared friendship to charecters on a sitcom. Those were frictional people who were pretty weird.

    What kind of mkind are you to yourself? Along with best friend from college and another that lives in Los Angeles. I am also my own best friend.

    Be a friend to yourself first. Good Luck sweety in your quest.

    Be well.icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 28, 2009 12:19 PM GMT
    What is a "Best Friend" to me?

    A Best Friend is someone you can sleep in the same bed with and not ever in the period that it happens think about sex much less do it. Someone you will hug and kiss in public because you love them with all your heart and don't give a shit about "If someone is watching". Someone who knows close to everything about you. Someone you'd be willing to lay down your life for if it ever came to it. Someone who's advice though might not always be what you want to hear you know is meant to be listened to. Someone you know next to everything about. Someone you have no qualms with giving them a helping hand even if it comes around 2am when you just went to bed at 1am. Someone maybe that you hold above family cause you consider them as family even though they aren't. Someone you can say the weirdest things to and them not think differently about you or vice versa.
    But I believe this is where Honor comes into play and is lacking sorely in our society or is highly misguided.
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    Jun 28, 2009 1:57 PM GMT
    A best friend is someone I can talk to every day about anything. They understand me, keep my confidences and are 100% loyal to me among our mutual friends. They will call me on my bullshit or chew my ass privately if I deserve it BUT when it comes to the rest of the world they will always be on my side. I always know they have my back no mater what no mater when....and they know the same about me.

    I understand boyfriends/girlfriends/partners take time but my best friends never abandon me for them. IMHO that's a lame friend, as is the one who told you to get an X box subscription.

    I'm lucky in that I have a number of "best friends" and best friends in the making. It does, however, take a lot of time and effort - but if it's a priority for you it won't seem onerous. I also don't buy that you can't find a "best friend" on line because I have found several here on RJ. It just takes longer to build them and adding distance to the equation lengthens it more.

    I can also say that I have found some of my best friends in the folks that I never would have pictured as such. Good luck!
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    Jun 28, 2009 2:00 PM GMT
    What is a best friend? My boyfriend Kevin.icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
  • jmanorlando

    Posts: 205

    Jun 28, 2009 2:15 PM GMT
    Everyone has there own definition as friends, there are casual friends, the ones only ever ask surface (what's new? how have you been? books? movies? ...) questions and those friends that know truely you.

    They know you have their back and they have yours, they truely want what is best for you in life, they would leave a concert or movie to help you when you are need real need, you would run, drive or fly to help them if they were in need, you are willing to put their needs in front of yours when it is important and when they think of you or you of them you smile on the inside and out.

    I am lucky to have a few best friends and maybe because I would do all of the things I listed above, but i know I am blessed to have them and hope you will find yours as you move through life.
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Jun 28, 2009 2:25 PM GMT
    Just two people. My ex housemate and a buddy from my dancing day. They have been my friend for about 25 years. It to bad we dont stay in the same town any more, so we can see each others more often.
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    Jun 28, 2009 2:27 PM GMT
    A Best Friend....

    I have three friends, one of them I would say is my best friend.

    She knows what is going on in my head without me saying a word.
    I know by looking at her if she needs a hug or needs to hit me hah.
    I would drive 100 miles to help her change a flat tire.
    When I need a date to an event, she is right there and vice versa.

    We dont see each other as often as we would like to, but we know we are there for each other all it takes is a phone call and POOF! there we are.

    Her name is April.
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    Jun 28, 2009 2:28 PM GMT
    I like the definition of one of my mentors:

    "A best friend is someone who knows you so well, you can't stand to be around him more than 5 or 10 minutes a year."