The No Bullsh*t List Of What Makes A Best Friend A Best Friend

I want you to take a second or 60 to sit where you are, right now in this moment, and really think about your best friends. Think about whomever you’ve labeled as one of your “besties” and get them lined up in your mind, because we’re about to pick them apart. As a female, I know all too-well the urgency with which girls can make proclamations about “new best friends” and “BFFAEAEAEAE.” Girls by their very nature are contradictory creatures, being both catty and easily excitable about other girls. So, when we meet a new friend who seems legit, we’re quick to become her #1 cheerleader, invite her to girls’ brunches, and tell her our deepest darkest secrets, thusly claiming best friendship far too quickly.

However, as you grow up and subsequently grow more skeptical of humans in general, this changes. You realize there are very specific truths that earn someone the “best friend” label. After a certain age, you no longer throw the term around casually — you’ve been through enough fair-weather friendships to know what actually constitutes a best friendship. And it’s the following:

You’ve seen each other naked multiple times.

No, like, naked naked. Like, you can describe each other’s areolas from memory and know how one another’s pubic hair is stylized. You guys got over the shyness of getting unclothed in front of the other years ago and haven’t thought about it since. It’s not erotica — it’s just your boobs, and TBH, you’d much rather not have to awkwardly hold them from view and suffer the inevitable, even more awkward nipple slip while trying on multiple outfits in front of her. Time is money, and sometimes you’ve gotta shamelessly strip down to nothing in order to get your bestie’s opinion.

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She knows your actual weight/pant size/waist measurement and you know hers.

“Don’t let a number define you,” they say. Well, in a surface-level society such as ours, that’s damn near impossible. So do the majority of women let these numbers bother them? You bet your ass. And, since women need solid female friends to complain about their bothers to, only the truest of best friends are trusted with the real numbers. That way, they can throw you a mini text-party clad with an array of emojis when you lose one pound or can fit into that one pair of size (fill in the blank) jeans again. Duh.

The pictures you send each other are disgusting.

Neither of you are perfect, and you own it — but only with each other, really. No one else can know how gross you can be except for your best best friends. Pictures of close-up pimples, in-dire-need-of-a-wax mustaches, random body hairs… pretty much nothing is off-limits when it comes to sharing your true, disgusting selves with each other. Sure, you’ve both overstepped boundaries a few times, making the other dry heave or genuinely think “Wow, she is nasty.” But you got over it.

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They know you. Like, really know you.

Every psychotic, dramatic, irrational, vacillating thought that goes through your mind? They know about it. Not only because you tell them every single one of these thoughts (what’s this “filter” they speak of? because you don’t have one), but because they just know how insane you truly are. They’re well aware that you might feel one way this day and the opposite way the next – it’s who you are and they’ve accepted that. You two have said some of the weirdest, most fucked up things to one another about life in general, revealing dark, twisted, and uncomfortably strange sides of your personalities and guess what? You’re still as close as you are. That’s gotta count for something.

You can be honest.

Even the bluntest people sometimes have a rough go with being completely honest with close friends or family. Sure, you can shit talk a celebrity’s dress choice or make a Facebook status about a current event without a second thought, but when it comes to standing in front of another living, breathing human, looking them in the eyes, and being completely truthful about whatever they’ve just asked you, shit gets real. Of course, with your best friend, this isn’t an issue. Even if you one of you fibs upfront, it’s 100% guaranteed that you’ll come clean within the hour or day. “Hey, you know earlier when you asked me if I liked your new dress and I said I do? Well, I don’t. It’s not flattering at all and you can do so much better.” You see, true best friends aren’t in competition with one another. Unlike acquaintances or, in some instances, frienemies who are keeping each other close for shitty reasons, we don’t feel threatened by our best friend’s beauty — in fact, we want to celebrate it. We’re looking out for one another’s best interest, so we’re not about to boldface lie to each other in order to protect feelings. We want you to look your prettiest, excel the hardest, and feel your best both mentally and physically. This is a NO LIE zone.

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Your communication is sometimes non-verbal.

One time, during a brunch with friends, I randomly locked eyes with my best friend and thought to myself “Please ask me what’s wrong later when we’re alone.” Guess what? She did, completely unprompted. A best fucking friend can read you like a book (a book with larger font and a few pictures throw in, though). With just one subtle, passing moment of eye contact, she knows something’s up and she needs to inquire about it later. Same goes for texting or gchatting — with a few messages, she can smell your mood through the computer or phone screen. Within two responses, she’ll be like “What’s wrong?” and you’ll marvel at how amazing y’all’s relationship truly is.

You’re seriously in love with her.

Not romantic love, but real, true, unconditional love. And I’m not talking about the type of love where, within five seconds and three vodka sodas of meeting a new friend, you’re like “OMG I LOVE YOU!” I’m talking about imagining your life without this friend sends you into a fit of panic. Picturing an existence in which you used to have this friend but don’t anymore is pretty much the most horrible situation ever. Because you truly love your best friends. You love their personality, you love hearing about their seemingly mundane, day-to-day lives, you love when your phone goes off 48 times in a row because of the group text you’re all chattering on (unless you’re in one of those anti-group text moods and contemplate drowning your phone in the toilet). About twice a year, how much you love and appreciate your best friend overwhelms you almost to the point of tears (usually around one of your really bad periods), and you make a point of telling her you love her. And she probably tears up about it, too. Because hoes before bros and chicks before dicks, unless the dick is hot and it’s been a while. In that case, she’ll forgive you because, after all, she is your BFFAEAEAEAEAE.

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xox,

emma

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