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To “miss” the best friend I’ve never had

(9 Posts)
FizzyCherry Wed 14-Feb-18 08:37:59

This is a bit woe is me, but I have never had what’s even close to a best friend, and I’m starting to wonder if I have missed out.
This thought is inspired by two completely non related things over the weekend.
Firstly, horribly, my brother’s best friend died suddenly at the weekend, in his early 30s.
He and my brother flat shared at uni, and they were pretty much inseparable for 13 years, in their younger days, they were into all sorts. But, while my brother chose sobriety, marriage, kids and a life in the country, his friend carried on.
Although they spoke or messaged pretty much daily, my brother had to limit his actual contact with his BF because he’s not got the best self control when given temptation.
But my brother has told me in the past he sees (saw) BF as more of a brother than my other brother, because they are completely different, with nothing in common other than DNA.
So obviously, he’s gutted, he feels like he’s lost a brother.

Then sheer coincidence, I saw a post on FB, three mates I sort of hung around with at school were celebrating their annual best friends reunion.

I have always had plenty of “mates” and a busy social life, but I can honestly say I have never had a friend I feel like that about. I was always on the periphery of groups growing up, I was sometimes asked to social occasions, other times not, always an afterthought. I once asked who I thought was my closest friend how come they had all gone out one night and not asked me, she said “We don’t arrange it, we all just turn up, because we know where everyone will be.” I turned up, on my own one night, they weren’t there, they had arranged to go somewhere else instead. So I started to realise that I probably wasn’t their number one priority.

Anyway, my question is, is having a best friend all it’s cracked up to be?

I have a DH (at the moment, we’re “working through some issues”) and 2 DC, plus family and friends so I’m not in anyway ungrateful.
Just wondering what’s “the norm” and if I’m missing out!

HollyBayTree Wed 14-Feb-18 08:44:10

I don't think you can miss something you've never had. Do you have close enough friends that would have your back in times of need - I mean, would they do your fetching and carrying if you were in hsospital, or needed a shoulder to cry on through bereavement or relationship breakdown? Because thats the definition of true frinedship, not peopel you have 'girly' prosecco time with (JMHO)

FizzyCherry Wed 14-Feb-18 08:54:26

Holly, I genuinely don’t think I do, no. My mum has always been there for all those things, but I can’t think of anyone else in my life who has.

But we don’t socialise, apart from the odd lunch or trip to the cinema. She’s fit and healthy but obviously not getting any younger - if she wasn’t here, I don’t know who I would turn to.

FizzyCherry Wed 14-Feb-18 08:55:19

I have quite a big family, but we’re pretty crap at “being there” for each other, tbh.

OrdinaryGirl Wed 14-Feb-18 08:59:39

I think you can start forging and cultivating lovely rewarding friendships at any age - maybe see this as a wake-up call Fizzy telling you that you want and need this in your life. It can all start with a single text or suggestion to get coffee. Some of my dearest female friends are ones I've met in the last couple of years, so longevity is not necessarily the defining factor you might imagine.

AmberTopaz Wed 14-Feb-18 09:00:46

Personally I think that having a best friend who is so close that he “feels like a brother” or similar is quite unusual.

DragonNoodleCake Wed 14-Feb-18 09:02:27

I never had that until about 4 years ago. I now have a 2 small groups where we would do anything for each other (one group (5 of us) is more established than other because we've been a group much longer).

What changed was me, as my faith grew, I understood friendships were like my faith, I needed to invest in them to make them grow. Friendships like that don't grow over night, but I take time and effort and mostly love and make sure those things are priority. I feel happier now. They mean the world to me and I know they have my back.

Dolphincrossing Wed 14-Feb-18 09:02:50

I don’t think that’s really true at all Holly and I think it puts pressure on people and friendships.

As a general rule, immediate families will take priority and precedence over friendships and I think accepting that is a huge part of being able just to enjoy your friends for who and what they are. I have some very close friends but I don’t kid myself that they are going to stop putting their babies to bed because of some crisis of mine. Possibly if it was an absolute dire emergency but I’d try not to ask because I’d be well aware it would be putting them out.

As with all relationships, it’s about bonds, and those bonds strengthen through shared experiences, languages - I don’t just mean both speaking English, but certainly with my friends we have ‘words’ and in jokes others wouldn’t get and I imagine others do too. So for example we once had a friend called ‘Mary’ who was always, famously late, to the point where ‘Mary’ became a synonym for lateness and so I can say to someone in that friendship group ‘I’m running about five minutes Mary, see you soon!’

I don’t think anyone should put up with a load of shit, but I do feel that you have to loosen your expectations if you just want to have a laugh and enjoy yourself.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Wed 14-Feb-18 09:21:48

I’m not sure it’s all it’s cracked up to be. I’ve had a few best friends:

High school - totally inseparable. Shared obsessions about music, film, tv, fashion, boys. Everything in common. Then she SWFd me. It ended badly when she started telling people my stories as though my life experiences had happened to her. By then we were about 18/19 and had moved in together. I don’t think the relationship could sustain itself in the real world.

Young adulthood - from 17 I had another close friend who became closer and closer until we were best friends (she never liked the one above 😂). We had an unspoken connection from the minute we met and a deep understanding that we would be there for each other no matter what. I loved her so much and I still do. She was with a much older man (her 19, him 33) and through the years he wore her down. Her parents pushed them away, her friends didn’t want to know. I put up with it for her sake but I also despised him. We moved apart but when me met up I found each time there was less and less of her. In their isolation they’d started to become the same person, her being the one that disappeared. 20 years on she’s still with him but we’ve lost contact as she knew I didn’t like him or want to see him and he didn’t like me for it. Still, on the offchance she called tomorrow I’d be there.

Now - I met my current “BF” about 16 years ago. We had so much in common, and things to this day I still have in common with no other person. We moved to a new city together and became extremely close. We both had long term partners though and this changes the dynamic. You no longer have hours and hours together all weekend to talk in depth about everything on your mind, and other people tend to be there. She and I have been through thick and thin and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her, however I don’t have that deep connection I had with either of the other best friends, particularly number 2, and I think this is just because as adults we have lives outside of each other. She’s living in another country now but we still text daily. I miss her, but even when we lived in the same city I only saw her for a few hours every few months after I had kids. There just isn’t time.

So my point is that I have had some intense friendships and I often really miss that, but realistically I know these things rarely last forever, and even if they do, they need to take a back seat because after adolescence other people take main stage in your life. You may have missed out on that intensity but equally you may have missed out on a lot of heartache. I’ve cried many times about the latter two BFs and it’s only due to luck of timing the last one made it through.

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