Monday, 6 February 2012

You're My Best Friend?

I have noted with some of my trademark scepticism that the term ‘best friend’ has been bandied about recently, not by children as you would expect, but by adults. It is like ranking friends constitutes some form of importance. I realised upon closer inspection although I’ve called certain people ‘best friends’ in the past I am actually beginning to wonder what the term really means.

On my dating misadventures a common thread for girls is that they are looking for a partner ‘…who is also my best friend’. This leaves me genuinally confused as to what they mean. Does a night of passionate sex, followed by a coherent conversation automatically qualify for ‘best friend’ status? What if your ‘best friend’ is not a member of the sex you are attracted to? Is it the ability to share and keep secrets? The ability for your 'best friend' to know what to say when words fail you? Is the burden of shared knowledge a pre-requisite to achieve this sort after status?

Perhaps the thing that perplexes me the most about such concepts is why people feel the need to rank such an intrinsic thing. Surely if a person was to rank a ‘best friend’ there has to be a ‘worst friend’ too? And some others who would most certainly fall in between? In my situation I find it difficult to rank such emotional qualities.

Just last week there was a point where I was in turmoil and I knew the person who I wanted to call straight away. I also wanted to discuss feelings, emotions and thoughts with another because their insight is often useful. And if you asked who was the person I felt closest to, the answer would be the person who lives the most distance away.

Perhaps the most troubling of all are the people who I once considered my ‘best friend’. They ultimately did not live up to that standard. If the person who owns the title keeps changing then I wonder what the point of the title actually is? If it is that flexible it would seem the term ‘best friend’ loses all of its meaning.

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