Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Definition of A Friend....A BF, A BFF, A BFFL.....and having a grateful heart

Webster's dictionary doesn't really have a definition of what a Best Friend ( BF) is, or what a Best Friend Forever (BFF) is, or what a Best Friend For Life (BFFL- pronounced Biffle :) )  is... but who needs Webster's dictionary when you have a couple of teenage girls???
A few weeks ago, after a day of shopping with my daughter and her friend, and listening to them jabber in the back seat...I got an awesome lesson in friendships, and what really makes them what they are, and the varied definitions, for all the different levels that there are for friendships.. ( I did NOT know there were such levels.. :))
I actually was very intrigued, by what they were saying. I know their history, and how their friendship began.. and it was no piece of cake, believe me!!  They are like oil and water, they've had their share of disagreements, and misunderstandings...but now they are like sisters..They now  laugh at all their past disagreements and misunderstandings..kinda like a forgive and forget thing., mixed in with some maturity and growth.. :). My daughters friend told me that my daughter was her BFFL...( I did NOT know what a BFFL was...)  I asked her why.. why a BFFL and not just a BFF.. She said a BFFL was someone that you know, without a doubt is someone that will  always be there for you...FOR LIFE...someone you could share your deep dark secrets with and you know they are safe...someone you can trust your life with..and it doesn't matter where you live... close by or far apart...She said a BFF was a best friend, but it seems the level of trust isn't the same as the BFFL..
So, being the inquisitive, questioning, need to know .. type of person I am.. I decided to investigate further, by asking some women I know, with healthy BF relationships,  what their thoughts were on the whole BFF topic.
I asked them a few questions:

What is YOUR criteria for a best friend.. or does it just happen?
Do you have more than one? Can you?
Are there rules to having BFF's
Is there a difference between a friend and a best friend?

Here are some of the awesome responses :

~I think the number one rule is, my BFFs have to accept me for who I am because I accept them for who they are. I won't pretend to be something I'm not just to be friends with a person and if I can't be myself with someone I hang out with, that person is just a friend. A completely goofy sense of humor is crucial! And...no drama or guilt trips. If I haven't called a friend in a while, phone lines go both ways. Besides, true friends can pick up where they left off so it doesn't matter how much time goes between phone calls or visits! :-) I do think that once your core BFF criteria line up with someone, then it just happens! ( PL)

~I think everyone has 1 best friend and several "good" friends and friends. Your best friend can change over time but I strongly believe there is only 1 true bff. Now I agree , the number one rule is my BFF has to accept me for who I am...flaws and all as I do them. My BFF is a female, whereas I believe females can have male bff's too. There is no rule to having a girl for a bff. My BFF and I can talk about anything and everything, always get an honest opinion whether I would like it (or she) or not. We are open and honest with eachother. Yes there are fighting at times but we always end up bff's. I think there is a difference between a friend and bff. A bff is one who you confide in with you deep dark thoughts and secrets, friends are ones who you have lunch with, hang out shopping with etc. not ones you would necessarily tell all too if that makes sense. I think bff thing just happens. You grow comfortable with the 1 person and it turns into a bff. My bff and I were "estranged" for several years and when we reunited it was like it was just yesterday we talked. That is what I believe a true bff is! (RW)

~So... I think BFF's happen and you can only have one... I think you have levels of friends... If an acquaintance is considered a friend, usually it steps up the level of loyalty one can expect. Some times time will pass and there isn't constant contact, but when contact is made the gates are open and conversation is easy. I am not one to throw the word "love" around all the time, but a friend to me can't be a true friend or close friend without a true love shared by the two. Once a true or close friend is born they are in my heart ♥...A BFF must be a friend (true and close first) and somehow that relationship deepens to the point that you couldn't imagine living life without that person around to share it with! Kindred spirits!!! .( SD)

~Let's see... Best Friends.... I don't think that you can choose who your best friend will be. I think it happens depending on God's timing, and when it is right, the two of you just "click". God knows just what and who we will need in our lives. I think many of us have several friends who we enjoy spending time with, perhaps going out with, going to church with, working with, but a best friend truly knows who you are, what your dreams and fears are, will laugh with you and cry with you, would want to be called at any hour of the day or night, if you need them. A best friend will take a road trip with you on a moment's notice. A best friend many times will know what you are thinking before you even speak the words. A best friend can be trusted with your life and you can be trusted with theirs.(JB)

~Like someone else said before me, a BFF can pick up where they left off no matter how much time goes by. I believe you can have more than one in your life because my sister is one and I have a few others. You know in your heart which friends are your BFF vs just fair weather friends. A BFF is a friend whose relationship with you never ever changes, no jealousy between the two of you even if they have many other friends, you just have this bond that cant be broken. I thank God for my BFF's.( CC)

~I know that many women have a bff, and I am kind of jealous of that, but I have found that when I think of a special friend being my bff, that I end up getting disappointed. I guess I never really had a bff.(M)
So what are my thoughts on the whole topic? It still intrigues me . Women's relationships intrigue me.. I work with a couple hundred women, and I  have observed all sorts of friendships among them.. and talked to the ones that are best friends. Some days it amazes me that it's women who have the whole BFF thing going, and not men. I mean, come on... PMS AND MENOPAUSE????.. that's what womens friendships have to deal with.. all those EMOTIONS!! :) So many misunderstandings, and misinterpretations because of emotions! UGGH!!! :)
I know men have BFF's, but they don't seem to be so prevalent or important. Men don't seem to need that connection that women do.
 I remember having a best friend in grade/high school. What I remember most is coming home from school and sitting down together and dunking Oreos in a glass of milk.. Ahhhh.. those were the days! =)

I admittedly do NOT have a BFF, BFFL, or an  acknowledged BF... I have my dog... he loves me unconditionally.... doesn't misunderstand me.. loves me no matter what.. =)
Now that's not to say that I don't want a BF, BFF, or BFFL...Some think that I have a ton of friends, and support...I actually don't.. I have a lot of acquaintances, and maybe a couple good friends..I tend to be very selective with picking friends =)...and I have .my hubby, and my dog... I do find though...as I get older.. I kinda long for that connection.  That heart connection you have with a BF, or BFF....I love my hubby, but it's not the same .. =)
Ya know..what I mean?  the kids are gone, the hubby's always working...That ONE person  to call up and say "hey, let's do something! " or "when's your day off? lets make some plans"..."lets go to the beach!" etc... someone to hang out with on a whim would be awesome.. someone just to talk to...someone who just "gets" you...
I think if I had asked myself the questions I asked my women friends.. I think my answers would have been this...
To me there probably are all levels of friendships, and each one is important. I think there is a difference though, between a friend and a best friend etc...I do believe it's based on a certain level of trust too...
I think you know when you "just click"...I've had some of those friends that just click, but for one reason or another it sadly hasn't gone further... or they already have a BFF....
I think some of my criteria would be, after watching and observing other friendships...
must have  a sense of humor, but be ok with being quiet sometimes...
would love me even with all my faults ( and there are MANY!)
Has to be honest, I can't tolerate lying...
is willing to be open, honest, transparent....
A true friendship has to be give and take... it can't be all one person giving,.
Is not going to turn or run away when the going gets tough... we're all human beings, we all make mistakes, we all misinterpret things...Sometimes we don't agree on things, but that's OK....it doesn't mean we can't be friends..

Those are some of the things I've thought about that I would look for if I were blessed enough to have a BFF or BFFL...=) For now though.. I will be grateful for the friends I have, my hubby, and  my dog.
I still have hope that there is that someone out there..... just haven't connected yet....but for those of you that DO have that special relationship in a  BF, a BFF, or a BFFL... don't sweat the small stuff....life is so short, ya know... treasure each hug, moment, conversation, and day you have with your friend. Send them a card, note, ....surprise them with a visit... Don't be afraid to love and TELL them you love and appreciate them... You are so very  blessed, if you have found that special  heart connection and person...<3

1 comment:

Sally said...

So enjoyed reading this... Thanks for investigating : )
Sometime soon we need to talk about an idea swimming in my head... for you... Are you intrigued???
Talk to you soon my friend!! Love and hugs... (SD)