Best friends often make better soul mates than any guy you happen to be dating, because the bond you make with your friends is much harder to break. They’ve seen you at your happiest, your saddest and your grossest, and still they stick around no matter what.
Wherever you met them — in high school, college, at work or at your local bar — they are your second family and life would be totally unrecognizable without them.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I’m reaching that point in my life where big, emotional benchmarks are starting to happen and I could not imagine getting through them without my awesome friend arsenal. And while all are loving and supportive in their own ways, they each represent a special friend niche that makes their viewpoint vital in certain situations. Here are my top eight best friends who hold vital positions in my life and without whom I’d be spending a lot more money on therapy.
1. The sibling friend
This is that friend who’s essentially your long-lost sister. You probably met her when you both were little and she practically lived at your house to the point where your mom put out a plate for her without thinking. However, because this friendship borders on actual sister-ship, a certain sibling rivalry can arise. I once got jealous of my sibling friend because she knew more about classic rock than I did, so it occasionally felt like she was my dad’s favorite (something super hard to deal with when you’re an only child). But she was also the person I confided in the most because I always knew she was looking out for me in a sisterly way. This friend is the ultimate protector and will never let anyone mess with you.
2. The tough love friend
It always feels like she’s giving you a life lesson, even if you didn’t ask for one. She’s going to tell you exactly how awful you look in that bikini, even if it’s the first time you’ve tried one on since you went on a major diet. She’s not going to sugarcoat it for you, which I know can be frustrating. I’ll be the first one to admit I often need a good emotional kick in the pants, though, and this girl’s the one to do it for me. Hard and blunt honesty is sometimes the only way to snap me out of an emotional downward spiral. And while there are definitely moments where she goes too far, she’s the only one I can count on for a solid dose of truth.
3. The den mother
She’s the one who makes sure everyone has the proper coat on when you go out barhopping. You knew she’d make a great mom way before she had her first serious boyfriend because she can’t help but put the people she cares about first. She’s an expert at mom hugs and has motherly advice that’s so perfect and wonderful, it should have family sitcom music behind it. However, you can’t get really raunchy or curse in front of her without making her wince. And she’ll be the first to lecture you on why it’s bad to eat that late when you snag a pint of ice cream from the store at midnight.
4. The work in progress
Her life is always a little bit messy, yet somehow she manages to be super supportive of everything you accomplish. She tends to need a little more help than your other friends, and while it can get frustrating at times, her “crises” are overall endearing. However, whether she’s quitting her job, going on a bunch of awkward first dates, or just dealing with a particularly bad hair day, she always has a decent sense of humor about it.
5. The overachiever
She’s somehow always five steps ahead of you. If you just moved in with your boyfriend, she just got engaged. If you finally get a job after months of unemployment, she lands a dream promotion. You want to hate her, but she’s so damn wonderful, you just can’t. In college, she was that girl that every guy had a crush on, but she never seemed to care — she was always too busy being the lead in a play or running a triathlon or something. But because she manages to seem egoless, she’s your No. 1 cheerleader and she makes every accomplishment you have, no matter how small, feel like the single most important victory ever.
6. The guy friend
Every girl needs to have at least one best guy friend in their arsenal. They just get things your other girlfriends never will and they’ll give you insight into boy problems that only someone who also has male anatomy would know. They can be totally straight and, for whatever reason, you don’t see them as remotely sexual. Mine was the former boyfriend of a close friend and I’ve seen him passed-out drunk in his underwear covered in green paint (long Halloween story), after which point any sexual chemistry that might have existed between us was gone. He’s the guy you gossip with who will tell you sides to stories most girls aren’t privy to. He’s also the one who’ll trick you into doing six shots and ends up throwing up on your carpet in the morning, but that’s another story.
7. The doppelgänger
You’ve somehow met yourself in another person, and instead of causing the world to implode, it becomes the best friendship ever. You say the same things at the same time (in that disgustingly adorable way), have the same taste in clothes and shoes (you’re probably the same size, so instant double wardrobe) and have scarily similar backgrounds. Sometimes people mistake you for sisters, which you pretend is annoying, but secretly you love hearing. The only issue with the doppelgänger is, because you like all the same things, a competitive streak can arise between you — especially when a guy you both like comes into play.
8. The sweetheart
She’s the sweetest thing since apple pie, but not in a sickening way, just in the perfect pinch of sugar way. You can’t remember a time where this girl wasn’t smiling or laughing — and she inspires those feelings in everyone around her. Sometimes you just need a great burst of good vibes and she’s the one to bring them — she also usually brings a dessert to every get together that she happened to have the time to bake from scratch. She’s essentially Glinda the Good Witch without the annoying, warbly voice.
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