Growing up, I never really understood the concept of a best friend. This dynamic filled books, movies, and T.V. shows, but it was never something I experienced in the real world. I had friends I was very close to and did consider my best friend, but I often found myself needing space from them. I never knew what it was like to have someone I could tell anything to without fear of being judged or scolded. What it was like to have someone I didn’t worry was bashing me whenever I wasn’t around. Someone who didn’t get on my nerves and drive me up a wall. I have many friends that I love dearly, but I didn’t really know what a best friend was until recently.
While I was in the worst relationship of my life, I become quite close with that guy’s roommate. He seemed to be the only one that had an ounce of understanding of what I was going through and didn’t constantly put me down when it came to the mess I was in. He seemed to understand the dark side of the guy I was with, because he saw it to. He was honest and sometimes harsh, but he didn’t roll his eyes every time I brought it up. He wasn’t supportive to my face and then go and bash me behind my back like so many people did at that time. When I look back now, the friendship I developed with the guy I know refer to as my twin was worth every minute of pain and grief I endured at the hands of my ex. This guy also happened to have a girlfriend of his own; a girl I thought despised me for a long time. I was so intimidated by her; I could barely look her in the eye. I was also extremely jealous of her, because she just seemed so perfect. She was unbelievably pretty and everyone just seemed to love her and/or want to get to know her. She constantly had people coming up to talk to her and no one had a bad thing to say about her. I wondered what it was like to have a life like that; a life where everyone just seems to fawn over you.
As we got to know each other, I learned that her life wasn’t as perfect as I thought it was. We began to grow closer, spending more and more time together. She lived an hour away, and when she visited on the weekends, we would always find something fun to do. We opened up to each other about our insecurities, our struggles, and whatever else was on our minds. Then, last fall she moved in with her boyfriend in the town I live in. Since then, we’ve hung out almost every day. We cook dinner together and for each other, we surprise each other with coffee, we get way too drunk together, and we cry over This Is Us together. In all this time, we haven’t fought. I haven’t felt like I need a break from her. She doesn’t really get on my nerves and I’ve never felt judged or shamed by her. Lately, I’ve started to feel like this is the friendship I’ve been missing out on. This is what all those books, movies, and T.V. shows mean by best friend. So, know that I’ve indulged in an insanely long intro, here are the reasons why a best friend is better than a boyfriend.
- They know your coffee order. In fact, they know your order at every coffee shop. They know what you like at Starbucks vs what you like at Caribou. They know how many flavor shots you require at each place and if you want it hot or cold. I know when we roll up to Caribou together, she will get a large iced crafted press with two shots of vanilla, but at Starbucks, she prefers a large vanilla cold brew with sweet cream. She knows that I brew a light roast at home and drink it with half and half and chocolate almond milk. You never actually have to type out your coffee order to them because they already know exactly what you want.
- Speaking of drinks, they also know what kind of alcohol you prefer. They know what cocktails you’ll drink and what beer you like. They know what types of alcohol are off limits, which ones will make you sick, and which ones give you the worst hangovers. I know she doesn’t like vodka, because it makes her stomach hurt. She knows I don’t mix alcohol with cream, because I will most likely instantly throw up. I know she likes her beer with olives, and she knows I prefer mine with pickles. And of course, we both love Malibu with Coke (hers diet, mine regular). They can go up to bar and order you your favorite drink based on how drunk you want to get. They know what shots you’ll take straight and which ones you won’t touch. They also know what to expect from you the next morning.
- In fact, they know your favorite everything. All the way from your favorite kind of chips to your favorite pair of jeans. They know what you dip your fries in and what brand of shampoo you use. I know she likes vanilla soft serve cones and puts ranch on EVERYTHING. She knows I like Doritos with cheese and Game of Thrones. In fact, they probably know more of your favorites than you do. They even know your guiltiest guilty pleasures, but they don’t judge too harshly.
- They will be honest when it comes to your fashion sense. You never have to worry about them lying to you, because they will always tell you like it is. They’ll tell you if your hair looks questionable or if the outfit you have on isn’t the most flattering. They’ll help you get rid of the things that you don’t have the heart to throw away, like your crimper. I know she prefers her jeans tight and likes to wear yellow. She knows I look awful in pale pink and prefer my hair up. We have the same taste in shoes and makeup, and we both hate anything velvet. They are the best to go shopping with, because you can always count on an honest opinion that is given without sounding harsh.
- They know your emotions better than you do sometimes. They can usually tell exactly what mood you’re in just by looking at your face. Sometimes you don’t even realize that you’re feeling sad until they point it out. They also know what habits you tend to fall into based on how you feel. I know she eats when she’s stressed or bored (as do I) and she knows I get more restless than usual when I’m anxious. You know when to sit in silence and when to offer reassurance. They know when to be serious and when to crack some comic relief. Sometimes you don’t even know why you’re mad or sad or even what you need until they tell you.
After my toxic relationship fell apart, I spent three years rebuilding the self-esteem he had destroyed. When I finally felt like I was ready to try again, I ended up seeing someone whose treatment of me started to remind of him. After that, I started seeing someone who decided I wasn’t even worth breaking up with. All of that evidence has led to me to the conclusion that boyfriends aren’t worth the trouble and I will stick with my best friend instead.