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Friday, October 14, 2011

Those Three Little Words

BFF.

Or in other words, best friends forever.

There's something very intimidating about the phrase. It seems to indicate some sort of commitment, some sort of mutual affection. Saying the words too soon can bring an early death to a relationship.

Last year I met a really fun girl who seemed to just love hanging out with me. After several weeks of hanging out all the time, she pronounced me her BFF.

I remember feeling like, "Whoa. I guess I better start being a BFF."

But it turned out that she was really just infatuated with me. After a few more weeks, she disowned me. As in, she quit answering my phone calls, wouldn't make eye contact with me at church, and even defriended me from Facebook.

Now that's low.

It stung me pretty bad. Those words mean something to me, and I was committed to the friendship. I seriously went through the whole mental processing of "what did I do wrong?" and "why did this happen?"

But anyway, that's a story for another day (or never). What's interesting is that now I have a new BFF. And what's cool is the way this relationship developed. We've known each other for over a year. We've always been friends, but over the months, as we've hung out together and gotten to know each other more, we've built connections. We've discovered things we have in common that we didn't notice at first. We've learned each others flaws and we've learned to laugh at them (okay, so she's usually laughing at me).

This is a friendship that began with no expectations, and grew very naturally from there.

Besides building slowly (which is quite different from the previously mentioned friendship), I don't feel like I have to be the leader/coordinator/instigator in this friendship. Which is really really nice. She's ambitious, responsible, and positive. I'm not trying to pull her out of her shell.

And she makes me want to be a better person. She's inspiring and admirable and amazing. The other girl was so much fun, but she didn't push me to improve myself.

It's so easy to put all this into a blog post. I can tell the whole world she's my best friend. And yet, for some reason, saying that to her is frightening and panic-inducing. It makes my palms sweat and my heart race. What if it changes the friendship? What if she's not ready for that? What if it scares her off? What if (gasp) she doesn't feel the same?

Silly, right?

And funny too.

What do you think? Do those three little words mean anything anymore? Or is it just me?

Oh, and chances are, she'll be reading this blog post...

8 comments:

Meg said...

Having a bestie is life changing and very important to me... but I wouldn't think it weird to say so. I wouldn't worry about telling her. I had a best friend when I lived in Wisconsin, where she was MY best friend, but I don't necessarily think I was hers...but it was totally ok. She gave enough to the friendship that I was totally happy and absolutely adored her and we had a great friendship (inspired and motivated and helped and cried and laughed and all of the things you mentioned, with each other). Anyway-my point is that it isn't so much the title or definition of your friendship as what each of you mean to each other. If you fulfill the role of friendship that each other need, and she is YOUR best friend, then absolutely tell her. To her face. There's no better compliment than to hear that you are someone's most valued friend.

If she feels the same way...well then, even better! I have truly found a 3rd sister in my best friend.

Meg said...

I hit enter and didn't read.
My comment sounds sort of insensitive...sorry, not my intention! I totally get that isn't easy to put your feelings out on the line...I wan't trying to downplay your feelings at all.

Elisa said...

This past summer some of my very best friends moved away after finishing their programs at OSU. It was so sad and kind of took the wind out of my motivation to get out there and meet new people. I seriously doubt those gals saw me in that same uber-close way because they had other friends closer to them on a daily basis to hang out with. But those gals were definitely MY best friends. I probably should have told them so more directly, but like you I was worried they'd be like "wow...we don't even hang out that much" or whatever.

and what? "BFF" #1 sounds like she fell off the edge in her efforts to spite you. Why all the drama? did you run over her cat or tell her her child was ugly or something? Seriously, that sounds pretty immature of her...

Julie Daines said...

I honestly and truly thought BFF was only for kids in elementary through high school, maybe freshman year in college.

I guess in my mind, once you're married your spouse is your BFF, you've gone beyond the whole "best friends" thing. I thought the whole point of growing up was to be friends with everyone.

All of my friends contribute something valuable to me, and I value their friendship equally.

I'm shocked at the immaturity of friend #1.

Emailman said...

Sorry to disagree with Julie, but I think you should never grow up. Being grown up is rubbish and seriously hazardous to your health lol Best friends sounds cool!!!! I have one, and I love it! You should just tell her, Tamara. Don't be shy, girl. You will feel so much better when you get it off your chest, you know it. And I know she will be TOTALLY honoured! I know I would :)

Besides, you might get hit by a bus tomorrow, and then she'd never know haha!!

Hillary said...

I thunk everyone reading this post is going "Ooo! Me! I want to be that girl!" hehe! Love you Tamara!

Jack LaBloom said...

Although everyone doesn't use those three words, most of us know who our Best Friends Forever are. The ones who are there for the long haul, through good times and bad.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

@Elisa, yeah, that other girl had some...issues...:(

@Julie, oh I hope you find a girlfriend that you just connect with! It's so different from a hubby. (seriously, does your dh want to go clearance shopping for hours??? or craft shopping? or fold laundry while chatting about diapers and discounts?) Having a best friend just makes life even better!

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