I don’t believe in best friends {discuss amongst yourself}

That probably sounds like a really weird thing to say.

Who doesn’t believe in best friends?

So many say bestie, best friend, BFF.

Those are words I would only use when I am joking.

I would never use those words to describe the women in my life that I am closest to.

Those words don’t mean much to me.

In fact, when I hear other people use them a lot …especially about a lot of different people…my lack of using those words makes even more sense to me.

Let me rewind a little bit.

A week ago when I was with friends, in the mountains of Utah, I was talking about one of my good friends in my town.

One of the girls asked if that girl was my best friend.

I just told them that I don’t believe in best friends.

I have really, really good friends.

But not just ONE of them is the BEST!

I am 38 (days away from 39) and the truth is that my life is full of incredible women that bring amazing qualities and gifts to my life.

I have the friend that I can hike with.

The friend I can go antiquing with.

The friend that I can pray with.

The friend that knows all my stories because I have known her the longest.

The crazy fun friend that gets me to do things I would normally not do.

The friend that I can ask parenting advice.

The friend that brings uncontrollable laughter.

The friend that I can talk about my business.

The friend I talk to about homeschooling.

The friend that loves a good movie.

The friend that mentors and gives wisdom.

My list could go on and on.

I am blessed to have a wonderful group of beautiful women whose friendship  fills different parts of my life..and I hope my friendship does the same for them.

For me to feel truly close to anyone I have to feel…SAFE!

So, I guess I have SAFE friends.

Friends I trust.

Friends that I can speak honestly and openly with.

Friends that I don’t have to wonder where we stand.

Friends that don’t ask, “are you mad at me” because the truth is…I don’t have time for that and if I have a problem with someone I really try to work it out.

Friends that aren’t trying to be friends for what they can get.

Friends that are not one way in front of me and then speak differently to others.

Friends that can disagree with me…and me with them..and get this…WE REMAIN FRIENDS.

I don’t want friends that just tell me what they think I want to hear.  Those aren’t true friendships.

My safest friendships are the ones when we can disagree..really disagree…and we can drop it and move on.

I want friendships like that.

Nothing is more incredible than TRUTH and LOVE.  Greatest combination for a true and safe friendship.

I have tried to encourage my daughter, Madolyn, to not use the word “best friend” either.

It is easy to do.

She will say..so and so is my best friend.

I want her to have a GROUP of amazing friends.

When she says best to one…unintentionally she is instantly excluding beautiful people from her life (and hers from theirs).

Obviously, I am not saying to not have your closest friends.

I have those….we all do.

I am only talking about myself and the words bestie and best friend.

For me…when I feel safe in a friendship…that truly IS the BEST!

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  1. Traci

    you said that so perfectly jeanne. i could have written it. i have many, many amazing, wonderful friends, but i couldn’t name one of them “the best” and i don’t want to. i love them all!! have a great day – my friend.

  2. Michelle

    So true! And strangely enough, the friend that I refer to as my “best friend” well, we rarely talk. Maybe it is just because we have known each other the longest. I have always been a best friend sort of person, but over the past few years, I have spread myself out and it feels great to have a great work friend and a great mom friend and a great long distance friend….and so on. Maybe this is something we grow into as adult women

    wonderful post!!

  3. Rebekah

    I agree completely. When I got married, my sister-in-law and my three college roommates were my attendants. No matter how I spun it, I couldn’t single one of them out as my “best friend” to serve as my maid of honor. So in the program I listed all four under the heading “Maids of Honor.” I don’t believe any single friend can be all things to us, and I don’t like the idea of picking favorites. Even your “best” dress isn’t appropriate for all occasions, right? 🙂

  4. Angie Blom

    beautiful canvas.. funny this is what my daughter says to me every night at bedtime.. love it.

  5. Jen Osborn

    I was very similar to you Jeanne until this year when I turned 40, and after a lifetime of good, bad, and terrible friendships I stumbled into someone who after 2 years of growing a deep & profound friendship has surprised me by turning into my 2nd best friend. Now, up until a months ago, my only true and always best friend was/is my husband, Larry. He and I have gone through life and grown up together, and this has made us incredibly close … closer than ANY other relationship in my life {as I feel a marriage should be}. But 2 years ago we met this amazing couple through odd circumstances … and they have grown into beyond friends … they have become family. And in this relationship I have finally found another women who is as compassionate about her husband and children as I am … who knows what it’s like to really WORK and struggle to keep a marriage together … who puts her children, husband, and others first … who has disagreed with me on a million little things and opened my eyes to allowing someone besides my husband right up inside the smallest most dear part of my heart. To lose her now would be the cruelest trick life could play on me 🙂 It has been the oddest experience for me, because I decided as a child to have as many friends as possible, and hold none of them as more important than another … but it happened anyway … just when I needed it most 🙂

    life is funny that way … after a life of being sure that no one is really best friends on equal levels anyway so why have one, I was given one for making it to 40. … it’s an awesome … very overpowering feeling … kinda like finding your soul mate all over again while still getting to keep the original one 🙂

    my silly holly is the only other person on the planet that I could ever imagine saying any of this about – and Larry & the kids love her to death as well … this is the woman who I know would pick up my family’s pieces as if they were her own should something ever happen to me … and I have to admit I’m pleasantly surprised at this amazing gift!


  6. Tiffany

    Such a wise and reflective post! You summed up all the feelings I’ve had regarding my friends as an adult. Having a “Best” friend seems rather immature and unrealistic these days!

  7. Carrie

    This topic is a great one and I agree with you about best friends vs. friends. But it wasn’t always that way. I had a best friend named Cindi from high school for over 20 years, and then we parted ways sadly. Ironically to be replaced by another new best friend Kendra for the next 6 years, until that ended too. I have since learned that best friends are not for me. It is too much. Too much pressure. I loved the feeling that this woman had my back and was my ‘woman spouse’ if you will until things get off track (as they always do sooner or later) and then it is too hard to go back to ‘just friends’. It’s like dating your husband after being married, you can’t go backwards. Both these best friends are no longer in my life anymore and that is really sad. How could someone be that close and then gone? Now I try to have friendships instead, be more light and go with the flow about who I am intimate with. Strong dynamic women are difficult to keep close and maintain the perfect balance with. I loved this post as it was thought provoking and well said. Thank you…

  8. Tina

    Wow… that is soooooooo wonderful!!!! I always feel a bit sad because I don’t have many friends (near anyway) and what I USE to refer to as my “best” friend is sadly 10 minutes away and we NEVER see each other anymore. HER life and kids get in our way so we have drifted apart. She never calls… and I guess I just quit letting her get me down (which was always her style), letting her make me feel less of a person. Sad… but though we WERE besties… I’ve learned I need more positive in my life. I envy you and all your friends. My friends are all long distance, minus one. And we don’t see each other enough. You are a VERY lucky gal! Thank you for sharing.

  9. Rebecca Foxworth

    Laughing, because my ten year old told her friends, “I don’t believe in BFF’s. I believe in RGFF’s…Really Good Friends Forever. I think it’s silly to pick just one.” I was so proud of her.

  10. Rebecca Foxworth

    I just called my daughter over to read this post. Her response, “Yeah. As I said before…RGFF’s. I’m wise beyond my years, Mom. NOW can I have a cellphone.” Pffft.

    1. jeanne Author

      I have VERY close friends. If I was going to have a BEST…I would only say my mom, sister and husband. I also have a very tiny circle of extremely close friends….girls that are all my closest and dearest. I have had bests….I hope I don’t refer to anyone friend that way again.

  11. liz

    Hi Jeanne . . .

    I love what you had to say in your lovely post and relate to sooo much of it and on so many levels . . . I also loved what Jen said above and also related to what she had to say as well! That said . . . it is always interesting . . . perspectives on such things . . . I like to think that one does not need to take a side on such things and that whatever we may feel personally will be respected with true tolerance by all our true friends – regardless of what side of the fence we may fall on this issue – or what titles may be given . . . 🙂

    I am soooo glad you posted this . . . as it made me stop and think about my friendships . . . and also the person that I call my best friend. It made me ponder the different ways I feel about friendships and on . . . and on. (I always love it when a post does this. )

    For me personally . . I truly believe that I was given a gift of friendship since the age of 2. It is truly something special . . . something out of the ordinary . . . for me – she is a true blessing in my life . . . she is that “Safe” harbor for me – always has been – and am quite certain always will be. I have known her now for over 46 years . . . and will always call her my best friend . . . and I know my closest friends understand this . . . as that is why they are truly my friends . . .

    I think you are such a talented, happy and wonderful gal – the little bit that I have gotten to know – through your posts, and meeting you briefly . . . and I very much believe that your close friends are SOOOOO truly blessed to have you in their lives . . . and thank you for sharing this . . . Great Post Jeanne!!! xo – liz

  12. kimberly

    I loved in your last post how one of your friends calls her closest friends her “trues”. I really loved it – I think I may begin to use it myself, as I agree with you about not using the term~
    And you, my friend, are one of my *trues*~

    1. jeanne Author

      I love the word “true” also to express my closest of friends! I think Christy started something! And you my friend…a true!

  13. Leah C

    Besides my husband, my mother{who’s gone now}, and my cousin Deanna{who is more like a sister to me}, I can only count on one hand those who are my “safe”, “true”, “best” friends. No matter what label is used, these are the precious, cherished few who have my back no matter what. And that is the best, to me! 😉

  14. Laura/ sandytoz

    You said this so eloquently, I agree, I couldn’t agree more!

  15. Tammy Hensley

    I haven’t always felt the way you do, Jeanne, but as the years have passed and I find myself 38, just days from 39 like you, I wholeheartedly agree. It’s been hard for me to reevaluate friendships for years, especially with the one person I’ve referred to as my best friend and realizing it really isn’t so. A lot of this soul-searching is coming along with going through the Soul Restoration course right now, which has been wonderful, but a lot of it has just come from going through some very difficult situations over the last couple of years, namely trying to conceive a child, and really realizing the friends who are truly there for you and those who figuratively and literally really can’t travel that far for you. I’m so grateful for the friends who are true

  16. Susan Hetherington

    This is the so true. I love this post. You speak right to my heart and the heart of the matter. I have never, and will never, use the term “best” friend or “BFF”. Thank you for your eloquent and articulate rendition of what “real” friendship is all about!!! Feeling “safe” is the best feeling amongst friends ?????

  17. Sherry Smyth

    I agree. I have never been the “best friend” type. I have friends, so many of them, in so many different ways and facets of my life. How can I single out just “one” as a best friend? That is just not possible. Some I am closer to than others and they are my “sisters” and my “soul friends”. But best friend to me means that you single out just one person and how that narrows your life!!! Great topic!

  18. kolleen

    i really enjoyed this post Jeanne and it really got me thinking.
    thank you for that.

    it made me start to think of the friendships i have and those i hold near and dear…and as i have just entered my 39th year how much i have been thinking about the different people in my life.

    and what it seemed to come down to was the word “safe” as you had mentioned. i want to have those in my life whom i am safe to be me with, safe to speak my thoughts openly and authentically without fear of judgment, safe to be vulnerable.

    thank you for this heartfelt post and your wisdom.


  19. 1 Funky Woman

    Although I agree calling someone your best can then run into problems and jealousy, but I have to say that my sister is truly my best friend. My mother passed away 8 years ago and we weren’t as close before that but she is the only one that gets the good, the bad and the ugly of me. Even though she lives in California and I live in Iowa, we talk everyday and sometimes more. I’ve had some trying relationships with women around here because I wouldn’t play their game. And even some as of recently that asked if I was going to be mad at them for something. Good God I’m almost 40, I don’t have time for games.

    Great post, I love that you have different friends for different parts of your life.

    Question Becky from Farmgirl paints had a bag in a picture she posted that you made, do you still make them?


    1. jeanne Author

      No, I no longer make that camera bag but I have a whole new line coming out on May 9th!! I hope you find something in that line that you love too.

  20. Joyce

    We written my friend! There are many levels of friendships, some are meant to stay and some are in our lives for a short time, but always touch our lives. I also, love how your artwork ties into what our hearts feel with our friends. xo

  21. Jerri

    I appreciate the idea of ‘safe’ friends, and friends who fulfill different needs in my life. I enjoy your blog so much. Thank you.

  22. Lorie

    I never thought about it this way before…but you’re right. I had a BEST friend (s) in high school, but since I’m long past that, it makes absolute sense to have Great friends…..some have all the qualities, some less. I love them all, and don’t know what I’d do without them. Glad you have so many!

  23. Amanda asweetliferocks

    Wow, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. This is exactly how I am, but you did the artful job of putting words to it. Thank you.
    I am also going to use your ‘teaching’ about BFF’s with my three little girls. Their BFF’s change frequently, and they have aaallll the BFF jewelry to go with it, right? They don’t need to exclude beautiful people from their lives.
    Hmm, now that I think about it. Our oldest daughter is such a strong leader, she will take this ‘new revelation’ about BFF’s to school….tell all her friends….encourage them to do the same….and probably bring change to the entire 2nd grade and beyond. Thank you, Jeanne.
    I mean it, thank you!

  24. Molly@StarCottage

    As usual fantastic insight Jeanne! I couldn’t agree more! I have so many incredible women in my life it would be a shame to be so exclusive. And I teach my girls the same. No need to limit ourselves or others. We can All be great friends. Lets start a revolution 😉 BTW have you read these books? “Friendship for grown ups” by Lisa Whelchel and “the friends we keep” by Sarah Zacharias Davis both great books! Lisa speaks of safe friends 😉 So important, and something I hope to teach my girls to be. I can’t believe how early gossip can start.

  25. tracy lynn

    Jeanne – your post hit home for me today. I’ve been working very long hours lately, being a mom when not at work and finding very little time for my friendships. I’ve been finding myself longing for a little more time with just one of my friends and feeling like they are all so far away. Your post has made me appreciate them all for their individual and unique qualities rather feeling like I’d just like ONE of them a little closer in my life. You are so right, they all do have such wonderful and beautiful gifts they share with me!

    p.s. I’m amazed at the number of Tracy’s that comment on your blog! 🙂

  26. Dolly

    Hi, well said about friendship and i do agree with you. I, myself, do not believe in using the words BFF and bestfriends either. Instead rather use the words of having a very good friends who are there when i’m in need, laughter, cry and so on. As a matter fact, those are the friends who will always be there for me and remain in my heart. No special name is given for they are special deep in my heart and that is what matter most of all in a friendship. Being a working mum is never easy for me and i really don’t have time to entertain people who take it serious with name such as BFF and get upset if i don’t call them up. LOL I’m so bless having a good soul of people. =)

  27. Barbara

    I couldn’t agree more. I have always felt that way. My daughter has longed for a BFF, only to find out that they can disappoint and treat you as if you are not their BFF. I think that has a lot to do with TV shows that the tweens watch and they think there is something wrong if they don’t have a BFF. I keep reminding her that it is better to have many good friends, than to only connect with one.

  28. Zalak

    My thoughts about best friends , today I see in beautiful writings. Beautifully written Jeanne 🙂 love

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