Saturday, 18 May 2013

Best friends - do we need them?

As I've grown older I've become more and more convinced that 'best friends' are a thing of the past. Growing up I had several friends but definitely one very best friend.

When my parents announced we were moving from Hampshire to Scotland I was 15 and bereft. My friends had been my friends almost my entire life and I didn't know how I would cope without them. As I expected, making friends in a new school, in a new country, aged 15 was really tough. I remember my Dad telling me that moving would be great because I'd end up with friends all over the country, and possibly even the world. I didn't buy it.

But he is a wise man and, naturally, he was right. Although I didn't make friends at my new school (hated it and left after six months), I have gone on to make lots of new friends, in lots of new cities, in various ways. Which is why I no longer really believe in 'best friends'. In college, most of my friends were guys I met through the local music scene. I found it really hard to make female friends and so in my early twenties I worked hard to get better at doing that. Some of my greatest friends are the girls I used to work with in Aberdeen, all a few years older than me and wonderful role models.

Through Twitter I grew the confidence to meet strangers and in turn that made me feel like I could handle a move to Glasgow. And so I did! That paid off massively, I joined a book club and though we are now fairly disparate (London, Manchester, Melbourne), the friendship of those people still means a lot to me and we stay in regular contact. Those women are so smart and funny and I learnt so much from them about how to be myself.

And now that I'm in London I'm making new friends all the time. Through work, through my guy, through Twitter and then in real life. My sector is full of lovely people who can't get enough of meeting up and I recently joined a book club in London which is attended by some of the most exciting people I've ever encountered.

And while I wouldn't call any of these people my 'best friend', I know there are many people I could call right now if I needed advice, a moan, a cry, a quick coffee or a long lunch. Indeed just two weeks ago I met some book club girls for cocktails and straight-up demanded a pep-talk. And you know what, these women who I'd met just a handful of times did not disappoint! I left feeling smart and strong and capable of anything.

With multiple friends like that, I don't know why anyone would single out a 'best' one because, to me, all my friends are great and when I see them, they're the absolute best people in the world right then.

This post is part of the Blog Every Day in May challenge


  1. This is a lovely post Holly (and I was pleased to see that our now-disparate book club got a mention!). As I'm about to move again, this has renewed my determination to get out there and meet a new group of friends in our new place. Hopefully some of you older ones will come and visit too!

  2. One of my favourite movie quotes has always been, "I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?" (from Stand By Me)

    I think at that sort of age, everything is a new experience and your best friend just happens to be the person that is there with you for the majority of them. As you get older though, the brand new experiences get further apart and you're more likely to share them with many different people, so you rarely get that same feeling of having a best friend again.

    It certainly doesn't cheapen the friendships you have now though and if anything, I value them more as I get older as they tend to built on much better foundations than childhood friendships which were, at least initially, based on proximity.

    I'm rambling slightly, but as Katie said, lovely post :)

  3. This really is a lovely post- great thoughts on friendship. Feeling positive is where it's at :)

  4. The description of book club makes me feel warm'n'squishy. That is all. x