How To Maintain A Best Friendship For 20 Years

by carolyn on October 20, 2014

Look back at your life and think about what you have accomplished. Maybe you went to college (“your mom goes to college”) or got married (maybe more than once, you overachiever). Maybe you’ve climbed like the tallest mountain ever or have seen Wicked 4 times in 3 different cities including London). If that last one was you (or me), Bravo! Maybe you’ve just gotten out of bed almost everyday for 11,220 times or so and did some awesome stuff along the way. One of my greatest accomplishments is the shared achievement of maintaining a BFFship for 20 years! You may be sheepishly racking your brain trying to figure out the last time you actually spoke to a childhood or college BFFL. Or maybe you’re celebrating 30+ years of marriage to your BFF and have totally got me beat. If that is you, comment below with tips of how friendship plays an important role in your marriage. Or tell me how you met. I love Love Stories! Better yet, set me up with your most eligible bachelor friend–you can be a part of my love story! But I digress… Here are 20 ways to maintain a long-term friendship. Make sure to share this with your BFF so that you are literally on the same page.

  1. One of you needs to be the photographer in the friendship.
  2. One of you needs to remind the other to put the camera down sometimes because despite what one may think, there is a limit to the number of #selfies one should take in one night. I don’t have the exact figure but it’s something like the (# of people-selfie taker) x (# of alcoholic beverages involved)/hours of event+1 selfie per person per hour of time spent on hair and makeup.
  3. One of you should have great makeup and hairstyling skills. In an ideal BFFship, both friends would have this quality. It’s no mistake that all of my BFFs have great skills.
  4. Realize that one day your BFF might leave you and move to another city. This will be heartbreaking but does not have to be the end of your friendship. It may even strengthen it. I still have a torn piece of a cardboard box where my BFF wrote a message when I moved from Atlanta to Savannah in 7th grade.
  5. Keep a memory box. Pretend it’s a relationship–because honestly it will probably last longer than your next relationship; or, in my case, all relationships combined. Ticket stubs, letters, transcripts of AIM messages, etc.
  6. Have a favorite restaurant that you go to all the time. Fall to pieces when said restaurant closes. Find a new restaurant.
  7. Make sure that you and your BFF balance each other out. Don’t worry about keeping up with sports, global crises, or current events if your BFF is into that. She’ll keep you in the loop. What? Ebola? BFF forgot to tell me about that one.
  8. Have morning conference calls. What better way to start your day than encouraging your BFF/complaining about your fatigue and how late you are for work.
  9. Know that there will be times/places/things/people/musicians who will, knowingly or not, sort of divide you. Shake it off!
  10. When your favorite musician is your BFF’s least favorite musician, express eternal gratitude for their permission to put said musician’s music on your shared morning playlist.
  11. Chug, chug, chug! Not talking about the hard stuff. Your BFF wants the best for you and you for her, so hold each other accountable for acts of health like drinking enough water each day.
  12. Adaptability. I’m talking about time zones. You can make it work!
  13. If you buy a pet to which the other is allergic… First, question your priorities. Then proceed to make sure one room is a pet-free zone for when your BFF comes to visit.
  14. If you’re in a long-distance BFFship, there are going to be times that you feel jealous of your friends’ local friends and wonder if they’re replacing you. They’re not. You’re irreplaceable! But if it will placate you, don’t hesitate to send your friend a timely sonnet, portrait, or whiny text to remind them that you exist.
  15. Always honor your best friend’s favorite month, even if it’s your least favorite.
  16. If you’re both single, crush on brothers or best friends. Constantly search for opportunities to marry into each others’ family. Dig into genealogy if necessary.
  17. Your best friend is amazing and you know it. It’s easy to get jealous of them but don’t. You helped make them the amazing woman they are and know that you’re probably equally amazing in different ways–and that is thanks to them as well.
  18. Sometimes you might feel so blue that you want to shut everyone out, even your besties. Fight that feeling. Shared joy is double joy; shared sorrow, half sorrow.
  19. Have a Pinterest board for each other.
  20. Remember to wish them a happy birthday. If you can’t mail their present in time (it’s too risky) then acknowledge them on the internet.

Happy 28th Birthday Leslie Marie! Thanks for 20+ years of making me laugh until I cry, making me look so much better in photos than in real life, and for teaching me the ways of the world (i.e. Instagram, Foursquare, etc.). Thank you for teaching me how to play it cool and for all the times we haven’t played it cool. The world is a better place for your presence in it and my life is undoubtedly more survivable for your loyalty, hilarity, and love. I love your morning hair, your ability to find humor in any situation, and the strength you give me by both example and support. Can’t wait to watch you rock 28 and here’s to the next 20 years of friendship. Omg, there will be so much more technology you’ll have to teach me in the next 20 years. Leslie

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