Deep, inspiring, forever-friendships are hard to come by these days. You know the kind — you get each other immediately, feel like you were somehow linked in another life, and no matter where/how/when/why, you know your best friend will lay it on the line for you in a heartbeat.
So, what’s the secret to maintaining these friendships in this modern-day, crazy busy world we live in? Turns out there isn’t any “one” no-fail secret — there are many!
YourTango asked 14 of the most inspiring (and hilarious) women we know to describe their ultimate BFF and let us in on their secret to staying in crazy, platonic love:
1. We never stopped laughing.
“Yinh and I are the very definition of ‘opposites attract.’ She is tough. I’m a ‘mush’ (her words). She has single-handedly changed the course of my life by pulling me out of toxic situations, encouraging me to go for my dreams and then dream bigger.
There is something so immensely comforting about having what truly feels like unconditional love in a friendship, in spite of challenges, differences in personality, lifestyle and opinion.
So, what makes our friendship strong? Unconditional love, support and endless laughter. Note: She thinks this is too mushy, but I submitted anyway.” —Brenda Della Casa, author and editor-in-chief, Preston Bailey
2. We each take turns being Superwoman.
“What keeps our friendship strong is that we take turns being Superwoman. When one of us has no strength, the other silently suits up with an invisible ‘S’ on her chest and carries the other.
Because of this relationship, I know with certainty that there’s no crisis you can’t get through, no sadness you won’t survive, and no wound you can’t heal when your best friend is there to carry the weight of your pain. And better yet, in times of success, achievement and joy, she’s proud and happy to celebrate with you. That makes our friendship superhero strong.” —Lauren Cosenza, EIC of DIVAlicious Blog
3. We have an unbreakable shared history.
“Summer and I have shared bouts of uncontrollable, eye-watering, bladder-clenching laughter. We’ve shared tears of heartache and despair. We’ve shared in mistakes of our youth and frustrations as wives and mothers. We’ve shared fingerless gloves and an obsession for all things 80s.
And that’s the secret of our friendship in and of itself: our shared history. Because we’ve shared so much — our lives and a sisterly love — neither time nor distance will never break our bond. It’s part of us. And we are both better people for it.” —Susannah Lewis, Whoa Susannah
4. We don’t let the other person feel like they’re our personal therapist.
“Taymar and I met over a decade ago when she rented a room in my family’s house. We quickly bonded while breastfeeding our babies together, and started a conversation that still hasn’t stopped. She lives up the coast now, but I depend on her friendship just the same as I ever did.
Our friendship stays strong through a mutual need for authenticity and connection. Plus, we’re good at taking turns caring for the other when something disastrous happens, so that neither of us ends up feeling like a therapist.” —Maggie May Etheridge, Flux Capacitor
5. We love and support each other all ways and always.
“When I say I won’t tell anyone, my best friend doesn’t count. Confidante, partner-in-crime, shoulder to cry on, keeper of inside jokes, supporter, believer, human diary, the list goes on and on. The secret to our friendship: love and support all ways and always.” —Melanie Pace, stylist, Melanie Pace
6. We give each other space.
“As cliche as it is to say, my husband is my best friend. The secret to our success is giving each other space to pursue our own interests, but always coming back together at the end of the day to share things with each other.
We know that our relationship cannot fulfill every part of us as individuals (and that’s okay!), but we also try to include the other person in our world whenever we can.” —Lauren Hartmann, The Little Things We Do
7. We created a long-distance friendship hashtag!
“What keeps our friendship strong enough to span the length of the Atlantic Ocean is that we don’t for a second let a few timezones get in the way of being a part of each other’s daily life.
When I moved to Europe, Casey launched the most thoughtful weekly hashtag in my honor on Instagram, #Wednesemily. Each Wednesday that we’re apart (only 127 more to go!), Casey posts a photo of the two of us along with the story behind it.
I laugh, I cry, and I sometimes turn a bright shade of red. But for me, #Wednesemily is much more than a silly hashtag; it’s a lifeline to one of my most precious treasures: our friendship. —Emily Elling, DesignHERmomma
8. We keep no secrets.
“Dan was my first friend, and 30 years later, he’s still the best friend I have. Neither of us are afraid to say how we feel and there is nothing that’s off limits. When you open up yourself to someone, you’ll be surprised at what you get in return.
The secret to a 30-year friendship? There are no secrets. There’s nothing I could ever say or do that would make him think any less of me, and vice-versa.” —Abby Huegel, Abby Has Issues
9. We always allow for give and take.
“Several months ago I went to Spain and the first thing my best friend did — after talking me off the Who goes to Spain alone?! ledge — was to add Madrid to her world clock. We’d be nine hours apart but we would make it work, damn it.
But that’s the key, right? In any relationship, you each have to be willing to make it work and allow for give and take on both sides.
Heather has two small children and I do not, so I go to LA (woe is me) and we meet at conferences twice a year. We text at least once a day to check in. Can it be difficult? Hell yes. When I am in dire need of something, she might be in the middle of a ‘My Little Pony’ birthday party.
We both are aware of our different life circumstances but support one another because that’s what friends do.” —Heather Barmore, No Pasa Nada
10. We never guilt-trip each other.
“No relationship is perfect or without challenges, but what’s made our friendship so strong is we never ask one another to choose. We don’t believe in guilt-trips.
We understand that life happens, that we are in a season of sick kiddos, declined RSVPs, and family obligations. And that’s okay. Because our Golden Girl days are coming.” —Krishann Briscoe, His Mrs, Her Mr
11. We have a no-judgment friendship policy.
“Jo and I met pre-internet. She was a bartender at a strip club, thinking about starting a punk band. I was a vet tech in a doomed relationship with the singer in a punk band.
Today, we’re middle-aged moms. We both weigh more than we want to, have slightly faded tattoos, and have to wear reading glasses. But she’s the person I know I can count on, every single day.
I cannot imagine my life without her. She’s the most straightforward, honest, and non-judgmental person I’ve ever known. She keeps secrets, she doesn’t powder your behind, but she gets me.” —Cecily Kellogg, CecilyK
12. We’re brutally (but compassionately) honest.
“I knew Rebekkah and I were going to be good friends when one day, years ago, we stood in Chuck E. Cheese on a Saturday afternoon and debated whether all metals were bacteriostatic or just silver. Real friendship requires you cut the drama, be brutally (but compassionately) honest, and love without limits.
When we stand together in line at Starbucks, Rebekkah orders a grande black coffee. I order a ‘grande soy tea latte with extra soy, only a little bit of water, please, one pump of vanilla, and the Oprah Chai tea bag, NOT the tea syrup.’ That’s really what I order. And somehow, Rebekkah isn’t embarrassed.” —Joanna Schroeder, executive editor, The Good Men Project
13. We share the same core values.
“I was born 11 years after my sister, bearing no resemblance. As we grew, so did our differences. But some time after college, through long-distance calls and visits, my sister became my unlikely best friend.
We enjoy sorting through one another’s life dramas and we still fall back on the core values we share. Forever friendship is a lot less about having the same hair, job, or personality, and a lot more about how you both answer the question, ‘What are the most important things in life?'” —Brit Tashjian, Little Brit, Big Questions
14. We never let more than few months pass without seeing each other.
“My mother is my ultimate best friend, a role that’s been bestowed upon her whether she likes it or not. (Kidding!) Because we live in different cities now, we always make it a priority — and that’s key, making quality time a priority — to hop on a plane and indulge in some much-needed mother/daughter quality time: roaming bookstore aisles, playing Bananagrams, or catching up on trivial celebrity gossip over pedicures.” —Andrea Zimmerman, Editor-at-Large, YourTango.com