“I have a few friends and acquaintances, but I’ve never been good at forming deep friendships. Is it normal to not have a best friend?”
Good question! You’re not the only one asking. According to one UK study, one in ten people have no close friends or someone that they would call a best friend.
A lot of people who don’t have one feel like it’s some sort of personal failing or an indictment on them as a person.
Whether or not you organise your friendships into a hierarchy of intimacy doesn’t mean you’re better or worse than others. You are entirely worthy of love, even if you do not have one friend you hold in higher regard than the rest.
There is no real reason to classify some of them as best friends and others as regular friends. It’s not necessary and you needn’t do it unless it sparks joy to do so. If you like to use the term ‘best friend’ to make it very clear that you think they’re pretty special, do, but it is also entirely, thoroughly fine not to.
How best friend relationships are typically formed?
The notion of one best friend largely comes from childhood when we were encouraged to bond with another child in our neighbourhood or class. We tended to stick with this person no matter what, which can be a good thing. It teaches you how to communicate, forgive, and value your friendship. But there can also be a downside.
What’s more, remember some classmates who had a best friend that moved away? They were devastated, alone and felt like an outsider to their classmates. Part of that feeling came from the fact that they hadn’t developed many other friendships.
Some parents and educators feel that encouraging kids to have a best friend is a mistake. A better option, they feel, is to encourage friendships in larger groups. Not having a best friend means kids will be less possessive of their friendships, which will instead encourage their besties to meet other people and grow in different social situations.
Not everyone will have a best friend in life, and that is okay. Some people have several close friends that give them love and support, but none of them they would consider a best friend. The key is not thinking in terms of “normal” because no two friendships are alike.
If you don’t have a best friend now, and you want one, don’t discount the casual friends who are in your life now. You might not hit it off with an acquaintance but that person may introduce you to someone else who could end up being a best friend to you.
Instead, value your acquaintances and the friends you have now.
Do you have any question or comment? Do share with us in the comment section.