the warm bliss of companionable silence


Today’s question is simple (but I’ll try my best to make you reveal more than you would): do you have a best friend?

You can respond with an anonymous name if you think you might hurt somebody’s feelings. And I mean a good old-fashioned best friend, the kind that probably thinks you’re their best friend too. If so…

1) Has it been thus for a long, long time?

2) Do they live near you?

3) How often do you actually communicate?

And if you don’t have a “best friend”, is it because…

1) You think the concept itself is stupid

2) You have a bunch of people that might qualify

3) You gave up thinking about that sort of thing in middle school?


12 thoughts on “the warm bliss of companionable silence

  1. Salem's Little Sister

    My BFF and I have been bff’s since the seventh grade and we are still going strong at 39 years old. We both live in Charlotte and met at school when she came in the seventh grade. At one point, when we first had kids, we lived 11 houses away from each other. We are now about 6 miles apart and at least once a month, have family sleep overs which include husbands, kids and usually my puppy. We talk almost every day and she is my closest confidant. Our husbands get along great and our kids do too. I wouldn’t be me without her. Sappy but honestly true.

  2. Alyson

    My best friend and I met when I was 21 and he was 19. He was dating one of my friends and we hit it off immediately. We were such good friends that we even survived being roommates during stressful and unproductive times in both of our lives. When I moved from Chapel Hill to New York, we didn’t get to talk as much. We visited each other a lot, though, and sent a lot of text messages. He was in my wedding and one of the first people to meet my daughter while we were still in the hospital. He lives in Comnecticut now, and when he’s done clerking for fancy federal judges he’ll move to New York. I’m excited to be in the same city again.
    My husband and my sister are my other two closest friends, but my best friend is still my best friend. I really can’t describe why our friendship is so special. It just works.

  3. Cindy

    Other than my husband, I don’t have a best friend anymore – no particular girlfriend that I talk with about things. I am not sure why that happened – getting married? Moving? A bunch of us having things happen in our lives like deaths of family members, moving, marriage? Having no kids? We do get together with couples we enjoy on occasion, but yes -no one I talk to about everyday things other than my husband.

  4. Caroline

    Yes, I do. We met at Chapel Hill my sophomore year and it was love at first sight. She was a year ahead of me so I was very sad my senior year that she wasn’t around though I had a lot of great girlfriends to make up for it. We lived in NYC when we first graduated which was beyond fun and she has lived in a few different places since then but is back in the NYC area, thank gawd. We e-mail constantly and talk regularly and see each other regularly. She is a soulmate to me like I have never experienced. We just completely get each other. And my husband thinks we are hilarious together, which we are!

  5. SWF

    What a wonderful inquiry!
    I think I have three friends that might fit the bill – but none of them quite tip over into “best.” Two are old, old friends from middle school. Both of them I could call at any hour and just talk, but I haven’t spoken to one for four years – the other for quite a while. Why? I dunno – life.
    I might have a new friend that is rapidly becoming a very good friend. Which is strange for me – meeting a new friend when you are 40. But we seem to get along well, we are equally passionate about some things in common – and intrigued by the other’s passion in things we do not have in common.
    For the purpose of the question, I’m not considering my spouse in the “friend” category. For me, that would diminish the “spouse” category.
    I envy those of you with a true best friend.

  6. elizabeth

    1) 28 years
    2)lives 1hr away
    3) speak twice weekly, dinner/movies once a month, take a trip once a year.

  7. Caitlin

    Yes, it’s been that way for a long time, since meeting her in my first week at Carolina. I still have the 18th birthday card she hand drew for me. We’ve both lived all over since Chapel Hill (me: England, New Jersey, Boston, San Francisco, LA, Baltimore, LA; her: Baltimore, DC, New Delhi, Asheville) but we email and talk on the phone or Skype regularly, at least month or so. I think this kind of bone deep intuitive understanding of a person and level of love, support and knowledge of the unfolding of a life’s path can only happen with one’s oldest friends. It also means we don’t have to talk often to immediately pick up the threads of a conversation we’ve been having, on and off, for years.
    I also have a few other very close friends, at least one from each life phase: college, grad school (this friend I’m married to!), med school, internship and residency, grad school again, training program for work. I think I actually seek out these kinds of experiences partly because they bring like minded people together, and feel enriched by these newer friendships.

  8. Kelly

    Yes, we’ve been pals since we were 5 years old, so for 32 years now. We live thousands of miles away but make a trip to see each other every other year or so, often in the form of an out of the blue phone call where one of us says “Hi. I’m going insane/post-partum/burnt out/etc. I need to hide out and sleep for a bit”. And one of us will get on a plane for a 3 day visit. At the end of this month we are both flying to Newfoundland to spend 3.5 days together, no husbands, no kids, just sight-see someplace we’ve never been before and catch up, and because her health is failing and she needed me to pull her out of some darkness, I of course put my life on pause and ready to fly wherever she wanted to go if she thought that would help. We FB weekly, email & phone less frequently but like others said we just pick up where we left off. She is so different than me; blond, church-going, I tease her about being a goody two shoes and I love her like the sister I never had. I am her outrageous irreverent friend who makes her laugh and roll her eyes and wag her finger at me, she “prays for me” and I find that rather comforting. She knows I would do anything for her, and she would do the same for me.

  9. Mark

    Yep, like so many above, met him at UNC. We don’t talk/see each other as much as we used to, we have jobs and families and such. We don’t live close to each other. There’s another UNC dude who is just below what I’d call a bestie, mostly because he started touring not long after I graduated. But the intertubes have remedied that. Makes me think then, perhaps you should ask, what about the one that got away? What about that friend you used to seem inseparable from, yet now that you’re greying at the temples, you aren’t as close. It’s so funny how you don’t talk any more and whatnot.

  10. amy a

    Yep. We met in Los Angeles about 8 years ago. I’ve been back in NC for the past 3 years, but we’ve managed to see each other about twice a year since my move. We talk, email, text regularly. She is a phenomenal woman with a huge heart and her Philadelphia Italian sensibilities are a force to be reckoned with. I’d do anything for her, and vice versa.


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