10 Stories on the Complexity of Adult Friendship
06.30.17

June was Friendship Month at Man Repeller, which means we allowed ourselves to indulge in unpacking adult friendship, something we all hold dear but tend to gloss over in our dramatic crises of love, career and family. Most of our lives are made up of keeping, making and breaking friendships. It’s surprisingly hard but ultimately, hopefully, gratifying. Below are 10 stories we wrote that reflect that complexity. You’ll find best friends that are twins, adult friends that still have sleepovers, BFFs that work together, etc. I won’t spoil it. Just see for yourself!


1. “Best Friend” Isn’t a Person, It’s a Category

“As I got older, I started to feel silly using the term ‘best friend’ to describe someone — it felt so childish, like having a favorite color — but I struggled to find another way to explain what I meant.”

2. New Evidence the Cast of ‘Orange is the New Black’ is Friends IRL

“The videos naturally propelled me into a rabbit hole analysis of Orange is the New Black’s IRL friendships, for I am one of those special consumers of television who not only gets invested in the fictional characters’ lives, but also in the nonfictional actors’ lives, thereby achieving a 360-degree entertainment experience I can’t recommend highly enough.”

3. It’s Hard to Be the ‘Friend With the Boyfriend’

“I’ve spent six years of my life as ‘the friend with the boyfriend,’ and exactly that same amount of time pretending not to be. I have always hated the word boyfriend. There’s something cloying about it, like cheap perfume.”

4. When You Break Up With Your Best Friend

“The protector and harborer of your deepest secrets, she who was tasked with clearing your reputation-damning search history should you die in a freak accident, the one who has seen you do (and has done with you) weird, weird things is now, instead, just another human on this planet.”

5. What It’s Like to Have an Identical Twin

“Sometimes people are like, ‘When you look at her, is it like looking in a mirror?’ And I guess so, but I don’t always think about what my face looks like, you know? Sometimes when I look at pictures of us, I think, Oh yeah! We look really similar! We have the same face!

6. Monocycle: Episode, 55 What It’s Like to Work With Your BFF

“While Amelia and I met in a work setting (we were interns together at the same start-up in 2009), we became fast, personal friends. This process of burgeoning friendship was accelerated when she creepily booked a ticket to Paris and came to visit me when I was abroad just two months after we met, but you can hear more about that act of a true serial killer in the episode.”

7. Your Ideal Friendship, According to the Zodiac

“It’s fun to imagine our personalities are defined right from the start, and that the moon and stars are all somehow involved. Might our sun signs also indicate what kind of friends we are? I decided to take it upon myself, astrology novice that I am, to find out.”

8. Adults Are Having G-Rated Sleepovers

“Just as no kid wants the sleepover to end, none of the adults with whom I spoke to for this story (there were far more than I was able to include, a mix of women and men plus two straight dudes who’ve been sharing a bed once weekly since childhood) saw a reason to stop having platonic sleepovers with friends.”

9. I’m Too Old to Match With My Friends

“Did you know that the original point of matching bridesmaids — who originally also matched the betrothed woman in white — was to confuse evil spirits from attacking the bride? What with modern technology and Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ as a universal wedding anthem, I hardly see how this is necessary any longer.”

10. 5 Couples Who Went From “Just Friends” to “More Than Friends”

“There are few things more precious than a friendship that becomes more than a friendship, but there are also few things more painful than losing a romantic relationship and a friendship simultaneously. The stakes are uniquely high.”

Photo by Edith Young.

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