Do You Have A Best Friend? Or Do You Have 10?

My mom used to tell me that you can only have one best friend. Her theory was that if this friend is the best, no one else was on par. She also told me that if I made weird faces my face would get stuck and drinking milk would make me tall. But here I am with an un-stuck face while standing short at five foot four, so I’m beginning to question her sources.

No one person can be the Ultimate Best friend for another — at least according to my practice of BFF polygamy. Despite all the love and support we want to give each other, there are limitations of time, distance, food preferences and sleep schedules that need to be considered.

For example, my childhood best friend was there when I was born. That is dedication to friendship. We go on vacations together, share toothbrushes, and have witnessed respective awkward stages. But if I met her now? Not sure how seriously she would take me considering she was a Fulbright Scholar while I dream of a career that enables me to write about granny panties.

Then high school happened. I slept over her house with a frequency that had her parents wondering if I had my own bed (tbd), and she’s appeared in every awkward MySpace photo I’ve ever put up. Unfortunately, long distance relationships are tough, and she couldn’t really follow me to college.

Or maybeee she didn’t want me to follow her.

They say that long distance relationships in college end by Thanksgiving, but me and my high school best friend stuck it out. The thing is, I had shawty on the side — and didn’t have to feel guilty about it. (But attention High School Best Friend: you should feel guilty about yours. Jk. Kinda.) My college best friend knew my class schedule, where to find me in the library, and was required to keep a running list of any and all crushes.

Consider all of your best friends, from diapers ’til now. Maybe you have an internship best friend who helped you carry a 100 gallon fish tank from Brooklyn in the pouring rain at 7 pm for a shoot. Or what about your first-year-in-the-city best friend, or those people called siblings who you shared a womb with — the ones who would stab you with a staple gun if you didn’t mention them in a story about best friends.

We’re lucky to have multiple people in this world that we can trust and share our best and worst moments with. They are our best friends. Plural. Mom. Even Mindy Kaling said that Best Friend was not a person, but a tier.

So let’s turn the tables: do we need just one best friend? Or can we actually have a bunch? A tier? A friend cake! Who is/are yours?

Amina Khan

Image on the left courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar, shot by Patrick Demarchelier, 1998. Image on the right Courtesy of WWD, shot by Kuba Dabrowski.

  • I personally think you can only have one. Best to me is singular. If I’m talking to someone who is constantly referring to their best friend but it’s from a pool of a bunch of people, it has less of an impact. You can have very close friends, or friends that are very different than each other and understand different parts of you–i.e. your work wife, party friend, homebody friend, etc… But best for me is just one 🙂

  • Amelia Diamond

    I honestly have multiple best friends. I get what your mom is saying that “technically” best = 1, but I am team Kaling in that best friendship is a tier!!

    • Hallie

      word bestie

      • therealDP

        you have 1. just 1.

  • I have two best friends. Or rather, two friends tied for best. They are so different from one another, but both very much like me.

    One I love to bake with, make political jokes with, watch “Veep” with, drink tea with. And the other one I like to hike with, stay out late with, dance/seizure with, watch “High Maintenance” with.

    Sometimes one best friend is “made” for a certain set of interests, and it just makes sense to have best friends in every so-called event area. After all, people are fairly multidimensional when it comes to interests and personalities. In the end, we’re just a culmination of a lot o’ different shit.

    And besides, best friends come in all ages. You’re bound to them in various age ranges.

    • Amelia Diamond

      are you two best friends also best friends? or are they two different groups?

      • No, totally different groups and ages. The more “adventure” one is a junior in college and the “veep/tea/we-act-like-old-ladies-together-one” is my age.

        They’ve ever met each other, actually.

    • Charlotte Fassler

      thumbs up for High Maintenance & Veep!

      • Both get me laughing like no other. The Veep writers are just simply on fire (amazing use of the word “fuck), and High Maintenance is just spot-on in all of its elements. Truth.

  • rdizzle

    You have to have multiple best friends so you can complain about one with your alternates, and then vice versa.

    Just kidding. I’m not really that bitchy (or am I).

  • Lauren Ann Long

    I think best friends is plural, I have a group of best friends and we each complete each other in different ways. Like one will eat a whole pizza and a box of banana babies while another will force me to go to the gym with her for two hours. It’s like a big best friend puzzle each fitting into your life for their own reason.

    • haha yes! I have a friend which sounds like a mixture of both of your friends. We run our butts off together and then we cancel out all the running (if you’re looking at it from a strictly weight perspective) by eating huge meals together afterwords.

    • Amelia Diamond

      hi. what’s a banana baby?

      • hellokitka

        only the world’s best chocolate-dipped frozen treat

      • Lauren Ann Long

        Offered both in milk and dark chocolate. Life changing.

  • Lyric

    I would say I have four best friends. Only one lives in the same city with me now. I met him and my friend Alex in college and they were my closest friends there. My other two best friends and I have known each other since middle school. One lives in NYC, the other back home. While we don’t talk as much as we should, once we see each other we’re right back where we started, finishing each others sentences and having Netflix slumber parties.

    I think it’s very strange to think that you can only have one bff, especially if you’ve gone to college or moved to different places. I mean, hopefully you’re still friends with the original and she doesn’t just get cast away when you’re done with her. I love all mine for different reasons and they’re all very different people. I don’t really use the word “best friend”, I usually stick to closest.

  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    My only true and completely trusted best friend is my mom, and your mom is right, nobody even comes close to her unconditional love and genuine support and no one ever will.

  • I have multiple. All from various groups that somehow mesh into one group on the occasion. Friends becoming friends is a beautiful thing! One person does rise to the top and is in– my cousin. We are five weeks apart, went to school 1st-8th grade together, went to college together, and roomed together all 4 years…. and still live together to this day.

    • That’s adorable! Being so close to my extended family is such a foreign concept….we’re the only ones on the west coast! My dad is the only one that left NY and his entire family thinks he is crazy for doing so. And my mother’s family is so spread out around this country and others.

      Heartwarming to envision you and your close cousin. I’ve never met three of mine!!!

      • She is moving out with her bf come fall, and I am attempting to move to NY, so things could get real sad come Sept! A good sad, though. *grOwTh* Try to connect with your cuzzies if you can! Cousins are super fun to have and talk ish about other family members with. I have a cousin named Emma, but two couldn’t hurt. We can be fuzins! (fake cousins)

  • Amanda

    Mindy knows.

  • Amanda

    To quote Mindy, “Best friend, isn’t a person Danny, It’s a tier.

  • SayWhaat

    Can you write more? PLEASE!!!!!! This is so true for a lot of women. I will not be pressured to think there is only one best friend for me in this gigantic world.

  • lavieenliz

    I always thought there was something wrong with me because I don’t have a group of girl friends like in sex and city but now I’m fine with it

  • zallyhood

    One of the best things I’ve learned in college is that you don’t need to tell your best friend everything for them to be your “best friend”. I’m pretty sure only one of my best friends knows ALL of my secrets.

  • I do think you can only have 1 best friend… even if they came to you different times in your life. You grow and form new relationships of new depth so even if she/he was your bbf in grade school they couldn’t be your bff in college if you claiming someone else because they don’t know you as a person today, (hence the reason for a new bff.)

    As well as, that is why they are called BEST friends, they are the best of all your friends. You can’t have many best thats defeats the word.


  • Mary Lowe

    you are splendid and perfect

  • I’ve had multiple best friends, but only really one at a time. I think it’s just the way I socialize–I don’t have the energy or the heart space to share the level of love I give to and expect from my best friend with multiple people.

    Love, Gigi
    Dolce and Gabriella


    I have lots of best friends! There’s a huge group of us that have stayed in touch since college. I absolutely love them all, but some have different roles in my life. For example, some I go to for advice, some are good to lean on, some are good listeners, some are more practical, while others are more wild! You can never have too many best friends, as long as they are, indeed, true ones.

    Xx Bee

  • Andres Poiche


  • I have only one BEST friend and no other friend gets me as much as she does, but I get your point.

  • Vic

    I have two best friends and I can’t really get my head around how I can have two favourites but I figure its like having two kids, you love them both equally despite them being different people who you’ve known for different lengths of time (at least I’m hoping parents love all their kids equally!).

  • Victoria

    I’m happy you mention mindy kaling (she’s in my icon/ prof pic) but yeah, I have multiple best friends too, but I have that one whom (whom? who? damn grammar) I always turn too

  • Melissa

    In my younger years I had two best friends. It was always the three of us. And I still consider the two of them my best friends even though our lives have taken us different directions . . .when we are able to see each other, even if it has been a long time, we just pick up where we left off.
    But then I feel like I have other best friends who fill other places in my life . . . I have a work bestie. I am not really friendly with my coworkers except this one individual and we have grown super close through work. I also have a best guy friend who I can talk to about football or when I need “manswers”.

  • Alma

    Well, best friends I honestly have two (the one I’ve known forever and the one I met in college) I would trust with anything, even my life! So, I get it when someone has more than one. I’m betting for my BFF’s I’m not their only one either. So there you go… although I don’t think you can have like 10 best friends… that’s just to far fetched for me…
    xx, Alma

  • Julia

    Totally agree! I have never had a single solitary best friend: each of my best friends is amazing, I have different relationships, and they are each there for me in a separate part of my life 🙂

  • Corinne H.

    Let’s get over the semantics here! Best friend is definitely a tier. No reason to limit it to just a person.

  • mercy

    i have two , i think
    tas ransel wanita

  • rachel

    I think as you get older maybe you get less friends overall, but it becomes harder and harder to say who is your “best” friend out of the few that remain (or am I the only one shedding old friends like lizard skin? Maybe I’m just getting old). Also, I think when you’re in a serious relationship you end up having at least two: your platonic best friend, and the person you love.

  • We are human we need plenty poeple in hower lives everyone serve a purpose in different moment at times,the more the marier