Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Thursday, January 8, 2009

BFFs: Best Friends Aren’t Forever

When kids are young, they often have a best friend and proclaim it throughout the land. As kids develop their own identities, they often pull someone along with them which makes that goal a little easier. Establishing on the first day of camp who your best friend will be is more a function of anxiety than truly having found your soul mate.

If you think back to the best friends you had as a child, you can probably think of at least a couple. Best friends aren’t forever because kids – and later, adults - change so much along the way. Two friends often outgrow each other much in the same way lovers often do.

What about best friends in adulthood? Once you become an adult and figure out who you are a little more certainly, does your best friend remain a little more constant?

In my clinical work in my private practice, one of the things I find is that therapy often causes a person to look at all of his or her relationships and take inventory of them. Sometimes therapy puts you in better touch with your emotional needs, and that journey sometimes alters your relationships – and who you seek out as friends.

As people age, their friends tend to remain more stable. However, men and women also often report that their best friend is their romantic partner. What happens if this relationship ends? It’s time to go looking for a new best friend!

I am a strong believer that having old friends is one of the best forms of social support you can have. Old friends know you like family. They can offer comfort as you age and go through some difficult experiences. Because best friends aren’t forever and can change from time to time, make sure to keep some good, old friends around you. There’s nothing quite like an old friend.

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