/ Best friends

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tlm - on 09 May 2014
Did you have a best friend when you were a kid? Are you still friends with them now? What sorts of things did you get up to with them?
Who is your best friend now?
What makes a best friend into a best friend?
Father Noel Furlong on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

I've known my best friend since our first day at school, almost 43 years ago.

He's a dick, but what can you do.

kathrync - on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

Yeah, my best friend as a kid was Lucy. We went to playgroup together, then primary school, then high school, then to the same university, then later we were working in another university at the same time.

We were best friends until we were about 12. Absolutely inseparable and did everything together. I suspect we were drawn to each other because we were both bright and precocious and both got picked on for being teacher's pets so we sought understanding in each other.

Although we went to the same high school, we grew apart a lot then. She wanted to retain our mutual "best-friends" thing and got really jealous when I started hanging out with other people. I have to admit that at 12, I didn't handle it well and we ended up not talking for several years. We did reconcile later on but were never close friends again. We played badminton together weekly while we at uni and later when we were working in the same place. Now we see each other maybe every six months for a drink, but we run out of things to say after about half an hour.

Now, my partner is also my best friend, but outside of that I don't have one particular close friend, but two or three who I do different things with and talk to about different things.
captain paranoia - on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

Best friends come and go. And the odd thing is that, at the time, you think it would be terrible to lose them. And yet you do; you drift apart and never see each other again. And it doesn't seem to hurt after all.
Tall Clare - on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

I didn't have a particular best friend and was always faintly jealous of people who did. I had several good friends though (just to make it clear I wasn't a complete social outcast).

Now, aside from Mr TC I do have someone I'd consider to be my 'best friend' - she was my witness at my wedding. I think I'm more attached to her than she is to me, mind.
The New NickB - on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

> Did you have a best friend when you were a kid? Are you still friends with them now? What sorts of things did you get up to with them?

A few over the years, but most notably from my teenage years. Yes, still good mates, but don't see him so often. Climbing, mountaineering, drinking and other teenage stuff.

> Who is your best friend now?

I have a group of good friends, best friend seems a bit childish. The person I choose to spend more time with than anything else is my girlfriend, but saying she is my best friend just seems cheesy.

> What makes a best friend into a best friend?

?
Ava Adore - on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:
I moved around a lot as a kid so was always having to lose touch with friends. When I went to high school I had a friend called Karen for about five years and we did everything together. She went to work in London and then eventually got married and move to the States. We keep in touch via Facebook now but haven't met up since school despite one near miss.

Now I have two people I consider best friends - one is a guy and one is a girl and they are quite different kinds of friendship. But both really solid. They are my best friends because I know I can call upon either of them at any time of day or night for help and they'd do their best for me.
Post edited at 14:58
French Erick - on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

Not sure about "best"
I have 5 really close friends from being a kid/teen. We keep in touch but do not live in the same countries (France, Switzerland, Wales and US). When we meet, it's like the last 15 years never happened.

Seing as though I emigrated from France to come in Scotland, I have made really good friends here. Some I consider to be close friends. We mostly climb... together with a couple of exceptions. Family life makes it difficult to make time for them. I consider they will remain close friends if we feel making an effort is not necessary.
Troy Tempest - on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

I've lost touch with my best friend from school/sixth form (apart from Facebook), which is a shame because we spent so much time with each other, at college, packing down beside each other in the scrum in both college and club rugby. I moved to Sheffield, he moved to Leeds. Not far, but far enough to lose touch if you're busy.

My current best friend I met by chance when we both moved into the same house and we've been mates ever since. The friendship seems to revolve around huge amounts of patience from both parties, him when I'm being a fanny and having a freak-out multipitching and me pretty much any time we're not climbing.

I've moved away from the area now but we still chat most weeks, which will hopefully continue.
Flinticus - on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

I totally lost touch with my best mate from uni about a year after leaving. Heard he went to New York. This is in days before mobile phones and internet (1993 for God's sake).
Jim C - on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:


I have some mates from the 60's / 70's that I bump into occasionally , but I moved when I was 8 and lost touch with early school friends.

So I suppose I would have to say my wife
( I met her when we were teenagers at school, and I guess that qualifies)

However, If you asked her who her best friend is, I very much doubt she would say me though!
Timmd on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:
I've a friend from age 5 who is probably my best friend, we played innocently as kids, and got into mischief as teenagers, and wobbled a bit later on, and seem to be getting our acts together as people in our early 30's.

He's been steadfastly loyal when I've had difficult times, and we share a sense of humour.

It's time I gave him a ring. I think he's weird but I like him for it, he can ramble in a semi stream of consciousness style when talking, saying what thought appears before giving much thought to if he really believes it. He's a friend unfiltered. (:-))
Post edited at 18:09
Rob Exile Ward on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

I had a best friend when I was at school, I dragged him up and down the country to go climbing, which he didn't even enjoy very much. But my word we had some laughs.

We lost contact, like you do, then 40 years on I stumbled across his facebook page - he'd moved to New Zealand. We exchanged emails and it was like the 40 years hadn't happened - we still had the same values, the same sense of humour, the same outlook (though he didn't miss climbing at all!) Quite emotional really. Friends that close are rare.

Kevster - on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

Friend come and go. At least thats my experience. However, the good times are great and the void left behind is often filled before the fade finishes.
Usually a change of circumstance/partner precipitates the fade of a friend.

There was some study, can't cite it, which found people can maintain upto 5 close friends at one time. It also found that by getting a new partner, 2 of these fall by the wayside. Interseting, and possibly close to true.
Timmd on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:
What makes a best friend into a best friend?

Somebody who'll tell you what they actually think, and who genuinely cares, and who will go out of their way for you because they do (which is reciprocated of course), and a sense of being able to talk and ask about things which are personal.

My very good friends seem to fit the above at least.
Post edited at 18:56
Dave Kerr - on 09 May 2014
In reply to Father Noel Furlong:
> (In reply to tlm)
>
> I've known my best friend since our first day at school, almost 43 years ago.
>
> He's a dick, but what can you do.

Class! Life's like that.

edunn on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

I've known my best friend since we were five. He came to England from Israel and didn't speak a word of English. I have always liked him because he's a bit different and is brutally honest.

We used to get in to trouble together a lot. We still do. He is the only person who truly knows how to handle me. He is hilariously stubborn and he has one nostril significantly larger than the other which he doesn't like me talking about.

I once kissed his ex-girlfriend and have also seen his sister naked. I have a brother, so that wasn't really fair.

His grandfather died last week and I spoke to him for about 2 minutes on the phone before he asked if he could ring me back later. He didn't. I'm worried about him (in a manly, not really that worried kind of way).

His name is Tom, but I call him Haimo.

Timmd on 09 May 2014
In reply to Timmd:
> What makes a best friend into a best friend?

> Somebody who'll tell you what they actually think, and who genuinely cares, and who will go out of their way for you because they do (which is reciprocated of course),

If they're far away, just the knowledge that they would do things to help or would want to be there counts.
Post edited at 20:44
stroppygob - on 10 May 2014
In reply to tlm:
My oldest two friends, were born on the same street as me. One is a year older, the other a year younger. We played together as toddlers. we remained friends through infants, junior and secondary schools, but went our own way when they went to Uhi, we still kept in touch though. We kept being best mates even when I emigrated. We're still best of mates, and are in touch weekly. 55 years of friendship with them, I'm blessed.
Post edited at 00:22
Blue Straggler - on 10 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

> Did you have a best friend when you were a kid?

Maybe until I was 5 years old, at which point the concept of a "best friend" - for better or for worse - started to trouble me.

Clarence - on 10 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

I had a best friend from starting playgroup up to leaving for college. I got average results and went to the local tec, he got top marks and a scholarship to a fancy posh sixth form. He ended up trying to kill his girlfriend after becoming paranoid on a cocktail of various illegal substances and hanged himself before he could be arrested. Drugs have done for a fair proportion of my childhood friends one way or another.
John_Hat - on 10 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

I had a best friend at school, name of David. We were by some distance the brightest kids in the class and got on really well, plus he had the same sense of adventure I did which led us into doing quite a lot of things involving bikes and trees that were, in retrospect, bl**dy stupid - but fun!

Anyway, I ended up getting a scholarship to a posh school 20 miles away, and our ways parted.

About 10 years after I left school (so possibly 15 years after I last saw him) I was in a garage filling my car and something looked familiar about the attendant, and it turned out to be him. We had a brief natter, but our lives/worlds were so totally different that we didn't connect.

Was a shame. Weirdly, after (now) something like 35 years I can still remember his parent's home phone number..

In reply to edunn:

> I've known my best friend since we were five. He came to England from Israel and didn't speak a word of English. I have always liked him because he's a bit different and is brutally honest.

> We used to get in to trouble together a lot. We still do. He is the only person who truly knows how to handle me. He is hilariously stubborn and he has one nostril significantly larger than the other which he doesn't like me talking about.

> I once kissed his ex-girlfriend and have also seen his sister naked. I have a brother, so that wasn't really fair.

> His grandfather died last week and I spoke to him for about 2 minutes on the phone before he asked if he could ring me back later. He didn't. I'm worried about him (in a manly, not really that worried kind of way).

> His name is Tom, but I call him Haimo.

That's such a cool piece of writing; it could be the start of a novel.
richyfenn on 10 May 2014
In reply to tlm:
My first best friend was Andy in early primary school. We drifted apart after a couple of years as he became a bad boy bully type, it was a shame but it kept me out of some harms way later on.

After Andy it became Steven for the middle part of primary school, my first memory of him is seeing him with his mum skipping to play school. I can still see his big grin and blonde hair waving about. We drifted apart a bit as I started to really click with Ben in year 5, he joined the school in year 4 as his family moved back to the UK from Brunei. Ben has remained in that position ever since, only to be supplemented by Robert for a time.

Ben and I went to different secondary schools and I was best friends with Robert early on in that school and had a lot of fun. We were essentially Beavis and Butt-Head, not quite as stupid but just as immature, we got into a fair amount of trouble. Ben and Robert didn't really hit it off and Robert started to get a bit annoying so I hung around with him less and less and he faded into the background.

I became really good friends with Martin around year 9. His group of friends had become a bit dickish towards him for silly teenage reasons (which has since all been resolved) and he drifted away from them. I introduced Martin to Ben outside of school and they hit it off, these two are my best friends today, equally, and we have all been each others best men at our weddings. For a good while Peter made it a four way through the later years of school and 6th form, but during uni drifted away and moved up northwards for a different scene.

It's hard to imagine that me, Ben and Martin would ever not be close. Martin and myself live in the same town and see each other regularly, but Ben is much further away and sometimes we don't communicate for several months. That changes nothing as our friendship is always just as strong when we meet up. Ben introduced me to climbing (he did it at work) and then got Martin in. We walk together a lot and learned winter skills in Scotland together, the bond is strong.
Post edited at 11:05
mrdigitaljedi - on 11 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

20yrs is mine, he's been there through a painful accident(calling mountain rescue, driving to the hospital and taking me bk home) always honest about my climbing, and a great bloke all round.
Trangia - on 11 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

When I was in my 20's my best friend and climbing partner Barry, was killed in a car crash just one week before my wedding to my first wife. We were devastated.

6 years ago my best friend and again climbing partner, Dave, died from a sudden cerebral hemorrhage aged 58. We had walked up Snowdon just a few days previously.. His widow asked me to deliver a eulogy at his funeral. Emotionally it was the most difficult public address I've ever given.
edunn on 11 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Cheers! ;-)
Clove-hitch - on 12 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

Mark was my best friend in primary and then high school. I must have been 15 when Mark's mum came to work at our school as a dinner-lady. She was rather a plump person and I made the terrible mistake of saying some pretty nasty things about her. You know how these things spread and when Mark became aware of them he told me he would never speak to me again unless I apologised to his mum. Well, I was too thick and stubborn to do that, so the next three years at school were silent ones, as far as Mark was concerned.

I bumped into Mark a few times when visiting my folks and we still didn't speak , just a slight acknowledgment. The years went by and then "Friendsreunited" appeared. Mark was there, but I still couldn't pluck up the courage to get in touch. This really tortured me, I had spent the happiest days of my life in his and his family's company.

So, about 10 years ago on a trip home, I found where his parents were living ( same house) and went round to say hello. His mum looked just as she did the last time I saw her, after nearly thirty years . I said who I was and that I had something to say that I should have said all those years ago. To say that it was the most emotional moment of my life sounds totally unbelievable, but it was. There were tears and hugs and then hours of chat. What I didn't know was that Mark had died a few years earlier from a rare type of cancer. I still can't find the words to describe how empty I felt.

I guess we would have drifted apart eventually, like most school friends do, but there was something more to our friendship. If it was love, it was never of a sexual nature, apart from the things that many teen-ages do with their mates. His mum told me that our rupture broke his heart, something I just couldn't have understood at the time.

tlm - on 14 May 2014
In reply to Clove-hitch:

Awww... don't be too hard on yourself - you were only 15 and that is an age of turmoil and confusion. Good you went round in the end...

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