What does it really mean to be a BFF?

The best of friends help us become better people, better spouses, better parents or grandparents. Why are BFFs important to women?

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  • The term "BFF" has become an acronym for close female friendships. A BFF is someone with whom you can reveal your true self, because it is so easy to talk with her. We enjoy spending time with our best friends, even for long stretches, without ever really growing tired of them.

  • The best of friends help us become better people, better spouses, better parents or grandparents. The best friends are inclusive of others. They are not possessive or exclusive.

  • 1. Why are close friends important to us as women?

  • Women provide other women with emotional support. Men tend to look to friends for companionship, as in getting together for a pick-up game of basketball. As women, we tend to favor a smaller, more intimate circle of friends than men do. Connection is important to our well-being.

  • Various studies on friendship have suggested that most women have two-five close or best friends. It might be better to have a few BFFs, rather than just one, since not all best friendships really do last forever.

  • 2. Why is it essential not to take your really great friends for granted?

  • Take the time to stay in touch with those who matter most to you. It takes both of you to make a friendship last.

  • According to the book Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend Researchers at the University of Notre Dame examined 8 million phone records for 2 million people and found that if two friends make contact with each other at least every 15 days, they are more likely to have an enduring friendship — no matter how far away they lived from each other. It also helps to find ways to have some face time at least once a year, if you live at a distance from each other.

  • Schedule time for your friendships. Like any relationship, the good ones take a certain amount of maintenance. And remember that no one likes to be the one doing all the work of keeping it together.

  • 3. What happens when you lose your BFF?

  • It's important to remember that even very close friendships are not always forever. Like any two people, sometimes your needs or ideas will be in conflict, especially over time.

  • Even close friendships can blow apart, while still others may just fade away. Some BFFs are only there for a certain season of our lives. That doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with either one of you. Maybe your friend has lots of children now, and you are still single. Maybe she is married and you are newly divorced or widowed. Perhaps one of you has moved away. What you each want or need from the friendship may have changed.

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  • Given how many friends come and go in the course of our lives, the most likely scenario for any given friendship is that it will end. Only the best and the strongest will endure, so have a strong and broad based support system. Don't find yourself too dependent on any one friend.

  • 4. How can you reconnect with old friends?

  • Mend disagreements with old friends where possible. Try to forgive and forget, if you have been hurt by something she said or did. Sometimes the passage of time heals old wounds. Find a new basis for your friendship, when you can. Some friends are simply worth keeping. And just because you don't always see your friends, that doesn't mean that they're not still there for you.

  • In cases where it's just not possible to make a new beginning, try to make a good ending by being grateful for the positive and memorable parts of the journey the two of you took together.

  • The important thing is not how many "friends" you have on FB

  • Friendship and connection is important for women. Nurture and cherish the close friends you have. Listen and share with each other. And keep in mind that to have a good friend, it helps to be a good friend.

  • The important thing is not how many friends you have on FB, but how many friends you feel close to over time.

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Read about the power of families to seek after the one in Susan's book: Coming Home: A Mormon's Return to Faith.

Website: http://www.returntofaith.org

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