New Day, New BFF

When it comes to BFFs there are a four types of people:

1) People who have a BFF, love her, and don’t want anything to change.

2) People who don’t have a BFF, love that, and don’t want anything to change.

3) People on the search for a BFF, to fill a vacancy or supplement existing besties.

4) People who have a new BFF everyday.

This last type of person is who we will be talking about today. Back in college there was a girl—let’s call her Bathsheba (why? because we can)—who loved taking new friends under her wing. She was never without a partner in crime. She’d give her BFF-of-the-moment presents, pay for her lunches, invite her away on family vacations. She and said BFF would walk arm in arm, as if announcing to the world that their friendship could not be broken. They were Best Friends Forever.

But forever never lasted long. The following week, or month, or two months, there’d be a new BFF by her side. A new pal from whom she was absolutely inseparable.

I guess this isn’t so different from the red flag friendships I wrote about last week—the pal who leaves a string of ex-friends in her wake is likely to always find new ones. The difference is the way Bathsheba spun it. She didn’t broadcast yesterday’s friendship, complaining that someone did her wrong. She just took up a new BFF, focusing her energies on that one friendship until she was bored and wanted someone new.

Of course, this didn’t win her many admirers. Each “dropped” best friend felt, quite legitimately, wronged. And hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Well, that might be dramatic. No one came fighting back with a pitchfork or anything. But the “dropped” friends did bond over their common ex-friend. And eventually Bathsheba worked her way through all her options, and ended up with no one.

Writing that, it seems like a real cautionary tale. A regular bedtime story for the ladies…

I tend not to use the phrase “social climber” because I feel like it’s lost all meaning. But that term comes to mind when I think of people who devour BFFs like I devour episodes of Friday Night Lights or Harry Potter books. Because what’s the point of having a new best friend at every turn if not to see what and where it can get you? Maybe I’m missing something, but the new friend every week routine seems childish and superficial. Isn’t the best part of having a best friend the stories you retell years later? One can’t build those up in mere months.

Have you ever come across someone like this? A serial monogamist of the friendship variety? A BFF player? Anyone know the intentions behind this behavior?

12 Comments

Filed under The Search

12 responses to “New Day, New BFF

  1. This reminds me of a woman I met through my kids, through preschool. I don’t know her well but her best friends were people she’d met in the last few years, always, and they seemed to be changing often. And the truth is that was a huge red flag for me. I cannot comprehend not having a few long-standing, deep friendships, even if they are people who live far away. I’ve made some new friends through my kids, absolutely, but they don’t supplant those original, early friends. Someone whose BFF seems to be a revolving door … well, I’d wonder about that. xox

  2. Melinda

    I know someone like that. She’s lived in this town all her life and has no friends from growning up. I always thought that was strange. How do you live in the same place for 40 years and have not one old friend to show for it? Her BFF’s are people she’s met in the last few years and who are newer to town. I’ve met some of her old BFF’s and she’s a bit different from Bathsheba. When she’s done with a friend, she will try to destroy them with lies, manipulations and vicious rumors, unless of course she might need you for something later, then she just keeps you at a distance. She’s tried to strike up a friendship with me but I’ve already been through the ringer with one ex BFF. I’m too gun shy at this point to put myself in that position.

  3. Joanna

    Paris Hilton??

  4. Lorrie Paige

    I don’t fall into either of the 4 categories. I don’t have a BFF, and I really don’t care one way or the other. If I get one eventually–fine. If not, fine too. I just don’t care. I’m constantly focused on my interests, boyfriend, animals, charities…so I don’t feel the void, although a BFF would be OK.

    I agree with your statements Rachel about the person with new “best friends” every week. Actually, they are really just acquaintances as they didn’t really know each other that long. I guess anyone can make up the definition of what a best friend or BFF is, so whatever….

    Not necessarily toward you Lindsey, but your statement did make me think of this in general: I can understand not having life-long friends and being a good, decent person. We all lead different lives, have different pasts, so anything is possible. I would be careful in assuming becuase a person doesn’t have a life long friend, something is probably negative with that person.

    • Melinda

      I agree Lorrie, not having a life long friend shouldn’t be a deal breaker in a new friend. You never know what someone else’s situation is. However, if someone consistantly changes thier group of friends or even just thier BFF, it would make me wonder about them a bit. It doesn’t cause me to have negative thoughts about them but when it comes to my friends, I’m in it for the long haul. I don’t want to be someone’s BFF flavor of the week.

      • Nikkidd

        I agree- there is probably another category who is the opposite of Bathsheba- women who are completely loyal and devoted friends who have bad taste in friends and end up getting burned by friends who tend to change their minds. This was definitely me when I was younger- I always believed the best of people, so I would befriend girls who needed something from me and invest in the friendship only to be teased mercilessly by that girls’ “real” friends when she tired of me. Girls can be really cruel, and if you consistently pick the wrong ones, you could certainly find yourself looking back and not having any life-long friends.

  5. I would be your number three option however I’ve been the victim of number 4 … it seemed I was her bestest of best friends “we go together like peas and carrots” best friend until until she got more comfortable at our place of employ and she no longer “needed” me. She one day walked up to me and told me she never wanted me to speak to her again. To this day, I have absolutely no idea what happened, but I really feel she just didn’t need me any more and I was a step on the ladder to success as I had been there many years longer than she. Thank you so much for your awesome blog!!

  6. Ha! And yes! There are definitely people out there who this. I’ve had the joy of speaking to fellow BFF’s of a serial BFF player. It’s quite humorous. (But it’s only funny years later. Actually hurts at the time for sure.)

  7. You know I can’t say that I have. There are people at work they go with BFFs every week but that’s for work related reasons. Bathsheba sounds like a snot, and no way would be friends with her, eva!

  8. Kate

    I knew a serial friender in college, too. Even today, she has some 2000 friends on Facebook. I was never one of her many BFFs, but she was a casual friend and I always kept her at arm’s length because of her habits. She was really in to her sorority and always had to be BFFs with the new ‘it’ girl on campus. Weird.

    But now she’s quite different. We keep in touch and she’s infinitely more genuine than she was then. She even told me recently that she doesn’t recognize her college self. People actually do change! Sometimes they just have to learn the hard lessons first.😦

  9. Layla

    I like how you categorize people into 4 categories. That’s a good model… like the Rutherford atom is a good model of the hydrogen atom. I’d have to say in reality, I’m in the category of “People who have close friends, love them, and are content with things the way they are (wouldn’t say no to the option of having a bff, but doesn’t worry about it).”

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