I just typed “BFF” into Google and it returned this definition, which I guess comes from Wikipedia:
“Best friends forever or BFF is a close friendship typical of teenagers and young people. Such relationships are common in high school but, rather than lasting forever, tend to deteriorate when the parties go to college.”
This makes me sad. It also seems to be quite the sweeping generalization, that best friendships exist in high school but can’t last into college. It makes me believe that this Wikipedia entry was written by a disgruntled ex-bestie who now believes that best friendship, across the board, is a horrible myth.
Best friendship obviously changes with age, and I know better than anyone that the type of relationship BFFs have when they are 10 or 15 is going to be different than the relationship at 30 or 35. But that doesn’t mean it’s not valid best friendship, right?
I don’t like this definition at all. I’ve never actually edited a Wikipedia entry before, but I’m tempted.
Tell me: Is this an accurate definition? Can BFFs last into adulthood? What should the Google/Wikipedia definition say?
23 responses to “Google Thinks BFFs Don’t Last”
This is a way overgeneralization. I know of many “BFF” relationships that started in teen years or even before, and lasted through college and well beyond. Maybe what the article should say is that younger adults/teens are more likely to refer to their close friends as “BFFs.”
It is my opinion that as we mature, so too our new friendships. My BFF from high school I rarely if ever hear from. We developed into very different people. My BFF of today- will be my friend forever. It is a friendship built on mutual beliefs and interests but more so – in my soul. I think we have to mature to a certain point in order to attract life long friends. Maybe some people achieve that in High School – not me.
As a current long-term BFF, I am sad at the pessimistic view of lasting friendship. Though my friendship is over 30-years-old, and BFF status only for the past 22 years, it is a friendship that has lasted through marriages, miscarriages, divorces and now, distance. I see nothing superficial about that, which in essence what the Wiki definition alludes. I wholeheartedly agree with you Rachel, the author of said definition was either jilted or has never had that true BFF.
I’ve been learning a lot about the development of college students and an assigned reading for class (The College Years as a Mini-Life Cycle: Developmental Tasks and Adaptive Options by Joanne Medalie) stated that it’s normal, and to be expected even, to drift away from friends once you get to college. Granted, some friends make it through (and congrats to them! I didn’t make it out with one hometown friend), but a majority of friends from HS don’t outlast college simply because their worlds are increasingly different and they find it harder and harder to connect. As Medalie put it, you divest in the past and invest in a new life. Thought I’d share since it was still fresh in my mind 🙂
I think it is correct… after all, it used the phrase “tend to deteriorate”… which means that in most cases (but not all) these friendships don’t last. And given that fact, that’s what makes it accurate.
My BFF has been hanging around since we were kids. It’s true there are times when that isn’t my “closest friendship” of the moment, but I know that friendship will never betray me or forget me, and when the time is right, it’s always there to pick back up, so yes, BFF’s can last!
Sounds like a typically presumptive ignorance and dismissal of the female experience. I encourage you to edit the Wikipedia entry – you should probably re-write it! Who else is more qualified?
I agree, you should rewrite it Rachel!
I think you took a negative turn with this post. It’s all too easy to lambaste others. If you want to change, go ahead and do so.
*change the Wikipedia entry, I mean
Can’t agree with Google. I just had lunch with my BFF from kindergarten. We are both 60!
I love your blog because it makes me think about friendship in ways I wouldn’t necessarily on my own. This particular post got the wheels turning, but I’ll try not to contain myself.
I think it’s possible for best friendships to last into adulthood, but that wasn’t my experience…exactly. I lost touch with my high school best friends, and I met my current best friend in my early 20s (I just recently turned 30). Interestingly, I reconnected with two of my high school BFs throughout the later half of our 20s, despite not living in the same cities. Our contact is somewhat sporadic, but meaningful. Even though we have grown and changed, we still have that easy connection and openness. Just two nights ago, I spent the evening hanging out with one of said former BFFs. We hadn’t seen each other in over a year, and yet we were able to just pick up where we left off. That is such a good feeling.
one of the most creative posts I’ve read. Google is not a source of wisdom. I don’t like Googee, and Google doesn’t think
I have a best friend from elementary school whom I still see on occasion, but we are no longer best friends, mostly because life took us to different places. I think you can be friends forever but to be best friends forever you both have to stay put. That’s a hard thing to do.
I just turned 60 and my birthday present was a trip to see my son in Denver (I live in Richmond, VA) and going on to CA where I grew up and my BFF lives. We’ve been friends for 53 years and altho I hadn’t seen her in 11 years we did as we always do….picked up right where we left off. Clearly she is my BFF!
Maybe Google needs a caveat. Friendships may not last if you don’t maintain them. But I do think that, generally, with lots of care, friendships can last!
I think it’s the silliest thing ever. Best friends forever isn’t a type of friendship; it’s a phrase often used by high school students to describe a friendship.The stuff implying that people can only have best friends in high school and usually won’t stay best friends is just cynical and irrelevant.
Unfortunately I do believe this is pretty accurate, except the High school part. Seems most BBF, last a few years and then life just moves on. I do realize there are the exceptions who last for decades, but this is not the norm..
I think this is true for high school BFFs, but Wikipedia failed to mention that it is very likely to make a new BFF in your adult life.
I think this definition from Google is probably more to do with the fact that the term BFF is more widely used amongst those in high school/college. As you grow older, you do still have your BFFs, but you don’t call them that. You’re mature enough to not have to give them a title as such. Sometimes, they’re more like family than your typical BFF.
Clearly, the writer of that definition has been burned.
When I was going off to college I had a friend who was a year ahead of me tell me that my high school friends wouldn’t really matter – once you got to college, you’d make new best friends and forget all about the ones you hung out with at home. I’m happy to say that they were totally wrong, and 12 years later 3 out of 4 of my high school BFFs still have that status, even though we all went to different universities and live in different states (and sometimes different countries). They’re the closest thing I have to sisters, so even though I’ve made a lot of other great friends in the intervening years, I know they’re not going anywhere.
Some BFFs last but a lot of highschool friendships really do tend to breakup at college phase because people choose different paths. This is a stage where teenagers are evolving into adulthood, in the process of self discovery. BFFs will see other sides of each other and then decide if this should be the kind of person they want to continue to associate with.