I will live and die by Mindy’s words “a best friend is not a person, it’s a tier”. This is the truth; no person will ever only have one best friend. Everyone has best friends from school, work, the gym or any other activity or hobby that is done with other people. We all say it “me and my best friend from cooking class” or “me and my best friend from body pump” did the best thing ever, followed by lots of pictures on Instagram and Facebook, as well as twitter to make sure the whole world knows just how much fun you and YOUR BEST FRIEND had. It’s interesting how everything you do is the BEST thing ever, which in a way defeats the point of actually doing the best thing ever, but that is a topic for another day.
The Oxford Dictionary defines the term “best” as “most excellent or desirable”, in other words our favorite of that type. When we talk about our best friends, we talk about people that are our favorites from that group, so that’s why we have a tier rather than a person as a best friend. We have a collection of friends that we like the most. Connecting to each other is what makes us interesting and different, because each connection however small will shape us into the people we are today and tomorrow. Our best friends are important, because we choose them and let them be a bigger part of our lives.
The term “best friend” is on steroids in today’s society. You can gear up with your best buddy – everything from pajamas with best friend written on your bum, to friendship rings and bracelets and the really dedicated ones get tattoos. Having a best friend is like having breakfast – it’s a necessary part of your daily routine, oh and don’t forget to tweet, Facebook and Instagram it.
So what is a Soulmate? As girls, we watch programs like Sex and The City that reinforce the idea of having a Soulmate, that special someone that is not a man. Charlotte, my personal favorite from the series, said, “Maybe we can be each other’s soul mates. And then we can let men be just these great, nice guys to have fun with”. I like this idea, as it doesn’t put so much pressure on girls to find Mr. Right, prince charming nowadays in a BMW rather than on a horse. It encourages independence and empowers women, which is something I am strongly supportive of. Except in Sex and the City, they can all afford Gucci shoes and classy NY apartments, just your standard single 30 something gal. My only question is, why can’t we have it all? Is it because it’s impossible or improbable? Does it depend on how we define our Soulmates and what we ask of them?
There is no right answer when talking about Soulmates, because the term itself means something different for all of us. I believe in having a Soulmate, not in the traditional sense, where two people are meant for each other. I don’t think anyone is meant for each other, every relationship requires work and sacrifice, and you just have to decide if it’s all worth the effort. I can tell you about my Soulmate and how we work as a pair. Unlike what you might think, I met my Soulmate quite late. I graduated from university and moved to Leeds to do my MA. I like the fact that we met later on; we were both grown up enough to know vaguely who we wanted to be. We both had an idea of what we wanted to achieve and how to do that (ish). When you get to this stage in your life you realize there is only a very small number of people you actually want to hang out with and an even smaller number of people you want to hang out with more than once a week. My Soulmate and I lived together and I decided that she was my Soulmate after we spent countless nights together in the same room without saying a single word to each other and perfectly understanding how the other person felt. I just knew she was the one. Conventionally we have very little in common, she is arty and likes all sorts of music – very edgy and cool. She is the kind of girl that puts on red lipstick and makes pajamas look good. We just work and no matter how far away we are from each other she will always be my Soulmate.
But, why does that mean that my boyfriend can’t also be my Soulmate? I feel like the two should not be mutually exclusive. Let’s agree that your best friend is your favorite person in a certain context and setting, your Soulmate is your favorite person in all settings, so where does your boyfriend/partner fit it. In my mind in the same slot, same draw and same part of your life. You can fit more than one pair of socks in your draw right? They can snuggle in together, your Soulmate can be the cosy pair of woolly socks that keeps you warm and your boyfriend the hello kitty socks with sticky bottoms that you wear around the house. Both pairs extremely important and irreplaceable.
If you decide that having a Soulmate and Best Friends is all a bit too much then you can always listen to my good friend Schopenhauer “A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free”. I guess being alone isn’t that bad after all.