...is a funny concept at this stage of life. How do you describe the people that you call friends?

-We have a shared history, and we haven't spoken in months, but she knows that I am there for her if she needs me
-I trust her
-He's always down to hang out, and it's always a great time
-He's always there to talk to me about the melodramas of a college student
-When we hang out, it's cool, but there is still an out-of-sight, out-of-mind thing going on
-We have a lot of shared interests. A lot. It's pretty ridiculous.
-I love her
-And him too

When I was young, I got into the habit of immediately labeling someone as my 'friend', even though we had just met that day. I think it came out of growing up in a military family and having to move around a bit. You were my friend if you:

-Welcomed me at recess or lunch
-Played basketball with me
-Partnered with me during classwork

In fact, from there stemmed a lot of the best friends that I have today.

And now, I use the term friend and best friend pretty interchangeably. Sometimes I feel that to not call my good friends 'best friend' would be to sell our relationship short.

So it goes. I'm a big talker (and listener, I hope). It almost doesn't matter if we have different interests, a different sense of humor, or different experiences... If I can talk for an hour straight with you, I immediately feel that 'best friend' closeness, and I only want to get closer.

So what's the problem? I argue that by today's standards, everyone is looking for a friend, a best friend, or a significant other. The lines aren't supposed to blur, the titles shouldn't overlap. Each role has its own specifications. People get uncomfortable when I interchange the meanings, afraid that I am getting too close for my own good. So what's the problem? It wasn't a problem, for me.

Until now. Maybe I'm buying into what society is teaching me is "right".

When it comes down to it, we all aren't looking for a 'friend', a 'best friend', or a 'significant other'. We're just looking for a human connection.

To my best friend: I am here for you because you need me. You may need me to step up to help you find the strength in yourself. You may need me to step back to allow you to use that strength. To my best friend: Thank you for listening to me, for holding me, without judgment. To my best friend: I miss you.

Maybe these words get tossed around too much for some, but I like it. To my best friend: I love you.

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