Amanda and I at the Library of Congress in DC
Amanda and I at the Library of Congress in DC

Wanted: A Best Friend Forever

Searching for female BFF for thirty-something married mother of two. Must have at least average intelligence and above average wit. Must be able to take phone calls from me at any time of day or night, and give me the appropriate pep talk for whatever my current crisis is. Must be available to meet me for ice cream, coffee, or drinks with 30 minutes notice. (Yes, your kids can come, too. Well, maybe not for drinks.) Must be willing to lend me a diaper, a wet wipe, and/or a Capri Sun for the kids if I run out. Willingness to be silly a plus. Ability to make me laugh a plus. Reader of books preferable, but not necessary. I do not discriminate based on age, height, weight, clothes, bad hair days, face wrinkles, messy living rooms, unruly children, or dirty vehicles. 

I wonder if married people still have best friends. I feel like I don’t have the time to even be a good best friend even if I had one.

During my life I feel like I’ve had several “best friends.” I had a best friend (or two) for each place that I lived. Texas: Cara. Missouri: Allison. Thailand: Beth and Siripawn. Furlough year in Nashville: Karla and Heather. College: Amanda and Susan.

I still call the last two my best friends even though they don’t live near me anymore, and to be honest, I communicate with them mostly via Facebook. I still love and treasure these gals so much, but I’m guilty of letting physical distance turn into emotional distance.  I know. I need to pick up the phone and call my girls.

Amanda and I at the Library of Congress in DC

Nowadays, cookouts and potlucks with other couples (and all our kids) tend to be the bulk of my quality friend time.  I occasionally attend a moms’ night out with the church gals or meet a few friends for dinner.  While I’m thankful for the times I get to hang out with these girls, I’m not sure any of them would call me their “best friend.”

This leads me back to my original thought: Do married women have best friends anymore? Or do we just have groups of friends we occasionally hang out with? Is my husband supposed to be my best friend? He is, in a way, but every girl needs female friends, too. Am I an anomaly here? Or is it normal to feel a longing for that one friend that is always just there?

Truthfully, some of the stuff in my “ad” above probably is unrealistic anyway. I’m not gonna call somebody after 9 PM. Probably because I’ll be asleep. Plus, with kids and ball games and all that extracurricular stuff, who can just drop everything to run to Starbucks for a cuppa with the bestie? But that’s what I want. That’s what I miss. I miss spur-of-the-moment. I miss silly girl talks. I miss spontaneity. I miss the long, deep talks over mugs of hot chocolate. I miss the joy and relief of spending time with a kindred spirit. I’m Anne, and even though I’ve got my Gilbert, I still need my Diana.

“Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.” – Aristotle

13 comments

  1. I think you hit on something by mentioning that you’ve had several “best friends” in various seasons of your life, Karissa. That’s pretty normal. And I think it’s normal for those relationships to change as we change, possibly move to another city, our kids get older, etc. But what I hear you asking is deeper than this. I hear you LONGING for something more. And it has nothing to do with your marriage. Our husbands are guys. Maybe wonderful. Maybe not. But they are guys. And a marriage is a partnership, not a friendship. I’ve been blessed with 3 “best friends” in my adult life. One during my 30s, another I met in my 40s, and one I’ve known for 43 years. With each one–including the two I’m still close to now–I have a special relationship that is so different than the one I have with my husband (of 42 years–yes!). This is such a normal longing. I hope you find that friendship, the one where you each think you got the best deal. Nice post. Thanks for sharing.

    • kksorrell says:

      I think it’s great that you’ve had some really meaningful friendships over the years! My husband is a great guy and a great support, but sometimes you just need a girlfriend!! :)

  2. Susan says:

    I often wonder same. My closest friends when single are far away. I reach out bit mostly I have to catch them “between activities”. We live in different time zones too so commute chat is out and my down time falls after their lights are out.
    Relocating due to and after marriage did not allow me the same freedoms of spontaneity. I instead met friends thru his work or mine. Granted I have met some fantastic people that way but they don’t know me the same as my besties of younger years. Then their are friends thru our children. Same idea different venue. I care about so many of them, all of them but the spontaneity is gone. I often think its because I’m not from here. I’m an outsider and proud of it. I’m not arrogant but I can see how my love of my own past and hometown upbringing can appear stand offish and perhaps interfere with making the friends you suggest. My friends who have been stationary all their lives or adult lives seem to have girl groups and BFF’s. I’m always welcome but the pieces never seem to fit like they did when we were younger.

    • kksorrell says:

      I agree that place has a lot to do with it. It’s hard to bust in to a group of women that’s been together forever. It’s nice to know that someone else feels the way I do.

  3. Susan B. says:

    Kris, I don’t know if it is all just being married with kids that keep you from your bestie. I know for me, I feel as though my friend circle has dwelded down to no one at times. My sister is my best friend here at home, with you and amanda at a distance. Yall will always be my best friends, near or far. Even as a single, no kid(s) woman, my life is a constant challenge of keeping up with the clock and schedule. I do notice that I have become more serious, ridged and lack laughter in my daily life. Maybe what we are missing is that we have to be more purposeful in our friendships, realizing they need work and remind ourselves we just need to stop other things to take time for the ones who mean the most to us. Here is to being more purposeful. Love to you my Bestie and heres to sharing a cup of coffee while chatting on the phone soon. :)

    • kksorrell says:

      Susan, I don’t know if you saw Karla’s comment about this post on FB, but she said some similar things. I think I should change the question to: “Do grown up women have best friends?” not just married women. I am so guilty of not keeping up with you and I am sorry. I hate to hear that it feels like that spark of fun is missing in your life. I do feel like that too sometimes. I’ve been trying to bring more fun into my life in different ways. Sometimes I would just love a night out and a girly chat with you! So let’s promise to seek out more opportunities to talk to each other and more opportunities to put the fun back in our lives!

  4. Stephanie says:

    I think about this all the time. All the time. My sentiment is exactly yours. I would like one, but doubt I’d even be a good best friend anymore. And nice new picture. Very cute.

    • kksorrell says:

      Yeah, my husband’s two grunts when I tell him about my day is just not enough for my interaction-with-an-adult daily quota. :)

  5. Chris Cutler says:

    Funny that you should write about this today. I just had this discussion with Jan, one of my closest friends in Las Vegas. She and I were “friends” when I lived here before Nashville, but she was not my “best” friend here. We didn’t even communicate when I moved to Nashville, not like my best friend, Debbie, and I did.

    As you know, we moved back to LV after 14 years in Nashville. In the 3+ years we’ve been back, I have seen Debbie three or four times. I see Jan every week or so. We have coffee. We talk, laugh, cry, commiserate. When I mentioned the “best” friend thing to her, she said that friendships fit into the seasons of our lives (as someone mentioned above). Debbie fit in at that point, but now she doesn’t. Jan and I are much more in sync. I see that.

    That all said, I will say that I have a few friends with whom I’ve stayed close even after moving. My closest, best friend lives in Nashville (well, Gallatin). It’s hard being so far away, but we talk a lot. If she needs me, I’m there. If I need her, she’s there. We have other friends, and we miss each other greatly.

    I wrote a short piece about our friendship while at Murray. I need to find it.

    • kksorrell says:

      Chris, that’s so funny because I live in Gallatin now! Maybe your best friend and I can get together and commiserate. She’ll be missing you, and I’ll be missing my far-away friends! :)

      I do like what you said about having different “best” friends at different seasons of our lives. So true. I’d love to read your essay!

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