I often wonder how many girls I have referred to as my "best friend" over the years.
As you transition from elementary school to junior high and then to high school, so does the BFF linking your arm. Yet, with each newfound bond, you still find yourself believing this one is your true bestie and will be the maid of honor at your wedding one day.
If there's anything "Mean Girls" should have taught us is, it's that most friendships throughout our younger years, from grade school to college, will fade. However, there are a rare few individuals who will enter your life and stay there for good.
If you're unsure about a particular friendship in your life right now, here's a list to help you decipher a best friend from a fake. If the following describes your bestie, she's on the track to being yours for life:
1. Regardless of how brief your plans together are, she will always stick to them.
Even if another fun proposition is presented to her, she'll always consult you before accepting. Basically, the two of you will look forward to a 30-minute trip for fro-yo because you know you'll have fun together no matter what you do.
Realize you need to pick up shower cleaner when you just started cleaning your bathroom? Call your bestie and she'll be game to grab it at the store on her way to keep you company.
2. If you've said you'll do something together, you do it. If you physically can't, you create your own alternative.
Okay, so money is tight and you're both virtually broke. You're still determined to make what you said happen, so you go to your local beach, tune into the clearest radio station and watch the local lads. The more homemade mimosas you consume, the more the amateurs look like pros.
Before you know it, you're on O'ahu's North Shore in Hawaii watching John John Florence dominate pipeline -- all without breaking the bank.
3. Boys will never come between you.
Whether it's a husband, fiancé, long-term boyfriend, recent recruit or lover, if you and your best friend are truly inseparable, not even a night with Ryan Gosling would come between you.
More importantly, you both approve of each other's boyfriends. You know you can tell her if her guy is acting shady, and you'd listen to her if she said the same to you. Jealousy never comes between you. Hoes over bros.
4. No matter what you've done, she will always have your back.
Even when you're in the wrong, she'll have a reason to justify your actions or an excuse to convince you otherwise -- especially if other people are against you.
This scenario or something like it might sound familiar to you:
"You didn't know they were together. It's not your fault. You didn't do anything wrong."
5. You have a mutual hatred for something utterly irrational.
To anyone else it wouldn't make sense, but the two of you completely agree over the matter. Of course both of you hate your cousin's neighbor Sarah because she was in the same first grade class as your ex-boyfriend so she's obviously evil.
6. You have a secret world that could probably have you both sanctioned to a mental institution.
No one will ever know about that one time you both sang the individual parts of the Spice Girls' songs because you sound more like Ginger and she sounds more like Sporty.
7. You finish each other's sentences on the regular and seem to know what the other is thinking.
You text her "Hey" at midnight and she replies, "McDonald's?" Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking.
8. You can sit in silence for a prolong period and not feel the necessity to make conversation.
You both know you're in great company when you can sit together without uttering a word and neither of you are bored or uncomfortable.
9. You share a strong passion for something that no one else could comprehend.
Whether it's Starbucks, shopping, skiing instructors or your weird obsession with Andy Samberg, you both bond over it and have a uniquely special connection that wouldn't be the same with anyone else.
10. She is more than just a friend to you.
You can't choose family, but if you could, she would be top of the list.
11. She's the only person on the planet...
You could spend all your time and company with without becoming irritated, annoyed or frustrated. See number eight.
12. You're so close that even your cycles coincide.
Meaning that when you want a duvet day or to cry over some soppy chick-flick and demolish the entire contents of the cupboard, you can do it together!
13. Your taste in men is completely different.
Therefore, you irradiate the competition in each other. Whilst you can appreciate her taste, you'd rather she stuck to the tall, dark, handsome, suited and booted pretty boy. In other words, means there's all the more rough, rugged, shaggy, blonde-haired sports men for her. Hooray!
14. There isn't a day that goes by that you don't contact one another.
Even if one of you is on holiday, you find a way. After you've left the coffee shop you both love to catch up at, you'll find a message waiting for you on your phone by the time you reach the office or bus stop about something she forgot to tell you. Funny enough, you were reaching to find your phone to do the same. Guess that means another cappuccino and four more hours nattering nonsense tomorrow.
15. She will always be there to listen.
No matter how big or small the issue is, or what time of day it is, she's there. When you're in need of advice, she'll be the first point of contact. After all, nobody knows you better.
16. You can make an utter fool of yourself and she couldn't care less.
In the morning you'll reminisce together, and instead of feeling embarrassed about your actions, you'll both be in hysterics -- before you're out making more mistakes.
17. You may not have the same common interests...
...But that means you can teach each other to love something you probably wouldn't have thought of doing otherwise.
18. If you look shocking, she'll tell you.
None of this fakery or false facade exists between the two of you.
19. You can tell her absolutely anything...
...And know it won't reach another living soul.
20. You never feel the sting of jealousy of one another -- no matter what.
Jealousy is life; it's an unfortunate but natural trait. Everyone at some point succumbs to it. However, the two of you share such a bond that those harsh feelings don't exist.
Hesitations lending your super skinny, stunning friend your favorite dress in fear that she'll receive more attention in it than you did in it? She's not your best friend. If she were, you wouldn't think twice. Heck, you'd hand her the shoes to match. You share as much as possible with your BFF and know she'd do the same for you.
It's a mutual respect and understanding that what's yours is pretty much hers, too.
21. If you have a tiff with your best friend, it won't last long.
In fact, I'd hazard a guess that within 10 minutes, you'll both be laughing at the ludicrous things you said to one another. You can't stay mad at each other; harboring grudges is simply impossible.
22. She's seen you in some of your best states; after all, she's right by your side in the mirror getting ready.
Similarly, she's witnessed you at your worst. She's seen you stuffing your face with a kebab in the post-drinking hours, holding your hair back as you hurl your guts en route home, found you passed out with your pants around your ankles on the toilet, and walked in on you sprawled across the sofa making out with a stranger. She's seen it all. Would she have been anywhere else?
23. She accepts your faults...
...But helps turn them into your most positive and admirable attributes.
24. You'll have some of the best memories of your lives together...
...And won't forget a single one!