*How to Find and Keep a BFF*

Posted on January 27, 2012


“So can I just stay over,” She asked. My heart skipped a beat. I was excited. She was my first since I moved to America. Well, my first friend, of course. And that got me thinking. Having a new friend is like having a new boyfriend/girlfriend. There is a lot of excitement, nervousness, questions. But you have to be smart. You don’t want to turn them off. And you want to be cautious. You don’t want to lead them on.

So here’s what I figured out when I made my first friend in America.


1. Your first time out with a new friend is NOT a date:

The first time out with a new friend may kinda seem/feel like a first date. You want to get to know the person, a little bit. You’re awkward because you want them to like you, etc. etc. While that is charming in a date who’s gorgeous, it is horribly unattractive in a friend (no matter how gorgeous or nice!). So you want to appear calm, cool, even a little bit bored. Ok, not bored. Cool and calm it is. Practice in front of the mirror.

2. Find your pitch:

What is going to be your angle? This is a very important question. Are you going to be the edgy, outrageous friend? Or are you going to be the ugly, but funny friend? Or are you going to be the geeky friend who helps the new BFF with her/his computer/car, etc.? Or are you simply going to be the worship-the-ground-you-walk-on friend? When your new friend knows your angle, she/he will know where to place you in their lives. No prizes for guessing what my pitch is!

3. Know what you want from her/him:

Investing in a friendship is like buying a house. The right house will fetch you millions. The wrong house will sink your savings. Do you need a 4AM friend? Or a get-shitfaced-with friend? Or do you need a spiritual guide? What do you want from this new friend? Once you know what you want from them, you will know where to place them in your life. E.g. You don’t want a party friend to get into your book club and throw up wine! Keep your worlds separate till you are sure of her/him.

4. Have realistic expectations and don’t be jealous:

Once (2) and(3) have been established, try and be as realistic as possible. While you may be a great friend, this is NOT a marriage and your new friend has to maintain her/his old friendships. Don’t insist on getting introduced to their best friends or family on the 2nd date. I mean, week. And know that there will be times when they will hang out without you. You have to control your jealousy man. You don’t want to be too  needy too soon. You can be, eventually. But not now.

5. Just be yourself:

I say this with a wee bit of trepidation. Especially if you’re a drug addict or a nympho or something. Be genuinely interested in your friend, and you will see that she/he reciprocates. If she/he doesn’t see that, she/he is not worthy of you. You’re naturally pretty/smart/interesting/funny, etc. Be confident. Be nice. Smile a lot. No pressure.

6. Go at a healthy pace:

Ask questions. But not too many. Not too personal initially. See how slow or quick your friend wants to progress. Respect her/his pace. Don’t rush her/him. Don’t share too much too soon. Or share and try and gauge the reaction. If your friend is cool with your no-holds-barred confessions, then go ahead. May be you won’t need a therapist anymore. And if she/he does not want you to regurgitate every thought in your head, find a therapist.

7. Don’t stalk them on Facebook:

While social networking is an important tool, don’t use it as a weapon. By this I mean, the moment you find someone interesting, don’t send them a friend request. Would you do that with a guy/girl you’re interested in? No, right? You’d secretly stalk them, right? Yes, that’s exactly what you need to do here. If possible, wait for them to ask. Else, wait 5 dates, I mean hangouts, till you add them on Facebook.  And if you’re on Google +, never add them, you’ll only embarrass yourself. Once you add them, don’t add any pictures of them without permission. People are funny about having their pictures out in the world.

And after following all these rules, you still couldn’t keep your friend, then remember, it’s probably your own fault, for reading and taking me seriously.

Dedicated to Stephie…my first friend in America, who may now be too spooked to be my friend anymore 😉

*BFF: Best Friend Forever

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