Is It Normal Not to Have a Best Friend?

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Is it weird if you don't have a best friend? If you have one, you probably know there are some ups and downs with it. If you're looking for one, you might feel like things just aren't normal without one. But not having one best friend isn't something to worry about. One UK study found that one in ten people have no close friends or someone that they would call a best friend.

How Best Friend Relationships Are Typically Formed

The notion of one best friend largely comes from childhood when we were encouraged to bond with another child in our neighborhood or class. We tended to stick with this person no matter what, which can be a good thing. It teaches you how to communicate, forgive, and value your friendship. But there can also be a downside. 

Some educators and parents feel that encouraging kids to have a best friend is a mistake. A better option, they feel, is to encourage friendships in larger groups. Not having a best friend means kids will be less possessive of their friendships, which will instead encourage their besties to meet other people and grow with different social situations. 

What's more, remember when you had a best friend and they moved away? You were devastated, and part of that feeling came from the fact that you hadn't developed many other friendships. So when your best pal was gone you were alone and feeling like an outsider with your classmates. 

Not Having One Best Friend Is Perfectly Normal

Not everyone has a best friend in life, and that's okay. Some people have several close friends that give them love and support, but none of which they would consider a best friend. The key is not thinking in terms of "normal" because no two friendships are alike. Some people enjoy have different friends they can go out with or talk to, while others prefer to have one person they can continually count on to be with.

It's a matter of personal preference and even, perhaps, luck. You might welcome a best friend into your life, but if you simply haven't found a person that would fit the bill you cannot force a friendship into the "best" status. You should never push or hurry a friendship because each one has their own unique pace. With some people, we bond quickly and with others we remain acquaintances for a long time and perhaps never get closer than that. 

Instead, Value Your Acquaintances and Casual Friends

If you don't have a best friend now (and you want one), don't discount the casual friends who are in your life now. You might not hit it off with an acquaintance but that person may introduce you to someone else who could end up being a best friend to you.

Also, life circumstances change, and you'll have opportunities to get closer to people here and there over time. Continue meeting new people so that when the time is right, you can develop a best friendship with someone more organically. 

In the meantime, you need to wait to see if one of the relationships currently in your life has the potential to be a BFF. If there is one, then you need to nurture and develop the friendship to see if your good friend can turn into a best friend. If you don't have anyone that comes close to being a best friend, and it is something you desire, you need to meet more friends in general to see who you might connect with on that deeper level.

However, if you are happy to have close friends (rather than one person who you'd consider your best friend), that's okay too. The key to knowing what is right is how you feel about it personally. If you feel that something is lacking in your life because you don't have a best friend, work on meeting more people and you'll increase your chances of finding someone. If you feel good about the friendships in your life (no matter the number), you don't need to worry about not having a best friend.