They say it takes a village, and when you’re single, it actually might. (A village of friends, that is.) I personally could not do without mine; I need that mix of personalities to help keep me in check. I need a panel. A balanced one.
Here’s my list of indispensable friends:
I am lucky enough that one of my best friends is a shrink. No, really. It’s her actual job. This is what’s so great about having a shrink as a best friend: They never judge. And if they do, they don’t tell you. They use phrases like “Why are you engaging?” and “That’s okay, it’s how it makes you feel.” They will tell you it’s okay to call or text if that’s what you feel you need to do. And you believe them. Because it’s their job to help people.
“I have called 26 times. I can’t stop. Do you think I should call again?”
“If you feel you need to do that, then that’s what you need to do to get through it.”
They will tell you to ask yourself why you feel you need to do that (which of course is code for please don’t), but then give you permission to go right ahead. And sometimes you need to hit rock bottom before you can find your way to the top. They know that. And trust me, one day, you will too.
The Wing Man
This friend will go to the ends of earth in support of your most unhealthy endeavors mainly because she enjoys watching the show. She will encourage you to do things — things you would never dream of doing — because she thinks it’s fun to watch. She is the equivalent of drinking 6 shots of tequila, giving you courage that you maybe shouldn’t have. She will tell you all of your craziness is justified. She will tell you that you are way better than he is. And she really does believe it. Why? Because she is your best friend and has your back no matter what. Even when you are 100% wrong. You need this person as a confidence booster. An alter ego, if you will. Even if it may sometimes get you into trouble, which, I assure you, it will.
This is crucial. You must have a judgmental friend. One who will make you feel this big when you tell her what you have done. She will tell you that the guy you are dating doesn’t like you, if he’s not treating you right. She will tell you he is not that into you and reinforce all of your deepest insecurities. She will make you feel like shit for days when you tell her about that text you sent that you know you shouldn’t have sent. There is nothing that can win her approval short of him showing up on your doorstep with 4000 flowers, and even then she still may think he sucks. But you do need her. Because sometimes, though not always — she’s probably right.
The Opposite Sex
This one is tricky and you must tread carefully. First and foremost, it can’t be someone who may have feelings for you in any way. In that case, he may do his best to sabotage your relationship. It must also be someone who is able to have healthy relationships of his own and offer real advice you can stick to. It can’t be a playboy, someone who has never been in a relationship, or someone who is jaded against relationships of any kind. Because he’s of the opposite sex, you will think he’s are the authority of that sex. And that’s okay. Sometimes blind faith is good.
The Voice of Reason*
This is the friend that doesn’t choose a side. She is able to look at both sides of the argument and understand each. This person may surprise you with her diplomacy and you need her to keep you balanced. While the judger is making you feel like shit, the wing man is pulling you off a very dangerous cliff, the opposite sex is stereotyping the gender as a whole, and the shrink is telling you no matter how you feel it’s okay to feel that way even if it’s insane, which it most likely is, the voice of reason will be able to tie it all together for you. You need this person. She will tell you when you’re being bat shit crazy. She will help you put things in perspective, which you will need when things become unclear, as they often will.
*Note: This is the person you should listen to the most. You know that. But you won’t always. And that’s okay.
Your turn: Can you ID each of these friend types in your life? Did we miss anyone? Disagree with anyone we included? Tell us in the comments.