I Grew Up Without a Best Friend, and It’s Okay

I’ve never had a best friend growing up.

To admit that speaks volumes about how much I’ve grown. It had always been a touchy subject to me for many reasons — the worst of which was that I couldn’t bear to admit to myself that I was lonely.

This isn’t to say that I didn’t have any friends. In all my years in school, I’ve always been surrounded by my barkada. We’d eat together during recess, study for quizzes during lunch, and hang out after class before we headed home. But I pretty much missed that part of life where you’d have somebody to indulge in hours-long conversations with over the phone or private chat; somebody to run to when you’re happy, or pissed, or sad, or in general need of support and comfort; somebody to talk you out of making wrong decisions while celebrating with you for achievements you’re too shy to flex publicly; somebody to truly call your “best” friend.


I’ve always thought I was the only one who didn’t have that person. Consequently, I spent every evening wondering what was wrong with me — wondering if I was too annoying, too emotional, too angry, too busy. It wasn’t the healthiest of things, but you don’t really notice the harms of self-deprecating thoughts while you’re self-deprecating.

There have been times when I thought I finally found that somebody.

We’d grow close for our shared interests and be almost inseparable. That is until the conversations wane, someone else steals their attention, or a problem between you two chips away at both of you until what you have left is irreparable.

It’s those lost friendships that hurt me the most.

When you’ve experienced continuous disappointment from the people you once loved, it’s difficult to spring back with your guard still down and your heart still open. I grow close to people but will open myself up only to an extent, protecting myself from investing in a friendship that will not last.

It was only when I started working that my perspective on friendships changed.

It took me so long to come to terms with the fact that relationships can change because of the people. We all grow apart. We pursue different dreams. We build homes in different places. And in our individual journeys, we lose so many people.

But, at the same time, we gain plenty of others — and it’s a cycle that will forever go on until you find those people who have stayed with you from the beginning until the end.

And then you realize, when you’re surrounded by all these different people, is there really a need to single someone out and call him or her the “best” of them all? Why should you base your happiness on one, singular ride-or-die when you have co-workers you can hang out with on a Friday night, or college friends you can travel with on long weekends, or a family who will always give you that comfort you constantly crave?


I may not have “the” friend, but I do have a vast support system. And if I could only allow myself to open up again to these people, then I can finally have that deep connection, security, and emotional support I’ve always wanted and needed from someone.

So if you grew up without a best friend and still find yourself without one, it’s okay. Because you don’t need just one person to know you and love you from inside out. You will have tons of friends to do that for you. And if that isn’t the best, then what is?


What are your thoughts on this? Sound off below!

Header photo by Joshua Sazon on Unsplash