I have gone through many “best friends” in my life.

I can mark each phase of my life with a different “best friend.” I put “best friend” in quotes because I have never really liked the term. To me, it signifies that one of my friends is better than the rest of them, and I don’t think like that. I also know people who call everyone their “best friend,” and I am not exactly fond of that either. What I do know is that I like to have many different friends, none of them being any better than the others. However there is always one friend throughout every stage of my life that I hang out with more than the others, and dedicate the majority of my time to.

I had a “best friend” from elementary school to the end of middle school, a new one for my first two years of high school, one for my last two years of high school, and a couple throughout my days in college so far. There may even be some “best friends” that I have forgotten I gave that title. I have nothing against any of these people and am still cordial with all of them when I see them. I follow them all on social media and like their posts, as “best friends,” often do. I hang out with some of them occasionally and text them to see how they are doing. But I no longer call any of these people my “best friend.”

Growing up, I thought that I had to have a “best friend,” mostly because everyone else seemed to. But the reality of it was that I never really had a real “best friend,” and still don’t. Of course, I have friends, but I love all of them the same, and try not to refer to any of them as my “best friend.” I find that that title comes with a lot of responsibility and puts an unreasonable amount of pressure on a person.

I am not fond of competition and probably never will be in the future. Now that I’m older, and have been hurt by my so-called “best friends” in the past, I try to spread my time out evenly with all of my friends. I have a lot of love in my heart to give, and I would never want to limit myself. I pride myself in having friends from many different places and backgrounds and treating them all equally. I also have found that when you give someone such a title as “best friend,” it may be hard or even impossible for them to live up to. I would rather have many different friends than one “best friend.”

So if you’re a person who constantly feels pressured to have a “best friend,” like I used to be, don’t worry about it. I used to find myself being jealous of people who could say that they have been friends with a person since they were in diapers, but I don’t anymore. I know that oftentimes, friends come and go. And to make room for new friends, we sometimes have to let go of old ones. It just might even be better for us in the end.