Surrounded by many, and yet still all alone…

How many times have I heard it from people on Facebook? I’m in a crowd of people and still feel so alone. I AM one of those people. Always have been, and I guess always will be. Unfortunately, I come to friendships and circles of friends a tad too late to be considered anybody’s best friend. Someone always occupies that space already. How dare I even consider trying to be more than just a runner-up? How dare I even hope that there’s room in someone’s heart for more than one best friend? 

It may sound foolish and grade school-ish to you, but I must say, it certainly doesn’t feel that way to me. I know that I’m my husband’s best friend. I know that I’m loved by my children and they enjoy hanging out with me. I know that I like myself enough to be my own best friend, but that gets monotonous, especially after all these years. 

I’ve known friends for 25 years now. Got drunk with them, laughed with them, listened to them when they were sad or frustrated or to soothe them as they complain about others. Missed them terribly once I moved away. And still, I have learned, that 25 years has yet to put me in the “best friend” category. Those spots are still taken, and there’s still no room at the inn.

I realized this conundrum last year, after having moved to Arizona 8 years ago, and when it came to making friends through my writing. Everyone seemed to have made their “best friends” pairings or groups and I was the newest add-on. Liked, appreciated, maybe even loved, but never yet considered a “best friend.” I never dreamed I would have to face that reality with friends I’ve had for 25 years.

So, what’s the magic potion? What’s the password? And what the hell do I do now? I grieve for the loss of a perceived place I thought I’d finally earned in the circle. Then, I pick myself up by the bootstraps, kick this girl in the ass, and search for the one person, the one woman on this earth who at our ripe old age hasn’t quite found her “Number 1” yet either. Is she out there?

I have no fucking clue. But I’ll be damned if I’m not gonna continue searching for someone else who’s been passed over, like me. Someone who’s looking to call each other “MY PERSON”, like Christina and Meredith in Grey’s Anatomy. Someone who doesn’t think twice about recognizing our relationship as a cut above the others. 

Until then, I shall continue on as I have- smiling and laughing, and enjoying friendships, but knowing my place. Heck, I’m a fiction writer. I can write myself into one hell of a story where I have exactly what I’ve always sought. I can create my own HEA.




7 Comments Add yours

  1. suzlyne says:

    I have written and deleted several comments to your post because it’s struck a chord with me. I’ve never been the best friend but I’ve been everything else you’ve mentioned. After 50 years I’ve gotten used to it and since I still live within 30 miles of where I grew up I have no expectations of that changing. I’m finally ok with it. I hope you do find your person because life will be less lonely when you do.

    1. deenaremiel says:

      It was both easy and hard to write this post, but I figure my therapy is your therapy. Hugs and God bless.

  2. I was lucky enough to have a best friend for 38 years. And I lost her three years ago to a sudden illness. I now have two best friends left. Neither of them look at the other and say “I’m her best friend, not you.” I have room in my heart for both of them. Maybe there will be someone who has a best friend, but will welcome you as another best friend. Maybe someone who can confide in and be really close to more than one person. I can, so I know others can, too. I really, really wish you didn’t feel so down about this. Just from what I’ve known of you online and meeting you in Arizona, you would be an AWESOME best friend!

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Thank you for your sweet, kind words. I’ve come to terms by writing this, went to the beach right after by myself, and shored up my defenses. I’m an optimist at heart. ❤

  3. Carolyn says:

    Deena, what an honest, thoughtful, and brave post. You can obviously see this is lengthy, but I promise there’s a point and not just me talking on and on about my life. I have had my best friend for 25 years, since we met in high school. There have been tough times (like anyone who is in a relationship that long), and there was a time when I didn’t think we were friends anymore, and it gutted me like the most horrendous break-up. I don’t have many close friends, and have lamented more than once the inability to make true connections the way I did when I was younger. (Even though I know I am my husband’s best friend, and he’s certainly someone I trust and love and depend on above anyone, it doesn’t fill my need for close female friendships.) Now, cut to 8-9 years ago, when my best friend introduced me to an acquaintance of hers. We all clicked so well together, and for awhile we formed a triad of friendship because this woman is so like us and just fit so seamlessly with us. However, the new friend had gotten married young and had never had any true, deep female friendships, so she really was a newbie as far as having real friendships with women. This caused some friction just because the new friend seemingly didn’t put as much importance on the friendship as we did, even while saying how fortunate and happy she was to finally have us. My best friend and the new friend had a small falling-out due to this, with me trying to mediate things. I could see both of their perspectives. Over time, they’ve healed things to a degree, but the friendship is not what it was between them. However, the new friend and I are in the same town (while my best friend moved away over 6 years ago so I’ve spent less time with her since then), so we have been able to see each other and because I was more understanding of the earlier bad situations, our friendship grew. She is definitely one of the closest friendships I have or have had, and one I can see truly lasting. In some instances I can say things to her that I can’t say to my best friend. So, even though I don’t use the term ‘best friend,’ as my best friend and I certainly earned/gave the title to each other (which sounds remarkably childish, but we were children when that happened, and it feels weird to call someone else that, so there you go), it doesn’t mean she is not a best friend. This is my very roundabout way of saying that even though you may not have the moniker, for whatever reason, it does not mean that someone does not feel for you the way a person feels for their best friend and doesn’t truly value you and your friendship. I don’t even know if that helps. I know I feel bad that other women don’t seem to want to add another friend to their list, let alone trying to make another best friend, so in a very small way, I can see things from your perspective, even if it’s from a ‘privileged’ viewpoint. All I can say is that we all deserve a friend who sees us as that bosom friend and kindred spirit (Yes, my best friend and I watched Anne of Green Gables over and over as teenagers.), and I hope (and believe) somebody will make you feel like one.

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Thank you so much, Carolyn, for your perspective on things. It gives me hope that during an awkward moment of introductions at a party, when others were introduced as such, and I was not, that it was an oversight. But I don’t like living with false hope or denial. So, I’ve chosen to move on, and just be more mindful, making sure my heart is well insulated.

  4. Judy says:

    Having been a best friend and removed from the position, more times than I care to count, because I didn’t quite fit them any more is painful but survivable. It took me years to finally accept the last best friend as my best friend, and then she dumped me over something I hadn’t done. She didn’t want to hear it. I know part of the problem is me. One can’t have a track record like I do and not recognize I’m clearly the one messing up somewhere. It doesn’t stop me from endeavoring to be friendly. I do have a number of wonderful friends. I wonder if my definition of best friend is all screwed up. You’re not alone.

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