I stood at the back of the room, mulling over the past year. Twelve months ago, I was still getting to know this guy; heck, eighteen months ago, I didn’t even know he existed. Now, I’m supporting Carver in a performance like a proud friend.

Almost like a best friend.

My other friend, John, has similarities with Carver. They’re both young, single, straight guys. I met them both at church. Both go with the flow to an annoying point while still somehow managing to be slightly OCD about weird things.

And I never expected to become friends with either of them.

I became friends with John through my struggles. John came alongside me shortly after we met to help me through an extremely difficult time of my life. I was discovering freedom in my struggle against SSA and I was being given the diagnosis of bipolar disorder all within the same year. John was there for me like no one else and he is still that way for me.

Unlike John, though, Carver and I grew close through my victories. Our first conversation filled two hours with excited chatter.  No vulnerable talk of struggles or tearful confessions. We had several interests in common and worldviews that the other understood.fter months of friendship that we began to walk with each other through our struggles. This has built up to Carver and me consistently being there for each other during our lows and highs.

After months of friendship, we began to walk with each other through our struggles. This has built up to Carver and me consistently being there for each other during our lows and highs.

As I reflect on this new friendship, I begin to overanalyze. Have I replaced one best friend with another? I still talk with John regularly, and he still knows me better than any other guy. I would still consider him my “best” friend.

So, where does that leave Carver?

“Second best friend” hardly sounds like a fair title. Carver deserves better.

I wonder why I’m so concerned about titling my relationships. John and Carver are two incredible men of God. Each of them has blessed me immensely, and I cannot imagine doing life without either of their friendships.

While John does know me better, Carver is currently around me day after day. Carver is with me when the highs or lows come, and I am there for him during the same times. John and I touch base and talk through the journeys God is taking us each on in our own cities.

Both men celebrate with me when blessed, sit with me when I struggle, and always encourage me to love God.

John isn’t being replaced; instead, God has blessed me with another incredible brother through Carver.

Do you tend to label your friendships or view them in hierarchies? Do you have a “best friend”? How do you determine what makes one friendship “best”?

* Photo courtesy Niall Patterson, Creative Commons. 

About the Author

  • An easy way I’ve avoided the “who-is-my-best-friend” issue is by using the term brother purposefully and with meaning.
    In the same way that you don’t have a favorite sibling, (while you may see one more than the other), they are all your brothers/sisters and have a deep innate connection to you that can’t go away easily. When I call my close friends brothers, it reinforces family instead of some kind of weird hierarchy in my mind where one person is more important than the other.
    Currently, I have multiple brothers in my life and each has a different aspect in my life. One is more of a mentor while one is more of a friend to hang out with and maybe intentionally snuggle a bit. Both are dearly loved and important to me.
    Thanks for sharing! This concept of “best friends” vs. close friends has been on my mind a little bit as of late.

  • Dude, saying this with a smile and hug (and a 2×4), “You Dummy.’ You’ve been blessed with good: brothers walking with you thru both good and bad. Enjoy them and love them back. Unless you have to pick best man for your wedding, why are you wanting/needing to put yourself thru that?
    No seconds among brothers. Live fully with the people in your life, and those questions will sort themselves out. Choosing won’t make things different than they are, and doesn’t help you hold things anyway.

  • I used to do that all the time. Now I tend to see life in stages and see how God puts certain people closer than others in those stages. When that period is over we dont love them less we’ve just changed and so has life. Would say more but my phone is acting up

  • I don’t know. I’m often eluded to even the presence of a “best friend.” I guess it’s become too important for me to have one. I’ve often been too independent to really find the effort worth it as for me it requires great effort. Also, when I have made an effort it isn’t mutual, or fades so the meaning does as well.

  • Hi! I guess I have 2 really best friends and quite a number of guys that I am also very close to. I don’t try to rate them as number one and number two. I just love them both for who they are. One has been a friend for 30+ years and the other has been a friend for 3+ years. Both know me inside out more or less. I can share with them both openly and vulnerably. I don’t live close to either of them. So most of our current friendship has to take place via email. One of my best friends I have talked with on Skype one time, but never even met him face-to-face. The other I see ever other year for a few months. God knows I love both of these men. I don’t have to feel like one is supplanting the other or give them a rating. They are both 10 on a scale of one to ten. And both of them make my life richer! I am a man blessed by God with great friends.

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