Haven’t found your soul mate yet—that one person who is there for you through thick and thin? Maybe you’ve been searching in the wrong places! I write (and read a lot of) Young Adult fiction. And here’s the thing: even though these books are about teenagers, they are FULL of angsty love triangles and steamy romance. Which don’t get me wrong, is super awesome. I am such a sucker for that stuff! But lately I’m wondering if we’re sometimes giving off the wrong impression about the kind of love that’s most important.
So when it came to writing my own first novel, PROOF OF FOREVER, I wanted to emulate some of my favorite YA books, like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares, Peaches by Jodi Lynn Andersen and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver… and celebrate the kind of bonds that I think actually last. Look, we all know girls live longer than guys—so who do you think you’ll be laughing, crying, gossiping and even cozying up with in your later years? Your BFFs, obviously. After all, there are some things that no romantic partner—no matter how swoony—can deliver on.
Here are my top 7 reasons that your true soul mate is actually more likely your BFF than your current (or future) bae:
1. No “Earmuffs”
There are no secrets with true soul mates, and let’s face it: does your partner really know every single thing about you? I guarantee it’s not as much as your BFF knows—because you don’t have to maintain an air of mystery with a close friend. You can trust her with your ugliest secrets, your biggest regrets, your weirdest and most disturbing fears—and she’s known you long enough to realize that those things don’t define you.
2. Your Northern Star
Whether you’re single, just dating or in a committed relationship, it’s easy to get lost in love. Your BFF is your safe space through it all, the person who can best remind you of who you are. When romantic relationships are new or rocky or even just going through their natural evolutions, close friends are the ones who hold you steady through the storm.
3. Who Ya Gonna Call?
No, not the Ghostbusters. Your BFF. Whenever something good (or bad) happens, she is likely the first person you have to tell. Everything is newsworthy to your soul mate, big or small. A loving boyfriend will toast important milestones like your promotion, and will tolerate your babbling about shopping, sure—but only a loyal BFF will care exactly which espadrilles you bought, where you’ll wear them, and have outfit suggestions on hand…she’s the one who knows your closet by heart!
4. Team Action
A great boyfriend will hold you and listen when you’re upset… but you wouldn’t want him to clean up your messes for you. That would be crossing some sort of co- dependency boundary that just isn’t cool. And yet, your BFF will immediately jump into the trenches and start helping to dig you out, and that’s what you love her for.
5. Psychic Brainwaves
6. Who needs Ted Talks?
Hopefully your lovers will inspire you just as much as your friends will in life, through the great work they do, or their kindness towards others, or whatever… But in a relationship, you don’t want to be a home-improvement project. That’s just degrading. Whereas, in a friendship, you’re willing to be told what to do sometimes, and it’s more likely to make you a better person in the long run—like when your BFF forces you to donate those overpriced silk genie pants to Goodwill, for good. Nobody needs to see those ever again.
7. Ride the Waves
The best part of having a BFF is knowing the importance of forgiveness, especially over long periods of time. The sad thing about break-ups is that often they are permanent. But that is simply not the case when things go south with a friend. You know she’s your true soul mate because even after years apart or after huge disagreements, you can probably find your way back to each other and create an even stronger bond than you had before, if you’re both willing to try.