Contrary to popular belief, your oldest friends may not necessarily be the best friends you have now. Your oldest friends were there with you since pre-school, watching you fall off swings and eating colored flowers to see if they taste different.
They were there to witness your awkward junior high years, braces and all, and you feel a comfort with them that can be found nowhere else.
But (with a capital B), your oldest friends may not know you now, or the person you have turned into.
We all change and constantly strive to grow into better versions of that crayon-eating kid our friends used to know, and sometimes our old friends have trouble accepting this.
Here are 7 ways your oldest friends may not be your best friends.
1. Your best friends give you room to grow
Your oldest friends love the person you are to them, and that’s the child they grew up with. When your inner child finds its wings upon entering college, or even after graduating college, your friends back home get something resembling whiplash.
They’re not sure how to keep up with the evolving you, and they’ll do anything to keep you on the ground with them. Meanwhile, your best friends meet you at a time in your life when you’re constantly changing.
And they happily change right along with you.
2. You can hang out with your other friends without sparking jealousy
Chances are your oldest friends are going to get a little annoyed when you start branching out into other friend groups.
But your best friends understand that you’re your own person, and there never seems to be any concern or jealousy over the fact that you’re hanging out with someone other than them.
They know you’ll tell them all about it afterwards, anyway.
3. Your best friends give you space
Whereas you relied on your oldest friends as you grew up, you and your best friend are two independent individuals who may have separate interests, separate friend groups, and altogether separate lives.
Your best friend won’t hound you when you don’t answer her text. She understands that you’ll get back to her when you can, and vice versa. Talking 24/7 is no longer the entire meaning of friendship, and that makes the time you do spend together so much sweeter.
4. You make it work
Even though you may not always have the time to talk to or hang out with your best friends, you know that the first weekend of free time you have you’ll be devoting to each other. You know how important it is to keep the love flowing.
Meanwhile, your oldest friendships may turn into more of a keeping-in-touch type of relationship.
5. You have more in common
While your oldest friends are the ones you happened to share a cubby with in kindergarten, your best friends are those you gravitate towards because of your common interests.
Whether you were in the same cool gothic lit class, joined the same ultimate frisbee team, or just bonded in a bar bathroom, your best friend and you have a common ground which basically turns into a springboard into the rest of your friendship.
6. They let you make your own mistakes
The closeness of a friendship from childhood has the danger of pushing two bodies into one, where you forget that you’re not actually each other. So, naturally, your oldest friend may think they have a certain amount of control over you, in the same way they have it over themselves.
Your best friends, who have met you at a stage in life in which you’re already pretty formed as a person (although you still have a looong ways to go) acknowledge the individual you are and allow you to make your own mistakes.
“You want to do what now? Alright, sounds like a terrible idea, but go for it” vs. “you are NOT doing that. Come on, we’re leaving." Big difference.
7. If you're lucky, there's no difference at all
The truth is you can make new best friends at any stage in your life. If you’re one of those lucky few, your oldest friends can keep up with the changes and stay with you for the long haul.
Through thick, thin, mistakes, moves, and growth, you have each other's backs. Best friends forever.[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]