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The Difference between a Friend, a True Friend and a Best friend

Updated on January 28, 2016

I was inspired to write this hub based on a popular question asked by fellow hubber, Johnathan David, 6 years ago. He asked: What's the difference between a friend, a true friend and a best friend? By the way here is the link to this question:

It took me a while to answer this question when I first answered it (16 months or almost a year and a half ago). Even so, recently as I reflect on the New Years and life, I went back to that question and my answer, which I thought I will put out as hub. Before I do so, I will just say this, it’s a question on semantics. This is because technically a Friend, a True Friend and a Best friend can all mean the same thing. For me there are similarities between these three but there are also differences and distinctions.

Mostly its about semantics. A Friend, can be a true friend and a best friend. But not all friends are “best friends”. A Best Friend is a friend and a true friend. But not all best friends can be “true friends.” You are probably thinking these statements don’t make sense and are contradictory. Both is true, but at the same time these statements do make sense. My reasoning for this is my answer to Johnathan David’s question and my own distinctions between the difference between a Friend, a True Friend and a Best friend.

A Friend

A friend is someone you can hang out with and do fun things with. You see them often, talk to them often (so they are one step above an acquaintance). You two are interested in each other and conversation and fun times come naturally to you. We gain friends through all walks of life: school, church, volunteer activities, jobs, at a concert, and/or supermarket. Friends can be your neighbors, your boss, your classmates, your family members and/or your pets. Friends are much more casual than best friends and true friends. I also consider friends less permanent than the other two friendship types. They come and go and can be based on your situation and environment (such as school or a job, or if you are a part of group like a volunteer nature group).

A Best Friend

A best friend is all of the above. Even so, they are closer, more current and permanent than a traditional friend. Oftentimes you know a best friend for a long time (aka years). What separates a best friend from a friend is that the relationship is deeper, closer and you trust them more. Plus they prove to you that they are there for you through thick or thin. A best friend knows your struggles, your challenges and are there for the happiness and laughter along with the tears and grief. Something a friend oftentimes doesn't see. A best friend sees you at your worst and accepts you for who you are. You can have one or multiple best friends. I usually consider one person my best friend. This is because it’s a special title that distinguishes other friends, from the person (s) who you consider the most important friend (s).

A True Friend

A true friend is all of the above. But to me a true friend is like a kindred soul. You connect to them in ways a friend and a best friend can't. Oftentimes people chose best friends based on how long they known someone, the longer the better. That isn't always the best thing. Sometimes people can change and sometimes you grow apart from one another. An example is that you know your best friend since grade school (lets say you're 9 years old). Now you are 35 years old. A lot of things changed (including your location, values, beliefs, and interests). You can't really expect to be close to someone for all those years without you or them changing.

Change is good, but sometimes two people can change in ways that causes them to move into two different directions. Plus when you're younger you don't know yourself as much as you start to know yourself when you get older. Plus life throws things at you that can show who you really are and who your “best friend” truly is. Take what you want from that statement.

Even so, everyday you're a different person and can't be the same. Same for your “best friend”. Oftentimes to put it simply you can grow out of your best friend and make new ones. It doesn’t mean it has to be bad, dramatic or end a friendship, but the level of best friendship is not the same anymore. Usually what happens is your consider them more as a friend, than as a best friend.

A True Friend (cont'd.)

Anyway to get back on point a true friend is someone that knows your heart and soul. It's a spiritual bond where two souls connect to each other in ways that cannot be explain logically. You ever met someone whom you automatically feel comfortable with and trust. Not only that but they understand and get you automatically; despite your ever changing self and changing values. They don’t care about your contradictions, your human ignorance, and life scars.

A true friend is that person, no matter how long you know them. You can know them 10 years or 3 months. By the way, a true friend can be a friend or a best friend (but with distinction). Things like change, time, distance, and death don't matter for a true friend. It is much more enduring than and not quite as linear as the other two types of friendships. This is way its much more complex and rare to me. Perhaps also a true friend can be a soul mate (romantically or platonically). I think we all are striving towards a true friend and true friendship.

Anyway these are my differences between a Friend, a True Friend and a Best friend. Take with them what you want. We need all need these types of friendships in our lives. Tell me yours too!!! Thank you for reading.


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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 2 years ago

      Terms like "true friend", "real man", or "real woman" are all subjective!

      Essentially it all comes down to what (you) as an individual {expect} from another person. Generally speaking if someone doesn't meet our expectations we label them as NOT being whatever we think they should be.

      Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse.

      The goal is to associate with those who share your same values.

      If someone is having one bad relationship experience after another it's probably time they re-examined their mate or friend selection criteria.

      The only thing all of your bad relationships have in common is (you).

      Choose wisely!

      One man's opinion!:)