Best friends forever
"Best friends forever" ("BFF") is a phrase that describes a close friendship. Such friendships are characterized by intimacy, trust and a sense of permanence. The contacts between the close friends tend to be frequent and be based upon shared experiences such as attendance at the same school. Relationships described as such are common in high school but, rather than lasting forever, tend to deteriorate when the parties go to college. The term BFF does not convey exclusivity; people can have more than one BFF.
A large survey of friendship in the UK in 2003 found that people had nine close friends on average. In elementary and middle school, best friendships often last less than one full academic year.
Barbara Delinsky describes a BFF as "someone you don't have to see every day to still connect with, someone who loves you whether you talk often or not, someone who would drop everything and catch the next flight if you needed her. It's someone who couldn't care less where or what she eats, as long as she's with you."
Although the concept of having or being a "best friend" is ageless, the acronym BFF was popularized as a quick way for friends to sign off and express their positive feelings for one another---while instant-messaging (IM-ing) on the computer or sending a text message on cell phones.
The New Oxford American Dictionary states that the acronym BFF originated in 1996.
In 2010, the BFF concept was made part of a BFF contract "to encourage the signatories to work through their differences before splitting up."
In their article "Friendship and Natural Selection" in the July, 2014 "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America", Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler reported a positive correlation between close friendships and common genotypes, indicating that DNA similarities may be a causal factor in establishing friendships.
In a study conducted at the University of Oxford, Tamas David-Barrett and his colleagues reported that there is an unusually large number of profile pictures on Facebook that depicts two women. This pattern is present in each region of the world. After eliminating the alternative hypotheses, the study concluded that the finding suggests that (a) close friendship formation patterns are universal among humans, and (b) there is a marked gender difference in the propensity to form lasting friendship due to an evolutionary ultimate cause. This suggests that the BFF concept, albeit with a different name, may exist in every culture, going back very deep in evolutionary time.
- Debra L. Oswald, Eddie M. Clark (2003), "Best friends forever?: High school best friendships and the transition to college", Personal Relationships 10 (2): 187–196, doi:10.1111/1475-6811.00045
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- Irene S. Levine (2009), "Ch. 1: Understanding Female Friendships", Best Friends Forever, Penguin, ISBN 9781590203705
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- Coca-Cola Celebrates a Summer of Sharing, Coca Cola Press Release June 10, 2014
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- David-Barrett, Tamas; Rotkirch, Anna; Carney, James; Behncke Izquierdo, Isabel; Krems, Jaimie A.; Townley, Dylan; McDaniell, Elinor; Byrne-Smith, Anna; Dunbar, Robin I. M. (2015-03-16). "Women Favour Dyadic Relationships, but Men Prefer Clubs: Cross-Cultural Evidence from Social Networking". PLoS ONE 10 (3): e0118329. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0118329. PMC 4361571. PMID 25775258.