Best friends forever
"Best friends forever" ("BFF") is a phrase that describes a close friendship typical of teenage girls and young women. 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 and many women do.
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.
- 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
- Susan Ager (January 26, 2007), "Clueless no more about BFFs", Detroit Free Press, retrieved March 25, 2014
- Irene S. Levine (2009), "Ch. 1: Understanding Female Friendships", Best Friends Forever, Penguin, ISBN 9781590203705
- "BFF: DOB 1996 - Welcome to the Oxford English Dictionary". Psychology Today.
- Berndt, T. J., Hawkins, J. A., & Hoyle, S. G., (1986). Changes in friendship during a school year: Effects on children's and adolescents' impressions of friendship and sharing with friends. Child Development, 57, 1284-1297.
- "What is a BFF?". barbaradelinsky.com.
- "My BFF just told me "TTYL" is in the dictionary. LMAO. - OUPblog". OUPblog.
- Coca-Cola Celebrates a Summer of Sharing, Coca Cola Press Release June 10, 2014
- Seidman, Robert (February 21, 2012). "'Community' Returns March 15 at 8pm + Premieres for 'Bent,' 'Best Friends Forever' and 'Betty White's Off Their Rockers'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
- "MySpace Launches "BFF," Online Game Show Series", Bloomberg, April 2, 2009, retrieved March 25, 2014
- Kennedy-Moore, E. (2012). Make new friends but keep the old...or not.
- "The BFF Contract makes friendships a lasting proposition", Sarasota Herald Tribune, February 11, 2010: B1, retrieved March 25, 2014
- Nicholas A. Christakis. "Friendship and natural selection". pnas.org.