I'm not sure if I'm getting a little too old for this, but I still refer to the two people closest to me as my best friends. I've known them for nearly 21 years, which is most of my life, and I am so thankful that they managed to stick because, let's face it, best friends don't come by often. So yes, we met in elementary school. No, I never let go of them.
The thing is, as years went by, we grew up, moved thousands of miles away for college, and became our own people, and suddenly, it took a lot of effort to be close to my closest friends. You have to understand — these people knew everything about me and I about them. We saw each other every single day at school. And then I forced them to hang out with me after school because I'm just a needy person. We watched (and rewatched) TV shows and movies if one of us hadn't seen them yet. And when each of us had our first heartbreak, we went over with ice cream and brownies and naturally updated our Myspace profile song to a very slow, sad one.
As adults, we don't see each other very often, but when we do, it's like nothing has changed, and I love it, but there's always a lot of catching up. "Who's this guy you're dating?" "What's the spot you always go to?" "Who is this girl who thinks she's your best friend on Instagram?"
You get the point. We've lost touch. We still love each other, and even though we all live in the same city for now, I realized I just didn't know how to interact with my best friends. Not really, anyway. So when one of us heard about the 5 Love Languages quiz, we all decided to take it to see how we each accept love best. I don't know if it's an exact science, but it was spot on. The assessment asks you several questions like if it's more meaningful to receive flowers or receive a hug, or if it's more meaningful to be helped with a project or to hear praise. In the end, we were grouped into one of the five categories: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.
Lo and behold, we all fell into different categories. One of my friends receives love through words of affirmation, so she thrives on hearing encouraging words that build her up. She also likes to hear "I love you," which I don't mind ever saying. She said she doesn't really care if she hasn't seen me in months (thanks), but if I just send her a text, she feels happy.
My other best friend likes acts of service. She would rather me help take the burden off of her when dealing with something big like a bachelorette party or a really bad day at work. She wasn't too keen on her category, though! She said, "It makes me look like a jerk. Like you're my peasant and if I don't get treated like a queen, then you don't love me!" But in reality, it's all about showing love more than just telling. Show, don't tell. That sounds familiar.
After spilling our guts to a computer, I realized that I've been showing love to them, but not in the best way they receive it. I don't need to get my friend an expensive present; I just need to help her out whenever she's stressed. And I should probably stop hugging my other friend every five seconds because she would rather I call her and tell her kind things because she is amazing.
I, however, learned that I'm a quality time kind of girl. It makes sense since I would lure my friends over to my house with food and make them hang out with me even though I just saw them all day at school. I mean, eating together during lunch period never counted in my head! And that's why I reclaim my "neediness," because I just hold spending time with someone I love higher than anything else. I can see where my mom falls on the scale, and when I start dating again, I'll probably ask my guy to take the test too. Communication has always been huge for me, and when it's communicating love, I think it's especially important. As for my BFFs, we can just sit down and talk, hang out, drink wine, and go to the beach, and sometimes, we don't even have to do anything, but as long as they're by my side, I know I'm loved.