It’s a messy, undefined bond Ann Friedman on what friendship means in the age of loneliness, and why the bff stakes are higher than ever
I’M NOT USUALLY THE TYPE OF PERSON TO SOB AT a love story, but there I was, sat in a dark cinema with tears running down my face. I was watching a scene in Lady Bird, the Oscar-nominated coming-of-age tale by director Greta Gerwig, in which the title character ditches her prom date to spend the evening dancing goofily alongside her BFF. Now this, I thought as I wiped my eyes with my sleeve, is a real fairytale ending.
The teen movies I watched during my own adolescence, side-by-side on the sofa with my best friend Bridget, all seemed to end with the awkward girl landing her dream boy. But Bridget and I knew we had something better than a hot guy in a red convertible: we had each other. And we never doubted that our friendship was the true love story of our teen years, and that it would extend all the way to old age (and it did, or rather has so far).
Clearly, we were not the only girls who grew up to value friendships as the defining relationships of our lives. Right now, we’re in a golden age of recognising the power of women’s platonic bonds. If #SquadGoals has taught us anything, it’s that women find strength in numbers. Even the language of friendship has levelled up. “The term ‘friend’ is not substantial eno