Friends don’t always last forever.
There are plenty of people who we would spend a few lovely years with, and then eventually drift apart.
But there are some people who will stay with us all our lives.
And here in this article, I will show you 10 signs that you’ve found yourself a lifelong friend.
1) They refuse to saddle you with guilt
Nobody is perfect, and so a good friend would never make you feel like a criminal.
They know that there certainly will be times when you might have forgotten to greet them on their birthday, neglected to keep in touch, or even said something to offend them.
And the last thing they’ll do to you is to hold all of these shortcomings over your head.
In fact, they will even go out of their way to reassure you if they ever see that you’re feeling too ashamed and guilty about it.
Simply put, they’re understanding and compassionate people. And because of that, you don’t feel like you have to stress yourself out to maintain your friendship like it’s a full-time job.
2) They’re consistently a part of your life
Some people drop out of our lives the moment they get busy with work, find love, or get rich.
But not your friend!
They won’t care even if they’ve become the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company and you’re just some random accountant or freelancer nobody pays attention to.
They won’t care even if they’ve become a superstar with 30 million followers.
They will still be your friend. They will still reach out to you, geek out with you over your things, and offer help when things get tough for you.
Things like fame, status, wealth, and even time isn’t going to stop them from keeping you in their life, and you in theirs.
3) They’re always there to the rescue
They may not be with you every single day, but they’ll always try their best to offer their support when you’re in trouble and need help.
Did you get stuck in the middle of nowhere because you forgot to buy some gas? They’ll try to get to you with a gallon of spare fuel.
Are you freaking out because you found out that you’re pregnant? They’d drop what they’re doing and rush to you.
That’s not to say that they’re some kind of get-out-of-jail card. They’re not going to take your side if it turns out you’ve been cheating on your partner, for example.
But even then, they will still try to console you and help you. So sure, you might have done something very messed up… but they also know you’re only human.
They will try to see how you can make up for it and, if it’s too late for that, help you learn from it and move on.
4) They are open-minded and understanding
Not all of our friends are cut from the same slab, and some are certainly much more open-minded than others.
But one thing is certain—people who have an open-minded and understanding outlook on life are significantly more likely to stay by your side in the long term than those who are close-minded.
And this is not just because they won’t abandon you in case you turn out “weird” or you learn some hard truths about yourself.
Being open-minded also helps them better handle the mistakes and conflicts you’ll inevitably suffer throughout your friendship. Because of their flexibility, they’re more capable of sailing the rough seas with you.
5) They’re happy when you’re happy
Friendships are often tested when there’s a huge gap in how successful we are with one another.
If our lives are, in our eyes, failures, then it’s hard to resist feeling envious towards friends who seem to have it all.
It’s hard not to feel how bad it is to be single and homeless when talking with friends who are married and happily housed.
But a truly good friend will set all those jealous feelings aside. They will be happy for you when you succeed in life rather than get jealous and bitter over your achievements.
After all, you’re teammates and not rivals.
6) They treat you like an adult
That is to say, they’re not going to talk to you like you’re some kid who barely knows what’s up and what’s down.
Sure, you might not know everything that there is to know, but they’re not going to treat you like you’re some illiterate schmuck because of it.
So when you make mistakes or broadcast your ignorance to the world, they will try to discreetly inform you in private rather than call you out in public.
And when they do, they know better than to just lecture you like you can’t think for yourself. They’ll instead help you figure out where you went wrong and what you can do about it.
7) They put effort into your relationship
And I don’t mean to say that they’ll always try to message you every night, or that they’ll always hang out with you every weekend.
What I mean is that if the two of you have been arguing a lot lately, they’ll try to figure out why and see if the two of you can work it out.
And if the two of you have not talked to one another in a while, they’ll send you a letter or dm wishing you well. They might even send you a small gift to show they care.
In other words, they’re not passive. They’re active participants in your friendship and they’re willing to do the work it requires to make sure the two of you don’t drift too far apart.
8) They choose to see your good side
Everyone’s imperfect… but with good friends, you don’t feel like you are.
Sure, they might call you out when you do something especially dumb, but you can trust them to always try to give you the benefit of the doubt.
If you had to cancel a date with them because of obligations, you know they’ll understand you instead of getting upset and saying you’re irresponsible.
If you vent about how you’re bad at art, they will remind you about how far you’ve gone and that you are only going to keep getting better.
They’re the people who see your potential, who see your goodness, who see your beauty. And they’ll remind you of just how awesome you are, especially when you’re down in the dumps.
9) They bring out the best in you
We all have our good sides and our bad sides.
And when you’re with them, your good side will just naturally come out while your bad side takes a back seat.
If you’re naturally moody, you can’t help but find your temper, well… tempered in their presence.
If you’re shy around everyone, you’re the exact opposite when you’re with them.
It’s not like you feel forced to always be on your best behavior, or that you’d feel guilty for disappointing them.
Somehow, they just manage to just… bring out the best in you.
10) They make you happy even if you annoy each other
You’ve been with each other for so long that you can’t help but be somewhat annoyed sometimes.
Totally normal. Spending too much time with each other can make us get antsy.
But despite that annoyance, it never crossed your mind to just say goodbye. No matter how annoyed you get, they’re still you’re kind of people—the ones who can truly make you happy.
You can’t laugh with others the way you laugh with them.
You can’t express yourself more freely than when you’re with them.
And that’s because even if you get irked by their behavior from time to time, at the end of the day, they’re your people. None of that matters simply because of how much they mean to you.
In the end, the friends you can keep for life aren’t the most fun.
Although, of course, it’s essential to enjoy each other’s company, most of what one needs to be a lifelong friend can be boiled down to maturity, care, and open-mindedness.
They must be mature enough to treat you as an equal and respect your time, care enough with your relationship to keep in touch, and open-minded enough to respect and accept you grow older and change as a person.
All of these might seem simple, but it’s hard to find someone with all three.
That’s why if you ever find someone who might be a friend for life, cherish them with all your heart. And try to be the kind of friend they’d also cherish for a lifetime.