Friendship when you’re an adult means something very different than it does when you’re young. There is so much more going on in our lives, and we have little time for drama, but having strong friendships is absolutely essential to our happiness. Finding a loyal friend and being able to maintain that friendship is like finding a diamond in the rough. If you’re lucky enough to find one, you don’t want to give them up. You don’t know if you’ll be able to find another.
But what makes a loyal friend?
Well, there are usually different qualities that we all look for, but there are a few things that are universal. A loyal friend is a go-to for a lot of things. Companionship, advice, love, and understanding are just a few. These are the most universal things that make a friend loyal AF.
1. When you get together, it seems like no time has passed (even when it has).
As we get older, maintaining friendships is a challenge. Not because we don’t try, but because being an adult is super inconvenient. Work demands are the first thing to start to push you apart. Then come relationships and maybe children. Once you have kids, your time is rarely your own. And if you both have kids? Well, you probably won’t see each other until your kids go to college. But a true, loyal friend will understand that as much as you want to see them, you can’t. Sometimes you will be able to get some time together. It may be far between, but a loyal friend doesn’t care. You fall into your normal routines — the conversation flows, and soon you’re laughing and joking as if no time has passed at all.
2. You spend time together doing mundane things — or nothing at all.
Friendship, especially as an adult, is always evolving. With the busyness of life, sometimes you just need to be still. A loyal friend won’t complain if you aren’t doing something exciting. Because you don’t get to spend time together as much, they’ll be happy to just hang out. You can sit at home and watch TV or talk for hours, and that’s just as satisfying as going out for a night on the town. Or, a really loyal friend will do boring shit with you, like go grocery shopping. Maybe they’ll even sit with you while you fold laundry (if you’re really lucky, they may help!). It doesn’t have to be anything for it to be something.
3. They always tell the truth. ALWAYS.
The truth can be hard to hear. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be said. A true friend will tell you the truth, even if they know it will be hard. If you love someone as much as you’re supposed to love your good friends, you can’t do anything but tell them the truth. Because you only want what’s best for them. And that’s not to say it’s going to be easy. If you fuck up and your friend can’t talk to you, then your friendship may not be as strong as you thought. On the other hand, loyal friends know how to talk to you in a way that won’t sugarcoat what you’ve done wrong. They will be brutally honest in a way only friends can be. If your kid is being an asshole, a loyal friend will tell you. Sure, it may hurt to hear, but your friendship won’t end over the truth.
4. They keep your secrets.
Sometimes I have things happening in my life that I need tell someone, but not everyone. Being able to confide in you is important. Secrets are the ultimate test of a loyal friend — because if you only tell them, and then word gets out, you know who told. True friends will take secrets to the grave if that’s what they have to do. Because if I can’t trust you to keep my secrets, I can’t trust you with anything really.
5. They show up.
There are so many different ways you can show up as a friend. Sometimes it literally means “show up,” being the person to call when things happen. Whether that means being an emergency contact for me or my kiddo or driving me to IKEA on a Friday afternoon. Or picking up your bestie at the hospital because no one else can.
Showing up can also look like staying up late to talk to your best friend after her date even though you have work in the morning. It doesn’t always have to be something big either — just sending a text to say “Hey, I’m thinking of you.” Even just sending a meme that reminds you of them.
Showing up is about presence more than anything else. Being there no matter how or why we need each other. A loyal friend will never question what they’ll get out of it either. Because they know you’ll show up for them too.
All of this is why a loyal friend isn’t easy to come by. Because they have to be a bunch of different things all rolled up into one package. And this is why, if you have a loyal friend, you never want to let them go.