• Keeping Friends

No Best Friends But Plenty of Contacts

Published: February 9, 2011 | Last Updated: September 24, 2022 By | 4 Replies Continue Reading



I have grown up moving around a lot—five middle schools and six elementary schools to be exact. Always being the new kid conditioned me to meet new people. Once I hit a certain point with friends, I find new ones. I guess I get bored or scared. Is it okay to not have best friends but a lot of contacts?



Hi Cindy,

It’s okay to have lots of contacts and not have best friends—if that’s what you want. People differ in terms of the degree of intimacy they seek from their relationships. Some prefer to remain reserved and private; in fact, they would rather have casual acquaintances than close friends.

However, if you WANT to bond more closely with friends and something’s getting in your way, this is a problem you want to better understand and resolve. It’s interesting that you mention your history of frequent moves as a child. Several months ago, I wrote about a study that looked at the number of times adults moved during childhood. The researchers found that the more times participants moved as children, the poorer the quality of their adult relationships. This doesn’t mean you are incapable of forming close bonds—it just suggests that you might have more difficulties doing so based on your history.It sounds like you’re skilled at making new friends but you stop short of becoming close. I’m not sure why and there could be a number of different reasons but I wonder whether you have a problem with trust. Do you feel comfortable and secure when you’re with friends you like and respect?

I just finished reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (BTW, I loved it) and highlighted a passage that seems relevant. Blomkvist, the main protagonist is speaking to his friend Salander. He says:

Friendship—my definition—is built on two things. Respect and trust. Both elements have to be there. And is has to be mutual. You can have respect for someone, but if you don’t have trust, the friendship will crumble.

I hope this gives you some food for thought.

My best,


Prior posts about the impact of moving on friendships on The Friendship Blog:


Why do some women have such a hard time making friends?

Changing places and changing friendships


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Comments (4)

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  1. Irene says:

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. Emile Moelich says:

    Allvar och mildhet bor vara forenade.
    It is a swedish saying meaning, seriousness
    and mildness ought to work together.

  3. Anonymous says:

    And reading all that now, I guess I have just answered your question in relation to me. I somehow doubt I will ever have a close friend EVER!…I can say I tried it once and it all came crashing down around me, it hurts way too much and for the sake of my dignity and my own self respect I will not allow myself to be hurt like this again. It does leave me wandering why some people are so nasty & judgemental!? If I was ‘sick’ that’s really rich coming from someone who actually has had to take drugs for depression…how ignorant and bullying! 🙁

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have the same issue, I have loads of contacts / aquaintances and friends yet I have never really had that BFF in life. Recently I thought I had found a great friend in an ex work colleague and I put all my trust into her over about 4 months, we talked a lot and she made out like she was this super caring, and understanding friend (been there, done that – so I know how you feel kind of friend!). I had been a little too needy now that I look at it in hindsight, but hey I am 10 years younger than her and I felt she was more of a sister figure. Then one day I found out she had been lying to me about small issues but ultimately she LIED to me and I called her on it – she took this as an opportunity to ditch me claiming I was ‘down and out’ before we met (i.e-before we became friends outside of work!) and that was it, no apology for the lies, no fullfilling her promises she had made to accompany me to my first counsellor appointment etc. It hurt like hell, so I rebelled with a few emotional texts to her (a few too many!) trying to sort it all out and she just wanted out completely, she got my boss at the time to mediate a meeting between us and then I left my job for a bigger career opportunity. She then attacked my job while it was all still a month fresh and claimed harrassment on me and having just started working for a mobile phone network she almost screwed my new job for me.

    Fast forward to a month or two later (today) she had tried to ring my mobile the other day so when I saw her in passing today I asked her if she actually rang for a reason. I was polite, open to just being civil and then she told me I was ‘sick -really sick’ and why did I send her a recent ‘nasty text’ to her when she had, had my number blocked…blah blah blah (it really wasn’t nasty-it basically told her to grow up and be civil and stop treating my family & friends sourly just because we don’t get along!) and she pretty much has left me never wanting to go into my old workplace again…I am the sick one? at least I can say we are enemies because I stood up for the values I hold in friendship, trust, honesty & respect!! IT HURTS LIKE HELL!!!

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