The fashion diva
She’s the one you trust to help you pick out anything, from a wedding dress to a bathing suit. “My friend Sandy carries the coupons, and knows where the sales are,” says Brooklyn-based life coach Noreen Sumpter. “When we go shopping, she pulls what will work for my body type, puts me in a dressing room with super-looking clothes, and tells me the truth about how I look. That takes a special kind of female friendship.” Sumpter’s ready smile might be enough to get her through any door, but Sandy’s fabulous fashion sense doesn’t hurt. “When Sandy picks my outfits, I know I look great. It’s not just her flair, either,” Sumpter adds. “It’s that she cares enough about me to make sure I look fabulous.” (These style secrets will help you put together a well-edited wardrobe.)
The back-in-the-day bestie
It’s validating to have the types of best friends who really “get” you, and know your history. “It’s important for emotional stability, to feel like you are not alone in the world, and a friend like this satisfies that need,” says psychotherapist Marni Rosner, PhD. “This type of friend is usually someone you’ve known for a long time, although friendships like this, which often seem quite magical, can happen at any time if we’re open to them.” The pal who has known you since forever may be the one you walked hand-in-hand into kindergarten with, or your college roommate. She may even be the woman who introduced you to the love of your life. Chicago-based author and mom Iris Waichler has a warm story about her back-in-the-day bestie: “I was lying on my couch when Shannon, my roommate, came in with this guy. He’d been riding his bike, and was in a minor fender bender. Physically, he was OK, but felt traumatized because he was recovering from yet another bike accident half-way around the world in Nigeria. I had just returned from climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, so we had a lot to talk about. Years later, when I married him, Shannon shared a funny story with our guests. She told everyone about the time that she and I were watching an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show, in which Oprah warned single women, ‘You won’t get a man lying on your couch!” For once, Oprah was wrong! And I owe it all to my friend, who knew me so well that she dragged a dazed guy who’d just had an accident up to our apartment, knowing he’d be the one for me.” Here are the science-backed reasons why these kinds of friendships are so healthy for us.