two friends hugging
Credit: Hannah Busing / Unsplash

Much like romantic relationships, life-long friendships take plenty of work to maintain. But for the most part, the efforts that go into keeping the interpersonal synergy flowing aren’t always grand, sweeping gestures. Generally speaking, BFFs who will literally be friends forever employ more subtle habits to show their support for one another that demonstrate the strength of their bond.

There’s no need for them to carry around a blinking neon sign that reads, “We’ll be friends FOREVER because we’re awesome together” because they’re the kinds of best friends who have a more low-key approach to friendship that sufficiently speaks for itself.

Because it wouldn’t be fair to withhold these genius habits of BFFs who will be pals for the rest of ever, here’s what they do to make sure their ride-or-die relationship lasts ’til the end of time.

1They give one another plenty of “me” time.

Besties generally share so much in common that it’s natural for them to want to spend every waking moment nestled together in a cocoon of friend-based familiarity. Although they act like they’re joined at the hip, the reality is that they realize they are two individuals who always respect each other’s need for space and time to do their own thing.

2They do things without being asked.

Like picking up the tab when the other’s cash isn’t flowing, checking to make sure their friend arrived home safely after a late night of hanging out, or buying special gifts just because.

3 They don’t view outside friendships as a threat.

There’s no way to end a friendship more quickly than becoming that jealous friend who’s threatened when another human dares enter the general vicinity of her bestie. But if you have a life-long BFF who is the furthest thing from a toxic friend, they’ll always understand that new friendship isn’t a threat to the unbreakable bond you share.

4They pay attention to details.

Seriously, BFFs have mastered the art of listening to the point that they remember minor details like the names of all the people involved in their bestie’s co-worker’s love triangle. They know each other’s annoying habits, how to calm one another down in a crisis, and they can probably tell you when they both had their last periods.

5They are *super* patient.

And handle each other with care.

6They defend each other.

Not that they think their bestie is incapable of fighting battles solo, but if they have a habit of sticking up for one another, it’s just a testament to the incredible amount of mutual support and respect they have.

7They don’t take things personally.

Even though they may internally freak out when their other half doesn’t respond to a juicy text message right away, BFFs who are in it for the long haul don’t get their feathers ruffled because they know the delay isn’t a sign that their bestie secretly hates them.

8They respect each other’s differences.

And appreciate any quirks or personality traits that set them apart from one another.

9They never compete.

Real BFFs know there’s no need to be competitive with their bestie. Besides, a win for one of them is really a win for both of them.

10They never make one another feel guilty about their decisions.

Even when best friends disagree on serious issues like whether wearing socks with sandals is really as egregious as it sounds, they do it in such a way that the brave person who sports this fashion faux pas doesn’t feel bad about their decision. Basically, these two peas in a BFF pod know that keeping their friendship healthy and afloat is all about the little things.