While it may not be a hard science, TikTok's Seven Friend Theory is taking your FYP by storm for a reason. This method lays out seven types of friendships and helps you work out what role your closest friends play in your life and what they mean to you. And people are loving the chance to shower some love and gratitude on each of their pals.
In a world where our friendships are more important than ever, yet also ever-evolving across space and time (and the internet), we've become more comfortable with understanding that some friends serve a specific purpose in our lives. Some are seasonal and here for a good time but not a long one. Others are difficult and challenging, but ultimately life-long. Others bring so much joy to your daily life that they're more like family than friends.
Despite calling itself a 'theory', this wholesome trend is more of a practice of gratitude and a chance for you to show your friends exactly what they mean to you. You might find a few different variations of these seven categories and you might even find some of your friends fit more than one category (or none at all). But if this is TikTok's way of allowing you to shine a little light and love on your closest friends, we won't be overthinking it.
So, here's what each of the Seven Friend Theory categories means:
1. The friend you’ve had since you were little
Your oldest friend, the one you used to take baths with and hold hands with during preschool. This friend will always be your longest friendship, even if it isn't the one you engage with every day — sometimes even for months or years. You might grow into being very different people, but you'll always have the special connection that comes from knowing someone almost their whole life.
2. The friend that could make you laugh in any situation
Even though this one might sometimes be a more superficial friendship, they're still super important. You might not get super deep and personal with this friend, but you always have a good time with them. You joke, laugh, and party without things ever getting too intense — and sometimes we need these friends as much as the more intimate ones.
3. The friend you can go on forever without talking to but nothing changes
In a world where instant messaging and immediate replies are the norm, it's so great to have this kind of friend — the one who doesn't expect too much of you, but will always have your back. You might not be giving each other daily updates, but they're the first person you call when you really need to have a good chat. And when you do see them, you'll be the last two left in the restaurant with everything you have to catch up on.
4. The friend you can tell anything to
Some of our friends will pull us up when we do bad things and challenge us to be better, which is great. But sometimes you just need a friend you can tell absolutely anything to, and you know they'll just nod, listen and won't judge you on your absolute worst moments. This friend holds your biggest, darkest secrets, and you know they'll always be safe with them.
5. The friend that’s like a sister
You swap clothes, pop each other's pimples and act like total fools around each other. This is the person who's more like a sibling. You're both unbelievably comfortable with each other, and often with each other's family too — as far as they're concerned, you're one of them. You might fight like siblings sometimes, but you love each other like them too.
6. The friend you can’t imagine not being friends with
You might not always see eye-to-eye (in fact, sometimes they irritate the heck out of you) but you will always love them and they will always be your friend because you can't picture life without them. Sometimes, our friendships aren't always neat and tidy, like this one, but they have an intimacy and connection that will serve you your whole life.
7. The friend that knows about all your [love life] problems even though she doesn’t want to hear about it
We all have that one friend who is well-versed in matters of the heart, even if they'd rather not be! This is your love-life lifeline, the friend who always seems to know exactly what to say to your crush or whether you need to end a relationship or not. They know you and your relationships like no one else does.