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    This Is What Love For A Best Friend Feels Like For 11 Women

    Because sometimes the love of your life is the one that's been standing next to you all along.

    1. Em and Sam

    Em Kwissa

    "Sam is the only person I could ever sincerely call my partner. We know everything about each other and yet we're never bored by each other. We talk every day. Whether I'm thinking 'Who can I go to for support through this?' or 'Who's the first person I want to tell about this?' the answer is Sam. She has an aura that makes everyone feel like they can be something better than they've ever been. It is impossible not to love her. To be loved by her in return is a miracle. It is the best and most beautiful thing in my life."

    2. Nidhi and Grishma

    Nidi Subi Shah

    "The ​protruding bellies of our mothers must have bumped for the 2 months that they overlapped in being with child - I don't think I ever existed without Grishma. She is the cheese and toppings to my pizza, and the Mindy Kaling to my BJ Novak (or Mindy Kaling, if we can both be her). And at the end of the day, I don't care what anyone thinks of us. Though there are 700 miles between us, it sure feels like she's always with me, in my pocket, on the internet."

    3. Alex and Conz

    Alex Alvarez

    "I was intimidated by Conz when I first met her, a quintessential cool girl with multi-colored hair in combat boots and her signature crazy tights. But that coolness belies the reality that Conz lives with her heart completely exposed. She listens to my fears over fishbowls of frozen bulldog margaritas. When I succeed, she leads the celebration (also with frozen bulldog margaritas). Through boyfriends and jobs and across changing timezones, Conz is a constant. She is a heart emoji in a sea of poop emojis and I am so happy she's part of my life."

    4. Alana and Phoebe

    Alana Massey

    "In a world that insists on moving at a disorienting pace around me, Phoebe is my constant. My still point. My North Star. Her wit is razor sharp but her spirit is gentle and there is no safer place on earth than in her confidence. I can no longer count the number of times I have entrusted her with my clumsy, broken heart and had it returned to me a little less broken and a little more open to belief in dizzying, impossible love."

    5. Kate and Tunes

    Ryan Brenizer

    "I always found it counter-intuitive that we try to find words to describe our safest places, the places we consider home. Because those are precisely the places where things are allowed to go unsaid and yet still be understood. With Tunes, I don't have to explain and I don't have to justify. No matter how convoluted or conflicted, she gives me the space to exist and be heard, and then regroup for a moment before I have to re-enter the world with a brave face and my eyeliner fixed. She also looks baller in this dress."

    6. Nancy and Alyssa

    Nancy Anna

    "When I enlisted into the Air Force I knew my coworkers would become my family, but I didn't expect to find not only my sister in arms, but my best friend and soulmate. Through Alyssa I've found patience, the ability to forgive and forget and most importantly: how to trust again. Alyssa saved my life on multiple occasions, been with me through multiple heart breaking moments and I couldn't ask for a better wingman, sister or soulmate. She is my angel and I'm so grateful for her."

    7. Laura and Crystal


    "In fifth grade, Crystal turned down the Gifted and Talented Education program at our school because she didn't want to leave me behind or be in a class without me. At the time, she said that she failed the entrance exam to get in, but later on down the road Crystal told me the truth: that she passed the test but didn't want abandon me. She was always there for me even when I felt like I couldn't keep up with her. Only a true friend would do what she's done for me, and hopefully I can make it up to her someday."

    8. Tausha and Chanika

    Tausha Cowan

    "Growing up, Chanika was always too many years ahead of me to be anything but my sister. But then we became adults, New Yorkers, travel buddies, partners in crime, occasional roommates and, most importantly, friends. She is my family by chance but my confidante by choice. She's the person I laugh hysterically with and the one with whom I can be most myself. She will always be my sister but, more than that, she will always be my friend."

    9. Madeline and Céline

    Madeline Hill

    "As a child of divorce, my mother used to say to me, “The two consistent things in your life are your brother and Céline.” No matter how long we’ve been apart, I can always pick up mid-sentence and she’ll know how to finish my thought. She knows my secrets and what makes me tick. She’s my emotional punching bag for the bad dates and my cheerleader for the good ones. While we’re currently 3,625 miles apart, I know we won’t be breaking up anytime soon."

    10. Katie and Rylee

    Katie Heaney

    "That I met Rylee when I did and how I did (at 18, when I really needed her, as floormates in our freshmen dorm — we could have been put anywhere on campus) makes me believe in fate. I've never felt that way about any person or place or decision in my life (I think there are multiple ways for every person to turn out OK) but I had to know her. She has the truest, warmest, most hopeful heart. She is also the smartest person I've ever met. Ten years later we live half a country apart but every time I call her or fly home to see her I am stunned all over again by how much I love her. "

    11. Alexis and Katia

    Bryan Cruz

    "The first time I knew I really loved Katia, we gassed a roach to death in her dorm room. She was less than fearless about it and so was I, and I identified with her cowardice. That doesn't sound like a nice thing to say, but so much of our relationship involves us being or becoming scared - of making the wrong decision, of choosing the wrong thing, or even dating the wrong person - and then frantically texting or talking about what current life-monster is scaring us that it's the only word that works. I'm a coward, Katia, but we're getting braver, together."

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