How To Tell If A Friend Is A True Friend For Life & A Total Keeper

This decade of your life has brought a lot of new. It's brought new opportunities, like internships and jobs that spark your soul, and new relationships that may have made you more adventurous. Most importantly, it's brought you closer to new friends who understand your love for photography and dipping chocolate chip cookies in cold milk. You're not sure how you lived without these people, and never really want to know. But, you do want to understand one thing: how to tell if a friend is a true friend for life and a total keeper.

I may have an answer for that. But before I get into it, I want to make sure we're on the same page. I want to make sure that you know what makes someone a really good friend, and how you can be that person for someone else. Are you ready? Sweet!

First, a solid friendship requires support. This could be in the form of encouraging text messages that you send in the morning that say, "You're beautiful! Have a great day," or in a shoulder that's always there to lean on. Second, it calls for lots of laughing and smiling, and jam sessions to "True Friend" by Hannah Montana in your apartment's kitchen. (OK, that part isn't totally #necessary.)

Lastly, it calls for these five things that truly show that you, or your new BFF, is in it for the long haul. Is this person a keeper? Let me know.

1. They Listen To Your Stories And Wildest Dreams

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A new friend who's planning on being in your life forever intently listens to all of your stories. They listen to you talk about your favorite moments from high school, and the first dates that went wrong. They even laugh along with the inside jokes that you try to explain, because they weren't there.

Every once in a while, they chime in with a question or a nod, too — to show that they're present and focusing. They offer encouraging words when you need them the most, and don't mind when you go off on random tangents that have nothing to do with the original point. (Phew!)

The best part? They say things like, "Oh my god, let's do that," when you mention your wildest dreams, and are 100 percent down for every adventure, road trip, or business you want to start. Can I get a round of confetti for that?

2. They Look Through Your Old Yearbooks And Photos

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The thing about your new friend is that they've only been in your life since, well, recently. They may have met you because you lived in the same dorm at school last semester, or because they worked with you at your latest internship. And they don't know much about your life before you two bonded. At least, not yet.

Truth is, they want to know about what sports you played in high school and the crushes you had, even if they don't totally understand the context. Those memories, moments, and people made you into the person you are today, and that's someone who they love having in their life.

They want to know about the embarrassing fights you had with your siblings when you were five years old, and see pictures from Halloween parties and old yearbooks. (That's one of many reasons why you know that this friend is a total keeper.)

3. They Don't Get Upset When You Don't Text Them Back ASAP

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As you get older, your standards for friendships may change. For example, in high school I totally expected my BFFs to text me back within minutes. I assumed that if they didn't, there was something wrong or that they were going to have some great stories to catch me up on at lunch.

But now, my expectations are incredibly different. I'm aware that life gets so busy between work, school, and coffee dates. It's understandable that some things simply take priority over staring at your phone. Most days, my friends and I don't text each other back within the hour. That's totally OK.

This new friend knows that you have a life, and other friendships and commitments outside of your friendship with them, too. They don't get upset when you don't get back to them ASAP, and simply look forward to your time together.

4. They Always Tell You The Truth, Even If It's Not What You Want To Hear

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A true friend tells you the truth, even if it's not exactly what you want to hear. They tell you when the outfit you just bought isn't cute, and when there's a piece of spinach stuck in your teeth from lunch. They give you their honest advice, too, on any drama or tough situations you may be dealing with.

At first, your reaction to their blunt responses may be, well, shocked. You may be caught off guard that they didn't sugarcoat a breakup for you, and were very straight to the point. But then, you may realize that you wouldn't want it any other way.

You appreciate having someone in your life who wants what's best for you, and doesn't beat around the bush. How "true" of them, huh?

5. They Understand And Love All Of Your Quirks

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Last but not least, you can tell if a friend is "true" and in it for the long haul if they understand and wholeheartedly love your quirks. If they make you feel like a million bucks every time you record a hilarious video or bring the phone into the bathroom when you're talking to them and have to pee — then they're a keeper.

They appreciate who you are and encourage you to be your best self, and that's a priceless thing to find in a friendship. They don't get jealous when you succeed or do something better than them, but rather let you take the spotlight and own it.

In return, you do the same for them, which is why your friendship is going to last forever and ever. They're likely reading this article, too, and thinking, "Wow, my friend is seriously a keeper."