Ever since the middle of the last decade when I could say a couple of my female friends were some of my best friends, I have hungered for friendship wisdom about opposite-sex best friends. That might be only a surprise to you if are a new to this blog.
I finished reading John Townsend's 2011 book, How to be a Best Friend Forever last week. Although I have a voracious appetite for friendship books, I haven't had an urgency to read it because I was pretty sure he would not delve into opposite-sex best friends. After all, Townsend has a solid evangelical following and there are no books in New Life bookstores that address BFFs between the sexes. Popular evangelical authors who want their books to sell at New Life don't write about nonromantic BFFs. Power and opposite-sex best friends do not mix in the evangelical sub-culture.
My low interest in reading the book also stemmed from my ambivalence toward how-to books on best friendships. How is it possible to write a how-to book on a complex subject like best friends forever? The subject of best friends by itself is a complex subject that defies formualic approaches. But deep friends with no expiration date?
I have read some great books on friendship over the past fifteen years. None of them are how-to books.
If you are already a fan of John Townsend's books, you will probably see a lot of strengths in this book. Even though I respect Townsend, I came to the book with low expectations. Perhaps because my bar was so low, he surprised me at some points. Although it would not make my top ten books on best friendships, I came away with an appreciation toward how he approaches the subject.
Since I still claim some female friends as some of my best friends years later, I thought I would share a few reactions that bubbled out while I was reading this popular psychologist make a case for best friends forever.