Soul mates come in all forms.
One of the best bonds one can find is that of friendship. Friends will be with you and would have plans to survive anything by your side. You may find a lot of friendships, but there are a very few that will stand the test of changing times and the ups and downs of life. Life might throw you off balance sometimes, where you are kept wondering who your true friends are. Here are some of the signs of true friendship that you should not ignore in such times:
That one person who knows you in and out is also the one who has your back. One of the worst feelings is that when you trust someone and then have it broken by that person. Real friends won't spread negative information about you through gossip and bad-mouthing behind your back. In fact, they'll stop such things from happening. Real friends value and respect the secrecy and confidence that best friends have entrusted them with. The person who is loyal to you even when you are not around to defend yourself is rare.
Though you should not rely on your best friend to make you happy, and be able to be happy on your own; a true friend will try to bring a smile to you. Whatever problem you may be in, or however bad your mood swings get, a true friend knows how to light up your spirits and they'll never ask anything in return for that. Moreover, you look forward to your time with them.
Most of the time we are kept from being ourselves when the world around us focuses too much on our flaws. A real friend will not only acknowledge your positives but will also understand your flaws. They would hardly ever care about what others say. They'd accept you as you are, and would never make you feel bad for it. Your real friend would not keep criticizing you all the time, though, they'll help you become better with love and care.
When you are around your real friends, you don't feel the need to act like someone you are not. A lot of the times you might alter your overt behavior and act in a certain way when you're around others, but you don't have to do that when you're around this friend. They feel comfortable with you, and so do you. When you guys are together, none of you are bothered about societal conventions, but only each other and what you feel. While you may want to dress up and put your best face forward for the world, your soul mate wants to see the real you, even if that means you in tears
We need someone who needs to tell us when we are lying to ourselves or can't see through our own BS. Whether it is being in a toxic relationship or sticking to a job that is draining us, we need that one person to be brutally honest with us. Some people try to hide the truth for various personal agendas and reveal it to you when it is too late for you to act on that information. However, a real friend would make it a point to tell you the truth as it is. They realize that in the long run, it will only benefit you to have an appetite for what's real. Also, when needed, they'll by be your side so that you don't go through it alone. They care more about you than what you may think of them. This is precious.
It has been popularized a lot in movies and TV shows that there is a jealous and protective best friend and it is 'cute'. But in reality, it is not that good. It is okay to feel protective occasionally, but jealousy is in friendship is not so healthy. A true friend will not be shaken or freak out when you are spending time with someone else. They'll encourage you to meet new people and even help you be more at ease or talk through issues with other friends. The happier you are, the happier they are for you.
They know the depth of your soul and the dark journey you have been through. They are not afraid of your tears, your pain, or hours of conversations helping you through your existential crisis. They are with you to celebrate your joy, but they are with you during the days when you feel your worst. Seeing you vulnerable makes them value you more and admire your strength despite your hardships, unlike others who may use it to judge you or use it against you.
Whether it is a sleepover where you talk through the wee hours or go out for a fun Sunday brunch, you feel nourished in their presence. They don't just know what to say and how to bring out the best in you, they are also the best listener who can read between the lines. Sometimes, you can spend hours under the same roof without a word and still feel at peace and quietly energized around them. Their presence is enough to make you feel a sense of belonging that you may not have even with your family.
Your old memories never truly get 'old' with your true friend, you can always laugh at old jokes, and the magic never seems to fade away. You share inside jokes with them, and you don't need to explain things for them to get it. Similarly, you have been there for each other so much that both of you can guess what the other might be thinking or feeling in a particular situation.