But here's the truth: the wider your circle of really good friends, the better. The reason for this is that even the people you call your best friends can flake out on you from time to time or behave uncharacteristically.
Maybe the person has hit a rough patch, is unusually busy, or just doesn't care to invest as much time in the friendship anymore. Thus, it's good to have back-up friends you can turn to in the event one proves unreliable.
The same can be said in the realm of dating. Most of us have witnessed people we're dating go from seemingly interested to flaky almost overnight. It's much easier to stomach the vagaries of one's behavior when you have other prospects lined up.
Think of it like job hunting. It's always easier to find a job when you already have a job, and there's less pressure on you to accept any one offer when you know there are other offers on the table.
I know it's easier said than done. Most of us don't have the time to go around corraling potential friends and suitors like we would nickels for a coin collection.
But the bottom line is that the more options you have, the less reliant you become on any one friend or date.
Many of us go berserk when a friend or date seems unresponsive -- they don't return our calls, they cease to text, they no longer pay us a visit. Having a plan B ensures that we can just turn to a different person without imposing undue demands on that particular friend or love interest.
If it turns out they're a no-show, you'd be better off severing ties with them for good.
As far as relationships go, our aim is to reach the point where one special individual captures our heart and precludes the need to continue testing the dating market. Until we're sure we've met that person, though, keeping your options open can be a valuable strategy.
There are plenty of fish in the sea -- for both friendships and relationships!