10 Signs of a Ride or Die Friend (& What it Means to Be One)

There are many different types of friends you’ll have in life. Some will come and stay for a season, and others will be there until the end. A ride or die friend is one of those that you can count on to stick by your side through the good times and the bad.

This article will spell out the true meaning of a “ride or die” friend, plus signs to help you identify them.

Sections

  1. What is a ride or die friend?
  2. 10 signs of a ride or die friend
  3. How to keep your ride or die friends

What is a ride or die friend?

One definition of a ride or die friend: A best friend who is loyal, trustworthy, and will always have your back. Unfortunately, a lot of friendships are friends of convenience that fall apart the first time they’re put to the test. Hardships, drama, and conflicts are some of the common tests that will cause a fake or fairweather friendship to end.[1][2]

A ride or die friend is a guy or a girl who comes through for you when you need them the most, no matter what the cost is to them. These kinds of true friends are rare and incredibly important to keep in your circle. There are times in life when everyone needs a person who they can count on 100%, and a ride or die friend is exactly the kind of person who would be there to help every time.

10 signs of a ride or die friend

As you grow and mature in life, it’s normal to re-evaluate friendships and even to find that you grow apart or even outgrow certain friends. In many cases, this means that your circle of friends gets smaller, but the people in it are people who you have stronger relationships with.[1][2] Most people want to make sure that the people they keep in their lives are true friends who are the real “ride or die” types. Below are 10 signs of a ride or die friend.

1. They’ve been there through the good and bad times

Some friends will only show up for the good times but then don’t respond to your texts or calls when you actually need their help or support. One of the best ways to tell who your true friends are is to pay attention to which friends have been consistently there for you when you needed them.[1] This includes times when you or your life has been in shambles. The friends who you could always count on then are most likely to be the ones you could still count on now, as well as in the future.

2. They keep their promises to you

A ride or die friend is someone who is loyal and keeps their promises to you. Part of why you know you can trust them is because you know they will always show up and follow through with what they say. Flaky friends are people who are more likely to make excuses, back out, or cancel on you at the last minute, sometimes leaving you in a bad situation. A ride or die friend would never do this and will always keep their word.

3. They take your secrets to the grave

A true BFF is someone who you can confide your deepest secrets to and trust not to tell them to anyone. A ride or die friend would never gossip, talk badly about you behind your back, or tell your secrets to other people. Part of what makes them so loyal is that you can trust them with your secrets and know they’d never betray that trust. This is a huge part of how trust is built in a friendship and is another sign that you have a loyal and true friend.

4. They always stand up for you

A true ride or die friend will not only be there for you when you need them but will also stand up for you if anyone disrespects you or talks trash about you. Their fierce loyalty to you means that they won’t just sit around silently while other people are rude to you. Instead, they’ll stand up for you, no matter who it is that’s attacking you. A ride or die friend has no tolerance for other so-called friends who don’t respect you.

5. They’re honest and always keep it real with you

A ride or die friend is someone you can count on to tell you the truth, even when it’s something you don’t want to hear. For example, they won’t be the friend who tells you white lies just to make you feel better. If you messed up or are about to make a bad choice, they’ll let you know. While these truths can be hard to hear, honesty is an important part of a strong friendship and is another way your ride or die friend tries to look out for you.

6. You have fun doing boring things together

One of the greatest things about having a best friend is that you can find ways to have fun, even when you’re just hanging out doing everyday things. For instance, your ride or die friend might be the homie who hangs out and helps you run errands, cook, or clean each other’s houses. Even when there’s nothing fun on the agenda, there’s never a dull moment between you and a bestie because of the connection you have.

7. They’ll bail you out of trouble

Songs from the 90’s often had lyrics like “be my ride or die” or “she’s my ride or die girl,” which was a phrase that described a guy or girl who would do anything for you, including putting their life on the line. Since then, the phrase has evolved to take on a slightly different meaning but still involves a person who would be there if you were in trouble. For example, a ride or die friend would be someone who was willing to lend you money or help bail you out if you were in trouble.

8. They will always prioritize you

One of the signs of a true friend is that they will always prioritize you and make time for you. For example, a ride or die friend won’t ghost you if they start a new relationship or cancel plans with you if something more exciting or fun comes up. They tend to be good about communicating and keeping in touch with you and also make it a priority to spend quality time with you on a regular basis.

9. You consider them family

The kind of friend you’d consider a ride or die friend is usually someone who you’ve known for a long time or have a lot of history with. This includes experiences you’ve shared (both good and bad) that make them feel more like family than a friend. This could be a homie who you grew up with, a bestie you spend every weekend with, or just someone who feels as close or closer to you than your family.

10. Your bond has proven to be unbreakable

Ride or die friendships have usually been put to the test more than once and always emerged as strong (or even stronger) than before. This is one of the signs of a real best friend and also an indication that the bond you share with them is virtually unbreakable. Still, it’s important not to take this bond for granted by letting other priorities come before them, betraying their trust, or not coming through when they need you.

How to keep your ride or die friends

If you’re lucky enough to find a true ride or die friend in your life, make sure to keep them close. These kinds of friends are rare and will be the ones who you can always count on when you need help, support, or just some companionship. Research shows that these kinds of close friendships are essential for your health and your happpiness.[1][2]

The best way to keep your ride or die friends around is to make sure that you hold yourself to the same standards by:[3][4]

  • Always showing up and coming through when they need you
  • Making sure you make them a priority in your life
  • Staying in touch with them and not letting time or distance separate you
  • Letting them know that they are important to you
  • Showing your loyalty by standing up for them and taking their side
  • Being honest, open, and authentic with them
  • Keeping your word and honoring your promises to them
  • Being the first to show up and help or offer support during hard times
  • Never betraying their trust in you by telling their secrets or talking badly about them
  • Dealing with conflicts openly, instead of letting things build up
  • Keeping a cool head and not saying things you’ll regret when you’re upset
  • Showing appreciation for all they do and not taking advantage of them

Final thoughts

A ride or die friend is someone who you can count on to always be there for you when you need them, even when your other friends ghost you or flake out on you. They are the best friends who you can have fun with while also being completely honest and open. They’re the ones who will keep your secrets, stand up for you, rally for you, and never turn their back on you. These kinds of friends are hard to come by and are definitely worth hanging onto.

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Hailey Shafir is a licensed mental health counselor, licensed addiction specialist, and clinical supervisor working out of Raleigh, NC. She has a Masters in Counseling from NC State University, and has extensive professional experience in counseling, program development, and clinical supervision. Read more.

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