There is not really a set definition for a “family friend”, but we hear people use this term all the time. Often times, a family friend is a person who is simply an acquaintance to the rest of the family, or they might also be treated exactly like any other member of the family.
For me, a family friend is someone who you have grown to know as both your friend and your family member. There is a different dynamic in the relationship with such a person. Like any friend, you have to maintain a healthy relationship with them because unlike a family member they are not always going to be in your life unless you consciously preserve the relationship. Yet like any family member, you can confide in them and trust that no circumstances will cause you to drift apart.
Surely there a person that comes to mind for you. For me, the first person I think about is Janaki. She is both a family friend, and my best friend. We have known each other for our entire lives, literally, (seriously, she was there at 4-ish months old when I was born) and as we have grown into completely different people throughout the years, we still maintain the ability to make each other laugh until our sides hurt. Though we will continue to grow in the years the come, it will never change the fact that thus far, we have grown together side by side. Our roots are entangled and we will forever remain friends since childhood, and for this, I am glad. It is more than just having a friend who knows me more profoundly than I know myself. Rather, I have a person with whom I can share every important moment with. From our preschool graduation to our high school ones, we have accomplished everything in the same stride. So, here’s to family, here’s to friends, but most importantly, here’s to the family friends who take on the role of both.