There seem to be two rival schools of thought when it comes to choosing your BFFs. Girls tend to either find one bestie and go all chips in, or they proudly emulate Taylor Swift’s mega-squad by surrounding themselves with beaucoup babes. Mindy Lahiri (AKA Mindy Kaling) of The Mindy Project clearly asserts her opinion when she says that “a best friend isn’t a person, it’s a tier.” But there are both benefits and drawbacks to choosing one partner in crime versus a whole team. We consulted relationship expert April Masini to find out exactly what the pros and cons are of having both kinds of friendships.

According to Masini, there is a clear advantage to having only one BFF because it ends up “creat[ing] a more intimate relationship.” When you dedicate more time to just one person, that devotion is more likely to be reciprocated, creating deeper bonds and a higher level of trust. You then experience a committed and simplified one-on-one relationship without the drama of the clique dynamic.

But while having only one BFF might be the best option for some, others undoubtedly benefit from acquiring a whole team of close friends — or as Masini calls it, a “counsel [or] cabinet.” According to her, more and more people seem to be gravitating away from investing their entire social energy into one person and toward spreading their energy throughout an intentionally curated group of friends. The reason behind this? It’s a sort of social stratification, Masini says. It happens because “we have different facets of our lives and personalities that are best fulfilled by [having] a few best friends.”

It basically drills down to different strokes for different folks. Having a plethora of pals makes sense for social butterflies who make themselves available to said friends 24/7 and have different dynamics/roles with each one (e.g., your brunch bestie, your shopping pal, your shopping partner). But less socially inclined people will probably benefit most from having just one close bestie that they can rely on through thick and thin (e.g. that girl who will comfort you after a breakup and gossip about The Bachelor with you).

The bottom line: There are pros and cons to engaging in any kind of best friendship. Creating and sustaining a trustworthy, long-term relationship is challenging whether it’s with one person or a whole group. Just remember to choose the right social dynamic based on what you need as a friend — as well as how much energy you want to give.

Do you prefer a girl squad or just one bestie? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)