The Only 10 Friends You Will Ever Need. They Say You Should Be Able to Count Your True Friends on One Hand. but with the Web Connecting You with Hundreds of Virtual Mates, Is It Time to Get a Reality Check?

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Ellis

As your social networking friendship count soars, it's easy to kid yourself that you're popular. But a study has just revealed that the number of Facebook friends you have bears no reflection on how many you have in real life.

"Social networking sites are excellent ways to stay in touch," says Sally Koslow, author of With Friends Like These, "but nothing beats the real thing. Meeting up with your closest friends is an oasis in a busy day, and makes us feel good on so many levels."

Here are the 10 types of friends every woman should have in her life.

(1) The Lifestyle Buddy You take your toddlers to the same playgroup, share a love of shopping and natter for hours about, well, everything in your lives. Her likes and dislikes mirror yours and, if she suggests a restaurant, outfit or film, you know you'll love it.

The 'Thick Thin' Drew Cameron When faced with a tough decision, you always ask yourself what she would do - if you have something to moan about, you know she'll share your gripes. If you're lacking a lifestyle buddy in your life right now, they're easy to meet - just keep an eye out at all your favourite places.

(2) The Opposites

Attract Friend "Some of the healthiest and most rewarding friendships we can have are with our opposite," says Sally.

"Often it's someone who's a lot older or younger than you are - an older friend can offer good advice, while a younger friend reminds you of a more fun-loving version of yourself. They're usually the best person to bring a fresh perspective to our lives."

(3) The Mutual Appreciation

Friend Everyone appreciates a compliment now and again, and there's no better compliment than one from someone you admire. You love her taste, her style, her friends - in return, she loves yours. She's always the first to notice your new haircut and recent weight loss, and she's the friend you drag to events when you want to make a good impression.

(4) The Comfort Blanket

Friend You've known her for ever and a day; through bad haircuts, bad break-ups and garish make-up. Your families are friends and, even if you drift apart from time to time, you know she's there.

Through and Friend Barrymore and Diaz Call her when you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed by your job or your family to be transported instantly back to your childhood. If you've lost touch, don't Facebook her, pick up the phone instead. …