How Our Friendship Survived 20+ Years & Several Moves

by Aimée Grant Cumberbatch

It takes something pretty special to make a friendship last 20-plus years. You might pick up a group of friends at school who fall away when you go to uni or start your first job. You might move cities or lose touch. But, if you’re lucky, you’ll have that one friendship which, no matter where you’ve left off, can be picked up as if it was only five minutes since you last spoke.

That’s the case for creative director Georgie and actor and model Yasmin. They first met at primary school and formed a friendship over sleepovers and scary movies which turned into landline phone calls from different parts of the country when Georgie moved. Over 20 years later, they’re still as close as ever. In partnership with Maltesers, they share how they managed to make their friendship go the distance.

How did you meet?

Georgie: I’d moved down from Nottingham to Bedfordshire. On my first day of school I made friends with another girl. And then it was probably lunchtime and Yasmin came over to me and this girl and literally grabbed my arm and was like, “You're my friend now.”

Yasmin: That's generally my tactic in life. If I ever want something I grab it. It’s carried on from then.

Why do you think your friendship works?

G: We're both driven to do our own things. Also the fact we're quite strong characters. We pursue our own dreams. We've gone down routes that are different to maybe what a lot of people would [do].

Y: We’re not very needy friends. We could go weeks or months without talking to each other and then when we pick up the phone or meet up we'll be right where we left off. We have really good catch ups. When I was still in Bedfordshire, Georgie moved to Brighton, so we were far away from each other. And then in our early 20s I moved to London and then she moved to London and we got back into seeing each other often. We stayed friends throughout it all.

"Yasmin makes me laugh...We're always trying to make each other giggle."

What is it you value in each other?

G: Yasmin makes me laugh, that's one of the main qualities. She's really quick with jokes on the spot. Our humour bounces off each other. We're always trying to make each other giggle.

Y: Georgie is fearless and I really value that in a friend. When I'm with her I feel like I'll do anything.

G: Like doing the Tarzan swing in Costa Rica.

Y: We did the longest zip line in South America together.

G: It was a freefall drop and you just swing after five seconds, it was so scary but we pushed each other to do it.

Where do you see your friendship in five years' time?

Y: I think our friendship will be in the same place. I can't see much changing really.

G: Our friendship will be stronger than ever. As we grow, we'll always be there for each other and hopefully we'll have been on a lot more adventures together in the next five years.

What do you most like doing when you meet up?

Y: I love watching horrors and [when we were younger] I’d coax Georgie into watching them with me because I get scared on my own. When I'd stay at her house, we'd go to Blockbusters and rent things like The Ring, Nightmare On Elm Street, and The Shining. We don't really do that much anymore as we chat too much through films.

G: As Yas said, she would be the initiator of the horror films. She would usually then try and freak me out after watching them by making me jump, but she used to get terrified herself. Once we were babysitting my little brother and watching The Shining. We were already scared and we heard a creepy noise and my brother suddenly appeared in the doorway sleepwalking — it was terrifying.

Why do you think friendships are so important to women?

G: I could not imagine my life without women. Women are always there for you. We've all got each other's backs and they're the most important friendships that you find.

Y: With female friends they understand what you go through more than a guy maybe would. There are things you can talk to them about and they completely understand.

G: You can go to that next level with women, you can have those deep discussions. We need each other. Women have had to pull together over the last hundred years or so. We have so many more rights now because of it. There's power in numbers and it's important women stick up for each other and care for each other.

"Our friendship has lasted despite not seeing each other every day. A lot of people would lose contact in that time but we stayed together."

Do you think friendships are more or less important than romantic relationships?

G: More. For example, my grandma’s husband has died and now the most important people to her are her friends. Obviously her husband is so important to her and I'm not saying at all that [partners] aren't important. But without your friends…

Y: It would be quite isolating. Because it's like saying what's better having one person or having five people. Even though you can really bond with one person, it's also nice to lean on a couple of other people.

G: That one person could also be a friend. It doesn't need to be romantic. And that is the most important thing when you're in a couple as well — that you’re friends.

What do you think makes your friendship unique?

Y: That we've been friends for so long. We only went to school together for about four years before Georgie moved further away, so our friendship has lasted despite not seeing each other every day. A lot of people would lose contact in that time but we stayed together.

Photographer: Ruth Rose // Art Direction: Shelley Dobson // Makeup: Lauren Griffin // Makeup Assistant: Ellen Bolger // Hair: George Curran // Production: Julia Merenda / Lucy Haller

This post is in paid partnership with Maltesers