Should Your Partner Be Your Best Friend?


I’ve dated people I considered my best friend before and the relationships always ended with us going back to being friends (or not speaking, but you know). Because really, that’s what they always should have been. It’s easy to confuse friendship love with romantic love and to get into a relationship with someone and later realize, you only love them as a buddy.

But should your partner be your best friend? Even when I was a kid, I knew that the person you end up with should be at least on par with your best friend. You’re gonna have to hang out with them forever, right? They better be cool.

But should they be your actual best friend? Should you find the guy you play video games with and had spitting contests with as a child and marry him? Should you make out with that girl who cleaned up your puke that one time and who knows that when your mom calls you by your full name she means business? Is that more important than anything else because eventually you’ll be 70 and sex and attraction will seem like distant dying lights in the ice storm?

In the long-term, don’t you just want someone who gets you? Someone who wants to hang out and watch Dexter and not judge you for having a booger in your nose? Someone who you don’t have to impress and who can sit and make up song parodies with you for hours? So what if there’s no crazy passion? So what if you don’t want to bone them until they don’t even know Tara Reid from Meryl Streep?

Is it more important to be with your best friend because that’s essentially what you’re signing up for forever? Or should your partner, someone you are crazy about, just eventually become your best friend over time? We’ve all read the Cosmo articles about sharing everything with your boyfriend or girlfriend, about being completely honest, about feeling jealous that your partner may be confiding in someone else about things they feel they can’t share with you.

Maybe that’s because best friend and romantic partner are two different roles — to be filled by two different people. There are things you’d tell your best friend that shouldn’t be shared with your lover. Some times when you need an outside perspective that a boyfriend or girlfriend just can’t provide. Or is that dishonest? I’ve always felt that it’s important to blend best friend and romantic partner — to make sure you’re not keeping anything from the person you’re dedicating your life to. That being said, I certainly need someone to vent to that knows everything about me and who isn’t colored by attraction or too close to me to give me tough love. Some days you need your partner, and some days you just want your best friend.

Maybe if your partner isn’t your best friend, they’ll grow to become it over time and it’s something you have to earn together. Or maybe you’ve just confused the two. And your best friend, or lover, will turn out to be someone else.

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