We’ve all seen it, and many of us have probably even said it…
“I’m so lucky to have fallen in love with my best friend”
“I can’t wait to marry my best friend”
“In the best relationships, your lover is also your best friend”
Sorry not sorry, but I’m here telling you why I think your spouse should NOT be your best friend. Let me tell you why…
They were potentially your partner in crime since childhood
IMO, giving the “best friend” title to your boo is inherently insulting to your ACTUAL best friend. You know, the one that was there before you ever met the love of your life. And to be completely frank, the one that will still be there if you guys ever divorce (not to be a complete Debbie Downer, but historically and statistically, it’s bound to happen to some of us).
They have maybe seen you through your awkward years and hung around with you anyways. The one who watched you date a ton of jerkfaces before finding “the one.” The one that your boo was nervous to meet because your boo knew they needed the bestie’s approval.
They have seen you ugly cry when someone has broken your heart in the past and if they’re anything like my best friend, drank copious amounts of wine with you to cope. They were probably the one who held your hair after too many tequila shots on your 21st birthday. They didn’t just come into your family drama, they’ve been with you through the ride. They know your history more comprehensively than your lover ever could because they were there for it, not just hearing your recount of it.
When you’re fighting with your boo, your best friend is who you call for support, or as a more objective party to tell you that you’re being a selfish brat (this clearly is NOT a personal anecdote, lol).
In short, they have put serious WORK into your friendship. Likely just as much, if not more, than your lover. It’s not fair that loverface comes into your life and automatically gets to take over that title – no matter how great they are.
Take the stress off your partner
Further, expecting our spouse to be not only a great partner (and maybe provider, co-parent, lover, etc.) but also our best friend, puts an awful lot of pressure on ONE PERSON to fulfill an incredible amount of our social and emotional needs.
That unrealistic expectation of being “our everything” sets them up for failure. Sets us all up for failure!
So, maybe instead of presuming that our spouse will be ALL OF THESE THINGS, perhaps we can reframe our expectations. Assign two or three roles for them to fulfill, and then delegate the rest to other awesome people in your life.
Nurture that relationship with your best friend (or sibling, parent, etc.) the same way you did before you fell in love. Keep them as a confidant, someone you can turn to for support, advice, and secret-keeping. Network with colleagues or coworkers or others in your field to foster your professional intellect. Take up hobbies that don’t involve your love, and build relationships with others who enjoy those things.
Taking the pressure off of your partner to be everything – including your best friend – in your life will make it less likely that you will be (unintentionally) let down by them, and will, therefore, lead to higher relationship satisfaction. WIN!
Colby Marie Z is a sex & relationship coach, educator, speaker and blogger based out of Providence, RI. She is a doctoral candidate in human sexuality, an avid (slash obnoxious) football fan, and has been proudly talking about sexual pleasure, confidence, and satisfaction for 10+ years. You can find out more about Colby at sexloveandallthefeels.com, or connect with her on Twitter or Instagram.