We talk a lot about what it means to date, how to function in relationships, how to get through and over love. We talk about it so much because we aren't taught about it growing up, not in any real way. Despite the fact that our interpersonal relationships will account for a huge portion of our overall happiness and contentment (not to mention the skill that will ultimately help us with everything from networking to raising children), we're left in the dark to navigate it on our own. The most likely reason for this is that people assume to talk about something like love or partnership you'd have to reference dogma, or religious/cultural teaching, and that's simply not true. You can talk about psychology and interpersonal dynamics in the same way you talk about sex or childbirth. There are things that are objectively, scientifically true.
What I'm going to talk about next is not one of them, and in fact, is something I presume many people will ultimately disagree with. I do not believe your partner has to be your best friend. That is what your best friend is for. To gauge whether or not you want to be with someone romantically either just by your physical attraction or your ability to be "friends" is to bypass what it means to be someone's romantic, life partner. Being best friends is an aspect of that partnership, but it's only one shot in the whole cocktail of compatibility. Your partner needs to be someone you trust, someone you love, someone who doesn't necessarily replace every person in your life, but just adds to your life in a new, different way.
Your Partner Should Be Like A Best Friend And Then Some
You can have the same closeness, comfortability and fun that you have with your best friends with your partner, but it should be that and then some. That's why they're not just... your friend. There's a different and deeper way to define your relationship to someone you love in that way, and it's beyond "best friend," though it usually encompasses a lot of the wonderful aspects to having a close friend in life.
Being Your Best Friend Is What Your... Best Friend Is For
The reason so many relationships fail is because we expect our partners to replace every other role in our lives. We want them to be our lovers, our best friends, our family. We want them to be our support systems, our financial security. We have the idea that this is "the ultimate person" and so they should be all of it and then some. In reality, you have a best friend to be your best friend. You have a job to be financially secure. They do not have to fill every single role in your life.
Your Relationship To Your Partner Will Be Far More Emotionally Intense Than That Of Your Best Friend
And to call your partner your "best friend" is, in a way, to set yourself up to expect that you'll feel similarly in their presence — when typically, you'll feel both more intensely connected, and at times, more stressed than would be normal or healthy for just a friendship.
You Can Build Friendship, You Cannot Build "The Spark"
You can essentially have a best friendship with almost anybody. You cannot have that otherworldly, deep, compelling love for just anybody. That's what happens when your energy reacts and responds to one another and you're both left changed and awed. From that connection, you can and should build companionship — and in fact, all healthy couples that actually last do — but to say that your partner is just your "best friend" is to, in a way, cheapen what they are to you.
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