Collin is my husband, and my favorite person in the world, but he’s not my best friend. I don’t think he’s even in the Top 5.
Sometimes it feels like everyone else in the world married their best friend. I read it on wedding blogs all the time. I see it stamped on every wedding product you can conceive of, from ring dishes to aisle runners to ribbon to stamps. Sorry, WIC, you can’t peddle that crap to me, because I didn’t marry my best friend.
My best friends get every joke I make. We can goss for hours about the true meaning of a text message, and discourse just as long about The Duties of American Citizens or Comic Books Risking Their Acceptance as a Legitimate Artform or various other topics so important they require capitalization. We like doing the same stuff: bar trivia, board games, spending hours in Eat n Park discussing the movie we just saw ad infinitum, posing for photographs in offbeat Pittsburgh locales. We’ve known each other what feels like forever. We have an almost criminal amount of fun together. We can comfort each other through almost anything life hurls at us, and we have.
[Photo by Mike Rubino]
And sure, Collin and I make each other laugh, we have fun together, we have great conversations on topics both serious and frivolous. Friendship is definitely one of the ingredients of our relationship. We connect in A LOT of different ways: love, passion, easy companionship, devoted-to-the-end partnership. This is why our relationship is strong, not because Collin is The Best of Everything to me. He’s not my Best Masseuse, either, even though I make him rub my neck all the time. I don’t think our relationship is any weaker because other people in my life fulfill certain needs more than he does.
I have to admit I bristle at how often I read “I married my best friend.” [In fact, I pulled up this old draft and finally finished it because of today's APW post.] It’s not just that it’s a cliché that I’m tired of hearing. I ascribe smugness to the sentiment: “Sure, you’re in love with your spouse, but I’m more in love, because mine is my best friend too.” It’s totally unfair, these people are just accurately describing their relationship and I’m knee-jerking into defensiveness. I’m sorry, “I married my best friend”ers. I admire your efficiency in interpersonal connections.
I can’t resent people who married their best friend too much, because my husband is one of them. He tells me all the time I’m his best friend. He even put it in his wedding vows. And it makes me happy to hear. And Collin insists he’s my best friend too, “you just don’t know it yet.” I raise a skeptical eyebrow and let him go on believing whatever he wants to.
Although I suspect that after many years of marriage, Collin will become more and more my best friend. I’ve known my best friends for almost ten years and only known Collin for three. It’s an unequal playing field. But when I think about Collin being my best friend however many years down the line, I feel a little lonely. I want more than one perfect all-encompassing important person in my life.
Who else didn’t marry their best friend? Or if you did, do you ever feel judged by people from my camp for not having a separate best friendship? And while we’re at it, let’s hear it for all those Best Friends out there, whether they’re spouses our or not, for making our lives as awesome as they are.
September 19, 2011 at 11:45 am
Not married yet (but been with the soon to be fiance for more than 6 years) but he is not my best friend, so I’m glad to see this post! Sometimes it makes me feel a little inadequate, but my best friend is just….my best friend, and has been for 15 years. Boyfriend is my favorite person, but he’s not my best friend (he IS probably in the top 5 though. At least top 8).
I have nothing to add, just wanted to say you’re not alone. I cracked up at your line –”I admire your efficiency in interpersonal connections”
September 19, 2011 at 11:52 am
Jon is not my best friend. Not even close. And I’m not his. He refers to me as “the most important person in [his] life”, but his best friend is someone else.
I’ve been looked at crosseyed about it, though. I mean, there’s a certian romanticism to “I married my best friend”. But you’re right, our relationships are not diminished without that.
September 19, 2011 at 11:57 am
Since I am in the photo you posted with this article, I am assuming I am your best friend. *NO TAKE-BACKS!*
September 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm
I won’t. You are the best thing about that photo. Like, perfect loving expressions of friendship in the foreground, Ben with a pink parasol in the background. That’s the Muppets, right there.
September 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm
September 28, 2011 at 2:18 pm
That photo is made of magic. We rock.
September 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm
I never know how I feel about this topic.
B says I’m his best friend, and I believe him. He doesn’t have a lot of close friends, male or female, and I know more about him now than his family.
And he is my… very, very good friend? I guess? And our friendship does seem to grow and deepen as the years pass (we’re up to 6+ now). But I don’t know if he’ll ever be my best friend, and I’m fine with that. Best friend(s), to me = my sisters and sometimes my mom. I tell B pretty much everything (possibly too much, since I’d prefer to ALSO keep him in the “lover” category [sorry, hate that word, but can't think of a better one right now], and I think that needs a sense of space and umm, slight mystery, to stay intact), but my sisters and I almost share a brain sometimes. We can just stare at each other and we know what the other one’s thinking. I don’t really want to share a brain w/B (though more and more often, we can guess what the other was about to say, eek). Maybe this is because the idea of marriage–with people finishing each other’s sentences, looking like siblings, matching tracksuits–always freaked me out?
And yet, I wouldn’t NOT want to be friends with B, either. I like that we have so much in common and can talk for a long time on lots of subjects and make each other laugh and enjoy many of the same activities. A friend of mine had a boyfriend with whom she had nothing in common–seriously, nothing, except physical attraction–and that didn’t seem like something I’d want, either.
September 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm
The old draft of this post that I blew the dust off had a long and rambly section about how in some ways my sister is my best friend but I don’t ever call her that because I already call her my sister. So we’re totally on the same page here.
September 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm
I have a group of friends I’ve known for about 10 years who fill that best friend role as a unit. my husband is.. my husband. I think that title holds enough weight by itself. also I just dislike the term Best Friend, but that’s another story.
September 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm
Yes! Me too. I use “best friends” in the collective.
September 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm
Though I won’t be married for a few more months, my signifother is definitely not my best friend. My best friend is my best friend. My signifother tells me quite often that I am his best friend, which is incredibly touching. But, I can’t reciprocate. Thank you so much for posting this, because all the “married besties” make me feel inferior and awkward whenever I encounter them.
September 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm
Ooo a very interesting post.
You are very lucky.
I wish I had the type of friendships you describe. Until then I’ve got my boy. He doesn’t complete me he makes me better.
September 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm
You raise the comparable point that some people have missing-puzzle-piece marriages and some people don’t… one isn’t better than the other, they’re just different kinds of bonds.
September 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm
i love this post. my wife is not my best friend even though i think she wants to be.
sometimes i have to be careful because i tell our dog he’s my best friend in front of her, and then i have to correct myself, and say, “you’re my doggy best friend” so she doesn’t get jealous.
but she means a lot to me. she is one of the most important people in my life. and i love her, truly, madly, deeply. but sometimes i don’t want to share every little gossipy/shallow/analyzing detail with her… my best friend from 6th grade until now would appreciate that stuff so much more. and that’s ok. it’s ok to have a difference
September 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm
I get jealous of Collin’s affection for his cats all the time.
September 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm
I married my best friend! I’m okay if it’s one-sided!
September 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm
September 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm
Are you sure I am your best friend? I don’t even respond to every comment you leave on my blog.
September 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm
C is my best friend, and I feel really horrible and anti-feminist girl-power about it. None of my other boyfriends were my best friends, and my best girl friends are about .001% behind him in the best friend race, but I am sadly one of THOSE people. I didn’t think it would be this way, but it is. He is the only one I can tell really evil things to, and he is the only person I trust to love me knowing ALL the horrible things about me. I never feel judged by anyone but myself, but I also don’t advertise this best-friendship and would never buy any WIC stuff that has that on it (no offense, obviously, for those who DO). Just not my thing – I grew up in the era of Spice Girls, Bridget Jones and her family of friends, and Sex and the City, so not having my best college friend be my best friend feels wrong and evil to me.
Whew! Feel a bit better after admitting it!
September 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm
So interesting! I didn’t even consider the feminism angle, which is weird for me. But I don’t think you need to feel guilty. Feel happy you have such a great relationship!
September 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm
I’m a best friender, but I understand that my situation is a tad different from other people’s situations. Tony was my best friend when I was 14. When the falling-in-love part coincides with the growing-up part, maybe it’s a little different?
Don’t get me wrong. He’s not my be-all and end-all, only-friend-I’ll-ever-need because nobody can ever be that. I have friend needs that he simply can’t satisfy. He’s not the one I want to cry and rant over cake with. Frankly, he stinks at that because he is always trying to solve my problem instead of just, you know, listening, commiserating, and feeding me cake. He’s not the one I want to be with when I want to watch a period film or a rom-com, either. He will grouse and poke fun and generally make the watching of the drivel No Fun. I don’t like shopping for clothes with him, either. He can suck the fun out of that in less than 20 minutes. This is why, although he’s my love and my best friend, he’s not my only friend. He’s not even always my favorite person. I have kids, and family, and friends I adore.
But I don’t even question that he is my best friend. I think it’s all about how we define “friend,” “best friend,” and “husband.” To me, they don’t have to be separate categories, and I don’t feel the need to have only one “best friend” even though the name certainly suggests it. I simply have “great friends,” and he is the prince among them — the one I loved so well that we are making it very hard to break up. But I still need and want other people in my life. If that makes sense.
September 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm
Excellent comment all-around, but “making it very hard to break up” is maybe the best term for marriage I’ve heard in a while.
September 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm
Josh is my best friend- and that’s only continued to deepen (I thought maybe it would go away).
We were friends before we dated (in fact, I insisted we never WOULD date). But we have the exact same sense of humor- to the point of saying the same thing at the same time several times the day we met. (to which I said, “You’re not allowed to do that. You don’t know me.”)
And then one day it hit me. Best friendship and all it entails + hotness + like-minded life goals. NO EFFING WAY.
As we’ve gotten older, different life circumstances have caused my other best-friend-ships to wax and wane. People move. One group of my friends is still single and childless, and I’m the oddball for having a husband and kid. Another group of friends is on their 4th kid, and everything I’m going through is old-hat. Josh is the only one who can totally relate to where I am.
September 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm
The shifting lives thing you describe here is what I suspect will make Collin more and more my best friend over time.
September 20, 2011 at 9:19 am
Liz your comment hits 100% home for me. Especially the friends first, and friends in different life phases part. (Also to the insisting we would never date, funny to look back on now isn’t it?). Glad I’m not alone.
September 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm
I’m not going to be marrying my best friend either, and thank you for posting this because seeing it everywhere (today’s APW!) has bugged me too. He’s my partner and part of my family, but not really “best-friend”. Though, I adopted my best friends into my family too (as the sisters I never got naturally), and don’t really think of them as best friends either. Now I am best-friend-less, but my family is huge.
September 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm
I find it fascinating that so many people feel defensive about this issue. The thing I find most interesting is that I keep reading comments from people saying that they feel pressure to either say that their spouse is their Best Friend or to deny it, which leads me to believe that there is in fact no actual external pressure to declare any particular position, and any pressure we are feeling is of our own making.
P.S. I am continually bemused and happy for you that you have found someone (nay, an entire family) who loves you so enthusiastically.
September 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm
If there is anything to be learned from wedding/family blogs, it is that bitches be defensive.
September 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm
I, too, am fascinated by people’s strong reactions (either one way or the other) to this. If anything, it’s interesting to see how people define friends.
September 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm
I never had time to be friends with my husband. We met and then started dating about 0.00015 seconds later. In fact, I’ve known him just as long as several of my close friends (i.e., since the beginning of college). I don’t think I would call him my best friend. Now that we’re married he’s family.
September 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm
I love that – that’s how I feel too! Luckily, I like and love my family (all of it, even the crazy bits) so saying he’s family works. He’s my husband, but he’s definitely not my best friend. At the same time, kudos to those whose partners are their best friends. To each their own!
September 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm
In a little over a year I plan to marry ONE of my best friends. I love Tony, and I trust him, which is why for certain things–he’s my best friend. I can go to him to vent when I *do* want some type of help or solution. But, I have another best friend (who will be my man-of-honor) who I can bs with, and get into long 6 hour philosophical debates with. I absolutely love that and I would not be the person I am today without him. Either of them. I also have fantastic girl-best friends who are awesome at doing the girly things. I think, in life, you have many best friends. Each of them has areas in which they strive, and in which they falter. Finding a group of friends who compliment each other (even if they don’t know each other) and you (with all of your good areas and faults!) is the ultimate success.
TL;DR: Tony is *A* best friend. He fills certain needs for me that my other best friends don’t and could never fill. He’ll never be the only best friend and he’ll never be THE best friend. It’s important to have a group of best friends who each bring different weaknesses and abilities to the table.
September 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm
This is interesting. I think a lot of times “best friend,” when used in reference to a romantic relationship, gets interpreted as “be all and end all.” Everything you could ever want wrapped up in one person, one package. And that sentiment feels wrong to me, not least because it never seems like a wise decision to put all your eggs in one basket.
The thing is, though, my best friends DON’T get every joke I make. All of them are different, and my relationship with each one is unique. They’re like little splinters of awesomeness that, when taken collectively, add up to one whole 2×4 of best friendship. And my husband fulfills some of those splinters, sure, but not all of them. And I like that. I like that I go different places to get different things. But I’ve also noticed that, over time, my husband is slowly, increasingly, assuming the role of “main” best friend. I keep opening up to him, tiny bit by tiny bit, and I keep sharing more and more things with him. There are things I’d tell him now that I wouldn’t tell anyone else. Then again, there are still things I’d tell other people that I wouldn’t tell him. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
September 19, 2011 at 3:30 pm
lyn, you just answered for me why i cringe when getting into this discussion. i could never put my finger on it. josh IS my best friend. but he certainly isn’t my EVERYTHING.
September 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm
I like your 2×4 metaphor. I don’t actually have a “best friend” in a semantically correct way. I have a bunch of people who are my “best friends,” as a group. And I could say a lot more on that topic but I’m going to skirt it for now.
September 19, 2011 at 3:17 pm
I’m engaged with my partner and all though she means a great deal to me I wouldn’t label her as my best friend.I often say that we are two puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly. I mean that in the exact way it describes. We fit all our differences and similarities create a wonderful compatibility and closeness I have never felt before but not what I would feel for a best friend. When I think of a best friend I think of lock and key. A person who you can confide anything to without judgement and without consequence. I could never imagine telling my partner things I would tell a best friend period. And to be honest I like the idea of something to soley to myself after the union of marriage.
September 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm
I have to be honest: the “I didn’t marry my best friend” camp always feels a bit like “I have a spouse AND a best friend! Look how fabulous and enriched my life is.” I know it’s not how people mean it, but it seems like people get so defensive about these things (calling it WIC crap, for example) that they can’t state their views without being derogatory towards those with different ones.
For the record, I’m not married, but my partner of 5 years is the closest person in my life. Perhaps it’s because I’ve moved so much, perhaps it’s because the nature of my family life and career is unstable… perhaps it’s just because I develop relatively few close friendships/relationships in general. But there it is.
September 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm
I think it’s more of a reaction toward an overused phrase (today I marry my best friend) that is often a tagalong to all things wedding.
“Today I marry my best friend” seems to come as part of the wedding package, for some reason. You hear it all over the place, or at least I did. Lots of people don’t feel that way, and have the right to say loudly and clearly “don’t tell me who I’m marrying, thanks.”
I wouldn’t call it WIC crap, but I would call it presumptuous. But I think anything stating that phrase is probably outside the realm of what I’m into purchasing/using, wedding wise, anyway.
September 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm
But for me, it’s not just a phrase on some WIC items that some people might find cheesy or tacky. The moment that Stephen told me he wanted to be with me forever because I was his best friend was not part of a proposal (we never really had one) but it was profoundly important to me as an unexpected milestone in our relationship. And I do think the way this post was phrased was a little condescending to people who genuinely feel that way. We both have numerous “best” friends and active social lives. We are one of the least codependent couples I know. But we are best friends and we don’t think that just because the WIC told us that’s the way we should feel.
September 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm
Just to clarify, I don’t think the sentiment is crap, I think the crap (read: disposable wedding stuff) is WIC crap.
September 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm
I know! I just can’t form coherent thoughts today. I guess I always thought people were full of crap when they said it, until it happened to me. Now I feel like people will do the same “oh yeah right!” thing to me, so I don’t ever talk about that part of our relationship. Bitches be defensive, etc.
September 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm
Yes, this! I am not married but I’ve been in a committed relationship for almost three years and do consider myself to to be pre-engaged (to steal from APW). When I get married, I will not be marrying my best friend. At all. Not even in the top five, just as you said. I love him very much, I can’t imagine being with anyone else, but he is something other than my best friend.
I guess in my mind the difference is that I consider best friends an escape route in some ways. I don’t have to deal with bad stuff with them. Don’t get me wrong, my relationships with my many close and best friends have all shifted, changed, had growing pains, and upset me at one time or another, but in general, I don’t have to deal with petty, annoying things with them. We laugh at inside jokes, we do “weird things and weird traditions” (a quote from boyfriend/partner today), and generally are our happiest, silliest selves around each other.
With my boyfriend/partner, I do and more importantly, I have chosen to do fun stuff with him but also really annoying things. He is someone who sees me at my worst when I’m being a brat, when I don’t want to deal with finances, when I’m selfish, when I get moody from cleaning and at the end of the day still support and loves me. I know my friends will always support/love me as well, but I don’t really want to dump my financial worries on their plates.
I guess the main reason why boyfriend/partner is not my best friend is because his role is harder and not as much fun all the time. On the other hand, the support we give each other is unconditional, constant, and most of the time pretty freakin’ fun.
September 19, 2011 at 3:45 pm
Hmm….count me in the camp as confused. My BF has, on numerous occassions referred to me as his best friend and I think he might be a little offended if I didn’t agree. BUT he also recognizes the importance of and appreciates the role my close, intimate girlfriends play (when you go to a single-sex high school you end up with a lot of girlfriends). He would rather drink gasoline than go to a Nordstrom fashion show but my buddy Sparky is there in a heartbeat. He only keeps up on the game highlights of our friends’ dating sagas but I love hashing out a good date or text messsage. Alternatively, I glaze over after 15 minutes of SABR metrics.
I think there is a healthy recognition in the comments that we all need a variety of outlets, engagements and support. Yay for fulfilling adult relationships.
September 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm
This is unrelated to the topic. I just wanted to high five another Liz who went to a single sex high school.
September 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm
It is really interesting for me to read this (and charming to be pictured above). As a best friend of the bride, I got really emotional at your wedding. Obviously, I was over the moon with being happy FOR you both and everything was so lovely so that made me choke up, but I also felt a little lonely because of how close we’ve been for so many years, and worrying (unnecessarily) that somehow that time was now finished.
What actually made me let go of that anxiety of loss was talking to Collin for awhile. I felt like he and I aren’t clearly don’t know one another as well as you and I do, but we were both talking about being excited about getting closer over the years. Also, having him tell me that he knows how close we are and how it makes him happy for you that we’re biffles finally knocked the sense back into me (over any lingering protest of the whisky-weeps).
I’ve never been the kind of person who only has one best friend. Which is not to say that people who do have it better or worse, just different. For me, the idea of marrying not my best friend is kind of comforting because it doesn’t threaten all the best friends I feel lucky enough to have already – like you, Mitcho.
September 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm
Regina, I love you, and you are a most fantastic best friend. ALSO LET’S DRUNK SKYPE SOMETIME SOON. Fie, time zones!
September 19, 2011 at 3:58 pm
Yeah, I like to say he’s my Favorite, but not my best friend.
September 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm
I will next year marry the person who is the closest thing to a best friend I have in my current location. We moved for school, and the two people I would consider my best friends (my sister and a girlfriend) are in a different state. I definitely have more face time with my fiance than my two best ladies, so in that way we are closer. Overall I think he considers me his best friend though.
I just have to say that this very much reminds me of people promising to love each other forever. I just don’t get that. I would really like to make it through life without divorce, but obviously people stop loving each other or feeling compatible all the time. And maybe I feel that if I were to say that in wedding vows I would be like jinxing myself and causing myself to almost be lying (for my future self)…and I’m such a bad lier. Just a wedding type thing that grates me.
September 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm
I tell Dave that he’s my favorite, but that I have many favorites.
I also feel like he’s my best friend in some ways (he’s certainly the friend I spend the most time with) but not in other ways.
Mostly I just think the “best friend” label is one that doesn’t really make sense past third grade, though I admit I still use it because it’s convenient.
I do agree though with people who think that “best friend” has gotten wrapped up in “my everything.” Dave doesn’t fulfill all my needs. Not even close. I still need my “best friends.”
BUT, Dave does like to gossip with me. He does like to make silly jokes with me. He does like to go on fun adventures with me. And he likes to watch So You Think You Can Dance with me. To me, those are all hallmarks of my best friends.
So, in sum, Dave is my best friend, but I insist upon having multiple best friends.
September 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm
So many of us (including me) say “best friend” to refer to multiple people. I feel like we maybe need a new, grammatically correct term.
September 19, 2011 at 6:51 pm
I believe the term you are looking for is “biffles.” You’re welcome.
September 19, 2011 at 7:09 pm
Well. This is a doozy, huh?
I think it partly depends on how you define “best friend.” No one has ever REALLY known me the way Joe does. Sure, I don’t have the same kind of fun with him that I do with my girlfriends, but he and I have our own kind of fun together. I think the clincher is that there are sides of me that my girlfriends will probably never see, but I wouldn’t say the same applies to Joe. He has seen every side of me. The beautiful, smart, awesome sides — and the ugly, petty, sometimes hairy sides (ok, OFTEN hairy). That, to me, is what makes him my best friend. And it just so happens that I married him!
I should mention, though, that I kind of hate the term “best friend” to begin with. I get what it means, but I guess I just feel like it has taken on its own life as a cliché. Maybe I’m just jaded because an acquaintance of mine uses it to mean “the person about whom I am most excited at this moment.” She changes best friends like I change shoes. And if you know me, well…
September 20, 2011 at 7:47 pm
I feel the same about the ‘best friend’ seeing all sides, thing. I mean, that’s in some ways the best definition of loyalty…which is a critical factor in both marriage and best friendom. And even if you don’t like the term ‘best friend’ …in the singular…I think the few ladies or guys who stick around close to you, til the end, are who will feel like your best friends. Joe will just be at the top of that list.
(people who change “best friends” a whole lot as an adult–bizarre)
September 20, 2011 at 8:19 pm
Well, this person uses it as bragging rights from what I can tell. So like, if you did something notable this week, she’d call you her best friend when talking to others about it. But it could be someone else next week. Weird for sure.
September 20, 2011 at 7:54 am
My two best friends and I live in three corners of the county (Boston, Seattle, Florida), so we rarely get to see each other; the three of us together at the same time is a miraculous thing. I see my partner every single day, since we live together. So he is definitely my closest friend here. But not my best friend. The truth is, even though he is good at giving emotional support, he is not great at listening to my stream-of-consciousness thinking out loud, which is the way I tend to process things. So, sometimes, I’ll go to a friend first and then talk to him when my thoughts are more coherent.
I will say, whenever I do get to see my best friends, I realize how important it is to spend time with other people outside of the relationship (I don’t have many friends locally). I feel like waaaay more of a whole person. Even if my partner were to be my best friend at some point, he would never be the end-all-be-all for me. No matter how well he knows me, there’s something to be said for bonding with someone during your formative years. Because of that, I think my best friends know a side of me that he’ll never quite understand. Which is ok with all of us.
September 20, 2011 at 8:44 am
I’m a fan of this post. I don’t take offense to those who have the best friend husband, and Carson certainly is a very dear part of my life, but he’s not my best friend. I want to bang him.
September 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm
I love how intense our reactions are to this! I started typing out my comment, but apparently I am passionate about this subject, so I had to write my own post haha
September 20, 2011 at 7:40 pm
I have so much to say on this topic/entry because as you know (since I too, am in that picture up there) I am all about friendships. And love. I wish I were *nearly* as much about ‘career’ as I am about friendships or love, because I’d be CEO of something or other by now, fo sho.
I guess in the interest of staying as specifically tied to this blog entry as I can, I will say that I am in a serious relationship right now with someone who was a friend for years. It was the first time I’d ever done that. I TRIED to do that for years, starting in high school. In fact, I’d say my timeline sort of goes like this. Yes, I’m going to try to do a timeline.
[abby wants to date "a friend"/non-friends want to date abby/abby doesn't date] –> [abby wants to date "a friend"/no one is interested in abby/abby doesn't date] –> [abby wants to date a non-friend or anyone really / non-friends want to date abby / ABBY DATES!] –> [abby dates non-friends consistently] –> [abby is single & sad] –> [abby is single & ready to date/"friends" want to date Abby/Abby Dates! Friends]
Out of that last newly single time when I was generally wanted by the opposite sex, the way I wasn’t really, for whatever reason, for most of college [high five Robin!] I found some friends in my various social spheres, or friendly acquaintances, catching my eye. Maybe it was because I had BECOME very, very close friends with my previous serious relationship, like you do. (hopefully anyway) The thought of going back to a relationship, when I didn’t already have great feelings of LIKE –I like you, I like hanging out with you, etc –was so depressing to me. I mean, I’d hook up with those guys, perhaps sure. But that’s as far as it got. I had had the close friendship and love; I wasn’t really able to go backward and settle for one.
Biggest challenge of going from friendship TO dating? Not feeling terribly self-conscious or just, fucking silly when trying to be SEXY. And I really, really like being sexy. During intimate times, I think you should feel open and comfortable and empowered. At first with a ‘friend’ you feel, weird and stupid and letsjustgobacktohangingout.
I think at some point in a serious relationship with me, you become my “best friend”. Mainly because of the whole “he sees every side of me” thing a lot of ladies have mentioned. As much as I have been sad or weird or nuts or angry around my best friends, I haven’t been batshit Abby in front of anyone besides my mom and the sig other.
I think of him as my best friend, I’ve called him that (which again, comes super a lot quicker when you’ve been FRIENDS for YEARS) …but I would never refer to him to others as that, because it’s a different category in my brain.
Really, as I imagined it would, this comment makes me feel very lucky and very grateful…to have 3 incredible women like the ones pictured above to accompany me and help me through life in various, complimentary, and irreplaceable ways. And to have a totally different kind of best friend. Who just happens to be behind the camera, knowing how important it was to his ‘best friend’ to have a picture with her ‘best friends.’
September 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm
I’m on the other side of the fence. I do consider my husband my best friend (but after reading Nikki’s post at Ridiculously Ever After, I think I should come up with a better title for him, like her ‘best-ever roommate’). But, I am going to borrow your line and tell people they should admire my efficiency in interpersonal connections, because that made me laugh really hard.
September 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm
Amazing! Loved this post – I too feel the same way about that quote. I have never ever been one to say “I married my best friend” My best friends like watching bad reality television and talking for hours with me about it…my best friends love trying out new food and going out to sushi dinner with me, My best friends and I meet up at the gym and compare our work-out notes. Chris-does not fit the bill on any of these…but he fills a TON of other voids and likes that my friends do not…and that’s ok.
thanks for putting into words something I’ve felt for a long time..but never really thought too much about.
September 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm
My husband is definitely one of my best friends for sure. He definitely did not start out that way, I think I realized it just this year (we’ve been together for 5 years, married in June). Just like my female best friends, it did take time. But he has become to me someone I tell everything to, and someone I can trust to give me great advice, support me when I’m down and boost me when I’m up. That’s my definition of a best friend. So yes, my husband is that to me, even though we don’t make cupcakes drunk and laugh until we almost puke (hello, best female friend).
But your mileage may vary! Maybe in time Colin will rank among your best friends. Or maybe he won’t. It depends on how you define Best Friendship, how long you’ve been together, and probably a million other factors. You love him, though, and that’s what matters.
September 30, 2011 at 10:04 pm
Robin, I totally agree with everything you wrote. Well said, indeed. After we got engaged and I started diving into wedding blogs/mags/etc., I noticed how pervasive the marrying of the best friend was and for a very brief moment I thought, why isn’t Jon my best friend? Is he? That didn’t last long though — the fact is that he’s a friend-classification unto himself.
I too have a group of best friends I often refer to collectively, most of whom I’ve been friends with since I was 5 or 11 or 13, and Jon is not among them. On the surface one might say this is just a result of how I unconsciously group my friends by context — oldest friends = best friends? — but the reality of it is that my best friends and I operate on a different level than Jon and I do. My best friends from jr high/high school and I share what we like to call the Universal Mind, which sounds sorta creepy but really just means that we understand and know each other ridiculously well and basically share the same brain. (Or maybe we’ve all watched the same dumb movies too many times…) We’ve been through happy times and awful tragedies together, and we all know that the gang will always be there for love and support and laughter anything else we might need.
Of course, a husband will be there for love and support and all that too… it’s just a different relationship. I should probably work out how to express that, but I think you’ve done an excellent job here. And yeah, I reckon Jon and I will become more like best friends through the years. He’s just gotta pay his dues first.
May 27, 2012 at 8:03 pm
Are all your best friend girls though? All my best friends are guys do it’s a little tricky for me and I love them all with all my heart and can seriously see me being with and be faithful to any one of them. But I can also see that with someone else too. I’m just a really lovey person So is it okay to be married and have best friends of the opposite sex? Btw I’m not married I’m only 18. Just curious
October 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm
I was hemorrhaging insecurities, had higher hormone levels than a Tour de France winner, and was clueless.
May 22, 2013 at 10:32 pm
I wish I had married my best friend. I didn’t want to when we could have, preferring to remain friends to not damage our relationship. Instead now I am married to somebody who won’t even let me speak to him. I miss him more every day that we’re not together. I feel like a bad wife.
July 14, 2013 at 11:02 pm
I love this article! I feel the same way too, I never had a bestfriend.