I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard or read the cliche about how lucky a woman feels to be dating or marrying “her best friend.” It’s a nice thought for your significant other to also be your closest friend, and it seems like people think that’s the dream. I beg to differ. A boyfriend and a best friend are two different things and I’d prefer to have one of each. Here’s why:
I already have a best friend. I’ve known her for over 20 years, we’ve lived together for almost six, and we’re still going strong. My boyfriend has a long way to go before he reaches best friend status with that kind of competition. Not to mention, even if he and I are together forever, he’ll still never have the unique pleasure of having known me when I was nine years old and in love with Brian from the Backstreet Boys.
What if we break up? It’s bad enough going through a breakup. If I lost my boyfriend and my best friend in one go, that would be a whole lot worse. I’d much rather spend time making sure my friendships are still solid because my friends will be around regardless of my relationship status. They deserve some love too.
I spend enough time with him as it is. We talk every day and see each other a few times a week right now, but if we end up moving in together (and it’s on the horizon), we’ll be seeing plenty of each other. If he were my best friend, I’d end up doing everything with him, and I have no desire for that to happen.
Who will I complain to about him? If he’s my best friend, who’s going to listen to me when I need to vent about how infuriating he’s being? He’ll listen when I’ve had a bad day or just need to get something off my chest, but sometimes what I need to talk about is him —that’s where the best friend is key.
I need more variety than that. There are certain things I talk about with my boyfriend that tend to be part of recurring themes. Sometimes it’s nice to have conversations that aren’t expected. I like being able to talk about a new book I’m reading or a great new mascara I just bought. He doesn’t exactly care about those things, but my best friend definitely does.
We have a lot of different interests. He likes hockey, I like reading true crime. He likes playing video games, I like writing short stories. He’d eat burgers and pizza every night if he could. I could probably live on Mexican and Indian food. Basically, we don’t have enough in common to be best friends. Somehow it still works.
He isn’t my entire social life. If he’s busy one night, that doesn’t mean I’ll automatically be stuck at home watching Netflix alone (unless that’s what I want to do). I have plenty of friends to meet for brunch, go for drinks and see the latest cheesy romantic comedy with. I don’t need him to entertain me or be available every time I want to do something fun because I have a best friend for that.
That’s just not the kind of relationship I want. Everyone’s ideal relationship looks different. Some people want to spend all their waking hours with their one and only, but that’s never been part of my plan. I want to be comfortable enough with someone that we can have separate interests and friends. Just because we don’t do everything together doesn’t mean we aren’t just as happy as the couples that do.
“Best friend” is a lot of pressure. There are already enough expectations attached to being a boyfriend as it is. Add the expectations of being a best friend to that, and it could be too much for a relationship to handle. Relying on him to be absolutely everything to me is a recipe for disaster.
I don’t want to be his best friend either. If I have friend groups and close relationships apart from him, then I definitely want him to have the same. I couldn’t date a guy who expected me to be his be-all-end-all in every situation. A guy who is capable of solid years-long friendships is the kind of guy I want to be with because it means people trust him and want to be around him. Sounds like the perfect guy to me.