Some people are lucky to have both a partner and a best friend. But can they be the same person? And should they be?
According to research cited by Verywellmind1,
Friendships are just as important to your well-being as eating right and exercising
Friendships can impact your well-being on a day to day basis. Having a best friend can provide you with encouragement to better yourself and provide you with support when you’re down. On the contrary, if you fall out with your best friend, it will have a negative impact on your emotional well-being.
How Important Are Friendships In Relationships?
According to Research by Monmouth University Polling Institute cited by Psychology Today2, when asked “Do you consider your partner to be your best friend or do you call somebody else your best friend?”,
The poll suggested that younger people tended not to have relationships who are best friends, whereas older and also married couples tended to consider their partners as best friends.
As we get older, our priorities in a relationship change and it’s more about companionship rather than just love or desire that younger people may have.
What Defines A Best Friend?
According to Life Hack3, a best friend has the following 15 traits. A best friend:
- Listens to you.
- Always has your back.
- Accepts you at your worst.
- Loves you.
- Can talk about personal things.
- Knows how to make you smile.
- Gives an honest opinion.
- Sticks by your side.
- Helps you even when he or she doesn’t agree.
- Encourages you.
- Knows your secrets.
- Traverses time and space.
- Is dependable.
- Never judges you.
- Celebrates your success.
But when it comes to your partner, should they need to have the above traits? Do you need to be best friends or should you just remain lovers?
Why It Can Be Great For Your Partner To Have Best Friend Traits
- You can speak your mind.
You can talk about personal things, from your daily bowel movements to revealing your deepest darkest secrets. When you have something that you’re unhappy about, you talk it through. Being a best friend usually makes for good communication, which is important in a relationship and allows you to openly resolve conflicts as well as find out more about each other.
- You grow together.
You both encourage each other to do better and be successful. You are both also moving towards similar couple goals, which makes expectations in your relationship clear. But however much you grow, you’ll still be the same people who fell in love with each other in the first place. Even if reuniting after a long distance relationship, you will very soon go back to how it was before.
- You can rely on each other.
No matter how you’re feeling, you will still be there for each other. Being supportive, reliable and without judgement. You’re protective of each other and don’t allow others to speak badly of your other half. It’s lovely in a relationship when your partner stands up for you even when you’re in the wrong.
- You have fun together.
Nothing can beat time you spend together. You have private jokes, you make each other laugh, smile and you can be silly together. If you can have fun as best friends, then every day, every hour, every minute spent together will feel great and you’ll never get bored of each other’s company. When your relationship gets serious and you start to live together, this will make life so much easier.
Why Best Friend Traits In A Partner May Not Matter
- You have set your boundaries.
If you don’t want to talk about personal things you don’t have to. As long as you’re on the same page. Another example is in an open relationship where you are able to see other people whilst being together. Although this doesn’t seem like a best friend trait, as long as you both know where you stand, this can work in a relationship.
- You tell white lies so you aren’t completely honest with each other.
White lies are sometimes told in relationships so as not to make their partner unhappy. Common scenarios relate to ‘how do I look in this outfit?’ or ‘how was my cooking?’. This can be good so as not to create unnecessary arguments or could even provide your other half with some encouragement rather than blunt criticism.
- You give each other space.
A healthy relationship may mean providing each other with time away from each other. This could mean spending time with friends and family or on an individual hobby. This may also mean you miss each other more, which could actually positively impact a relationship.
Does Your Partner Have To Be Your Best Friend?
There is no right or wrong answer to this. It depends on which stage of your life you’re in and what you expect in a relationship.
Before you go deep into a relationship, whilst being open minded, it’s also important to know what you want out of the relationship. What can you compromise? What must you have in a relationship?
If having a best friend as a partner is important to you then see how you can break the ‘lover’ boundary and grow your friendship with your other half. Once you’ve become set into a routine it could be too late to change the vibe of the relationship later on.
It’s also likely that your relationship is already one based on a best friend-ship without you even realising. Have a look at the 15 traits above and see if in fact you are in a relationship with your best friend.
For me, I’d never really looked for a ‘best friend’ relationship, but now that I have it, I couldn’t imagine anything different. It’s something that I’ve wanted but never expected in a partner. I do feel lucky to have been able to find a best friend and partner, but I don’t think it is a be all and end all of a relationship.
At the end of the day, do what works for you.
Here Are 10 Best Friend GIFs To Celebrate Your Best Friend
Happy National Best Friend Day!
- 1 Verywellmind 6 Reasons Why Friends Are Important
- 2 Psychology Today Should My Partner Be My Best Friend?
- 3 Lifehack 15 Traits Of A High-Quality Best Friend
- Image 1 by Joshua J. CottenHire on Unsplash
- Image 2 by Duong Chung on Unsplash
- Image 3 by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
- Image 4 by Adam Whitlock on Unsplash
- Image 5 by James Wainscoat on Unsplash
- Image 6 by Braydon Anderson on Unsplash
- Image 7 by Customer Box on Unsplash
- Featured Image: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash