Is your romantic partner your "best friend"?

Hi guys! I haven’t begun a lot of threads, my last big one being a “will he ever marry me” thread. I’m happy to report, as a follow up, that I dropped the topic, let him marinate, and was rewarded with an impromptu, “maybe it IS about time to get married” talk while holding hands in the park. Thanks to everyone who counselled me correctly!

So, after reading this BS article in the Atlantic about how marriage is an outdated institution (but, and I’m sure you’ll agree, the author isn’t exactly someone I’d want to be married to myself), I began thinking about roles.

Specifically, I’ve been noodling on “best friend” vs. “boyfriend” vs. “husband”, and the different behaviors and assumptions that come with those labels. My boyfriend is clearly my best friend, currently, but in the past, my boyfriends and best friends have always been separate. I’m not sure if this is because I’m living in a new city with none of my long-time girlfriends close by, or whether your social compass points more to family than friends as you get older.

So my question is, SDMB, do you think of your romantic partner as your best friend? Has this always been the case? I’m wondering if this breaks down by age and gender lines. My wild-ass assumption is going to be that older men are more likely to classify their female partners as their best friends, whereas most women are more likely to put a close girlfriend into that status.

Married 20 years next month and my wife has been my bestie for more than 22 years. Not always been an easy set up but she definitely is. Wouldn’t have it any other way

No. None of them are.

While I only have one romantic partner right now and only ever have one at a time, this is still true.

My girlfriend might know about me and my day-to-life than my true best friend, but that’s only because he lives 300+ miles away and it’s more difficult for me to fill him in on what I’m up to.

Yes, my husband and I are best friends.

Yes, of course he is my best friend. No one else in my life even comes close.

Yes. Maybe I have more shared interests with some guys, but she is partially because of the amount of time we spend together, and I’m ok with that happening.

Yes she is and I wouldn’t ever marry anyone who wasn’t. I wouldn’t marry anyone other than her, but that’s another story. And I am looking forward to just that. I’m also a (relatively) young man in my late-ish 20s.

However, marriage most definitely is an outdated and often silly institution that causes more harm than good. But there are meanings associated with it, legal and symbolic, that are still very much important. That does not mean everyone should be getting married, though.

No. I am closer to Husband than anyone else, and vice versa - however, the relationship is romantic, which is deeper than friendship.

A friend, or best friend, is someone you aren’t romantically involved with.

A friend with benefits is someone you’re sleeping with, but aren’t romantically involved with.

If you’re sleeping with them and in love with them, the relationship has by definition moved beyond friendship. To call it that, IMO, is to cheapen it.

My wife is my best friend, although logically I would have to admit that proximity and the amount of time we spend together are part of the equation. If I lived with someone else and I only saw/talked to my wife once a year, things might well be different.

I couldn’t imagine being married to someone I didn’t want to hang out with, so my wife is my best bud. A few guys I know have best friends who aren’t their spouses and they always give me a vague creepy feeling, like they are trying to get away with, or from, something. Probably just me, I usually have just one bestest friend at a time.


More balony, and totally incorrect.

Friendship and love can be seperate things. There is nothing “cheapening” about friendship. You don’t move beyond friendship, you add a new layer to it.

I love my parents, I am not best friends with my parents. I loved my grandparents, but we were not enough alike to really be friends.

I know couples that love each other, but don’t seem to be good friends.

My SO and I are best friends AND we are in love. Friendship is wanting to go to a movie or a concert together. Love is wanting to plan a future together. Both are good, and for me, both are necessary in an SO relationship.

Tastes of Chocolate, that was very well said, and what I have been trying to figure out how to say because I had the same reaction to that post.

Well put!!

We were best friends in a totally platonic sense before we fell in love. I still think of him as the person who understands me best and who I trust the most, so I would definitely consider him my best friend still. I think that being such good friends has definitely helped our relationship survive.

Actually, the best way I can answer this is to say that he started out not as a guy I was dating, but as my best friend in college. (My girl best friend and I decided in high school that you can have one girl best friend and one guy best friend, so no problem there.)

After a period of incredibly close friendship, we began to develop feelings for one another. There was a time when I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to take the relationship to the romance level. But then I thought about the future… that we would graduate college, and he would find a girlfriend and maybe settle down and get married, and we would never retain that closeness. And the idea of not continuing to be as close as we were was maddening, as was the idea that he would be close to some other woman. And that is pretty much how I knew I had romantic feelings toward him- because it was the only way I could REALLY hang onto him.

We are very attracted to one another, great chemistry. But our friendship always comes first. This is the man I can stay up until 3am talking about the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles with. This is the situation where we totally blow by our exits in traffic because we’re so engrossed in conversation. Saturday morning cartoons, board games, walks around the neighborhood, movies, music, whatever we heard on NPR that day, how we feel about life the universe and everything… he’s always there. Hell, we even have fun working on the budget together. Whenever we’re going through some shit time, I say, ‘‘I would rather have this terrible day with you than a wonderful day with anyone else.’’ And I mean that.

My husband is my best friend, most definitely. I miss him terribly when he’s not around, and we can talk about anything.

Yes, absolutely. I didn’t enter into marriage assuming (or even thinking) this would be the case, but that’s how it’s turned out, and it’s great. (I could imagine it would be fine, too, if someone else happened to be my BF).

Yes, my husband is my best friend and the truest friend I’ve ever had.

My ex was my best friend while we were dating (three years) and still a good friend. When we broke up it was definitely the friendship I missed the most, and I’m incredibly grateful that it could be salvaged. My “best” friend is now my best girlfriend, but I’d expect that to change if I got into another serious relationship.

I’ve only ever dated close friends, and the one relationship that didn’t work out was the most contentious of the friendships. I figure there has to be something to that.

Of course my husband is my best friend. I love and trust and want to be with him, so that means that we need to have a lot of interests in common, and so we do. We also have a good personality mesh - we just GO well together.

On the other hand, I am a total introvert, so I have a very small circle of extremely close friends. I have a “best” girl friend who I’ve been bests with since we were seven, and two “best” guy friends, one of whom was my first boyfriend ever - we’re still very close even though that relationship failed.

So my husband doesn’t end up being the “one person in my life who can complete me/understand me/gets to hear me bitch and moan/have to deal with all my issues” because I have other “best” friends that I can share that load around to.
I think that’s really important. I also think it’s important that he has some things that he does that I don’t particularly care about participating in, and so do I - it gives us something to talk about other than work. :smiley: