This is quite a touchy subject for me. As you may or may not have seen, #15 on my Things to do Before I Die list is to find a best friend who will last forever. I’ve had many best friends in my life, pretty much because I’ve moved so much. But those are stories for another time (for my memoir, to be exact). Long story short, and without going into details, I haven’t had a best friend in eight years.
But we’ll get back to that.
A little over a month ago, I was watching The Talk, and they brought up the topic of best friends. I don’t remember the exact citation, but there apparently was a study or some important guy who posited that adults didn’t need best friends anymore because their partners should serve the function that a best friend does.
Some of the panel agreed, some didn’t.
My take? Well, obviously, because I put it on my bucket list, I still think having a best friend is important. Don’t get me wrong; I do consider my husband as my best friend in many ways. He knows everything about me, we have inside jokes, and we spend the majority of our free time with each other. He provides me with many important best friend-like duties. I’ve laughed and cried with him and we’ve discussed things that bother us. It’s a greatly symbiotic relationship. For all intents and purposes, he is a best friend to me.
But there is still a hole in my life that a best friend should fill. Gruffy doesn’t like to talk for hours on end; all my best friends did. And I can’t necessarily talk about my husband TO my husband. That’s just weird. I need someone to do girly things with, to talk about fashion with, and to discuss reality TV with. I want to go out dressed to the nines for no good reason at all except to look good karaokeing. Someone to do crafts with. That’s definitely not my husband’s job, and there’s no way I would force him to make that his job. I do respect him, after all. 😉
I’ve gotten the whole speech from hubby where he says, “Well, if it hurts you so much that you don’t have a best friend, why don’t you just work harder with the friends you have to turn them into your best friend? Or go out there and find someone new to be your best friend.”
This poses several problems, though, and I’ve mentioned them to him. For one, most of my friends already have a best friend. Sure, one can have more than one best friend, but I’m not gonna be all, “Hey, can I be your best friend, too?” That’s just tacky. And awkward. And I have more respect for myself than that. For another, I view having a best friend much like finding a boyfriend or girlfriend. Not just anyone who wanders into my life can be a best friend. I have standards. I also have that semi-sugary-optimistic view of best friends that people have about “the one”: I just know if they’re my best friend or not. Best friends are like soulmates to me–something natural, something I shouldn’t have to work hard to find. It should be a very easy thing that just happens, not something that is forced.
So, looping back to the beginning, yes, I think best friends are necessary. As I’ve said, I haven’t had one in eight years, and I feel much like a single person (I have to make the distinction that it’s a single person who doesn’t like being single, because there are actually some single people who love being single) who sees couples everywhere being all lovey-dovey and they’re not. I get insanely jealous of those with a best friend, and I physically ache when people talk about their best friends. Just recently, when I went out with a friend of mine to a Girls Night Out to get our hair curled, the hairstylist, just trying to make polite conversation, asked a loaded question:
“So are you guys best friends?”
Ouch, my brain and heart replied. For a split second, I felt like someone had punched me right in the chest, but I quickly recovered and slapped a smile on my face.
“She’s a good friend of mine, but her best friends live in another state.”
Whew. Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?
Oh, but it was. Every time I think about it too much, it really gets me down.
Some people might say that I feel this hole because my husband isn’t being a good enough friend to me to fill that void. Perhaps they’re right, but like I mentioned above, there are some things I look for in a female best friend (or a really awesome gay bestie) that my husband could never provide for me, and I would never expect him to.
What do you guys think? Is your partner your best friend–a good enough best friend to not require a separate best friend? Do you differentiate between a best friend title and partner title (as far as their “job descriptions”)? Do you think people outgrow the need for a best friend as they move into adulthood? If you’re single, is having a best friend enough, or do you long for a partner to fill that “ultimate best friend” title, one that will replace your current best friend? I’d love to know in the comments below.
For now, I’d like to provide you with a picture of my current best friend–besides my husband, that is. 🙂
To Friendship and All the Love and Laughter they Provide,