Posted in Thoughts on...Thursdays

Thoughts on…Thursday: Are best friends necessary?

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.  🙂

 Hey, no one said it had to be human!  🙂

 

To Friendship and All the Love and Laughter they Provide,

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on…Thursday: Are best friends necessary?

  1. This is a good post, and one about which I have ten million ideas. I think David is totally my best friend. We had a conversation about it, and we just love spending time with each other, and do so many things together.

    I also think my sister is my best friend. I can talk to her about things I can’t to anyone else in the whole world about, like David and the crap things we dealt with growing up. We have very different takes on those experiences, so it’s super interesting.

    Kim (Plaid) is definitely my best friend–we can do week-long living-together marathons full of crafts, Wii games and junk food runs. She’s always there for me, I can tell her just about anything and I love her to death. She gets things that no one else gets–like about being a little sister. Specifically, a little sister with an absolutely beautiful sister.

    Also, Stripes is my best friend. We were at a lunch date when we had this honest heart to heart and she told me that the previous night she wrote in her journal that she was hanging out with her best friend–and asked if it was accurate. It was. It was a silly moment, confirming our relationship, but it was sweet.

    My other best friend Alicia (Lace) is someone who goes through a lot of the same struggles as I do. We’re totally opposites on just about everything, but when I’m having a breakdown she’ll appear in ten minutes (with good traffic) and take me away for ice cream, wine and flowers. She gets some of the painful parts of me that no one, including anyone else on the list, could ever understand. They all get that, as much as they can be there for me, that they don’t get how much it just hurts sometimes. Alicia does, and that’s so heartwarming and essential.

    Lastly (for now) my best friend since high school, Janae, is definitely still one of my best friends. We rarely see each other but when we do it’s an explosion of hugging, caring for each other, and expounding on poltiics and save-the-world ideas. She fires me up like no one else and keeps me straining to be the best “me”, all the while accepting me the way I am unhesitatingly.

    Maybe I’m a polyandrist, but I have mulitple best friends. They know each other, they know my relationship with each other, and they’re okay with it. They are the reason I know I couldn’t ever get married with a classic wedding. I’d have five maid of honors.

    It’s funny, because I’ve never really thought about being someone with a lot of friends, or a lot of close friends. It’s been a gradual process of building relations with these people. I’m doing something similar with you, and I have no doubt that if we saw each other in person more often, I would add you to my best friend collection.

    I agree completely with you on the idea that your best friend fits into a piece of your life that is unmatched by anyone else, in a soul-mate type of style. All these people women (and man!) do fit the bill.

    Holy crap this is an obscenely long comment. I didn’t do my list to brag or show off–I did it to help point out my approach, I guess. I do hope you find your special someone, and I’m sure it’ll be amazing when it happens. (And by “it happens” I mean, when you and I finally live closer to each other).

  2. I’ve been sitting a long time on how to respond to this comment, and I really don’t know why.

    I have to admit, seeing you list off your many best friends made me tear up a bit. You’re insanely lucky to have all these great people in your life, and I really do also hope that I find my special someone.

    I’m also quite touched that you’d add me to your best friend collection. It sounds like I’d be in great company! 🙂 It really is a gradual process, but I’ve been enjoying our friendship so far. It sounds as if we’ll be living closer to each other soon, judging by where you’re moving! (Well, actually, maybe not…it’ll just be the same amount of driving distance away, but in the other direction.)

    When you mentioned that you’d have five maids of honor, I flashed back to my wedding. I only had a maid of honor (no bridesmaids) and the hubby only had a best man (no groosmen). For awhile we were actually toying with the idea of only having one joint best person, a guy who were both close with. But this person was long-distance and we didn’t want to put all that pressure on him, so we chose local.

    Gruffy actually had a bit of a time trying to choose between two friends for his best man: one who had been his best friend for a very long time, and one who he was really close to and had become a recent best friend. He decided to choose the one he’d been best friends with for longer.

    I, meanwhile, not only didn’t have more than one best friend to choose from, but I also didn’t have a best friend, period. I actually remember a couple of instances where this actually saddened me to the point of crying myself to sleep. It hurt that I couldn’t share one of the greatest days of my life with a best friend.

    That’s not to say that I didn’t have any friends at all. On the contrary; I have many great friends who have seen me through a lot. Just not the “soulmate”-type relationship that I’ve previously had with other best friends.

    Eventually I chose a wonderful friend of mine whom I love, mostly because she was the one who has seen Gruffy and me as a couple the longest. She knew both of us well, and I thought she was the natural choice to see us take the next step in our relationship. She’s much like a sister to me and Gruffy. But even though I love her dearly, I don’t think we’ve reached the point of calling each other a best friend. I think it’s been mentioned only a few times, but only during emotional (or alcohol-induced) moments. Then that moment would pass, and it would be like it didn’t happen at all. It’s strange.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your approach and your thoughts. It gave me a lot to think about. I’ve found I’ve been reconnecting a lot with people from my past, so who knows? Maybe there’s someone out there who has been looking for me too!

    Haha…okay, sappy moment over. 😀

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