I liked her as soon as I met her. Her eyes were this special shade of brown, her hair unique as it shifted between brown and blonde, and the way she talked was something the likes of which I’d never quite heard before or since. I didn’t even know her middle name yet, but I did know it was love at first sight.
The next day I asked her out. Turns out she felt the same way and immediately said yes. We spent the next six months making out, going to movies, making out, going to dinner, making out… okay mostly just making out. It was so exciting, at first, but one day I woke up and took a moment to think… maybe I’m not in love any more. Maybe I’m falling out of love. Brain chemicals. Infatuation.
A week later I broke up with her, and it was anything but a clean break. With the force of a volcanic eruption, our hearts were ripped from each other. Three, four times we did this to each other until we hated each other’s guts. Fiercely, we took every moment to tear each other down in front of whatever audience would listen. And we could have had so much.
No, wait. That didn’t happen.
I’m sorry. I seem to have gotten my story confused with almost everyone else’s. You see, that relationship was missing a very important ingredient. It was missing the best friends component. Simply put, attraction is like tomato soup. You can enjoy it by itself for a while, but eventually you’re going to need to throw in some vegetables to make it good. Best friends are like vegetables in your soup.
Odd metaphors aside, here are five important reasons to be best friends with your significant other.
1. You’re laying the foundation of a relationship.
The most important thing about new relationships is making sure you can live with each other’s beliefs and habits. Sure, religion is a main one. But there’s also other things like how clean or messy she likes to keep things, how often he likes to hang out with friends, and both of your opinions on having children.
It’s at this point where the structure of the relationship is being formed, and how intentional you’re doing things determines how well much it can take. I know it doesn’t seem like it at this phase, but both of you will screw up at some point. The foundation determines the fallout of those mistakes.
2. It teaches you patience.
Say what you will about being in the friend zone (we’re still using that term…), it does teach you patience. That patience is going to be important when your significant other finds a way to get on nerves you didn’t know you had. Instead of complaining about not being together, perhaps have a little faith that your patience will be rewarded. Even if it doesn’t work out with a prospective romantic partner, at least you learn a few things when the right person actually comes along.
3. You can break up without actually “breaking up.”
A know you don’t want me to talk about this, but I am anyway. If you’re not in a relationship, breaking up isn’t nearly as painful for either party. The realization that two people aren’t comparable is a painful one, but at least you don’t have to invest your entire being into them.
4. I makes you a power couple.
Two people operating synchronously can be a beautiful thing. When two people look out for each other’s interests, each can achieve more than going alone. Pure attraction itself cannot accomplish that, but a true understanding of each other can be beneficial. Often without words, you can negotiate on each other’s behalf. It’s cool to see what best-friend couples can accomplish together.
5. You’ll be perfectly fine when the brain chemicals are gone.
Infatuation may fade over time, and even superficial attraction. But the cool thing is that you can build new kinds of attraction. Attraction to how a person acts and thinks. When the “crush” portion of the relationship finally fails, the two of you have an entire back-catalog of experiences to fall back on. These experiences are worth far more than the “hotness” of your partner.
Take time to get to know each other.
Love other person.
You’ll be fine.
Life is too amazing to run from person to person. Life is worth having a person, if possible, always by your side to enjoy it with. Life is worth having a true best friend.