Okay, so before you flip and lid and think, “Oh, no! How tragic! She’s settling for less than!”, just hear me out.
I hear it over and over again:
“I can’t wait to marry my best friend!”
“Make sure you marry your best friend.”
“He’s not just my husband, he’s my best friend!”
Now I’m not doggin’ that use of language, or the excitement behind it. It’s cool to feel that happy about marrying someone. I’m just saying that Danger is not my best friend. He’s my soon-to-be-husband.
In my girl brain, those are two very different things. If I knew how to insert fancy graphics in this blog post, I’d use a venn diagram to illustrate my point. Alas, I will have to rely on my use of the magical, confusing English language.
To me the similarities between a best friend and a spouse are thus:
- Someone you can have open, honest (sometimes brutally) communication.
- Someone you can share your hopes and dreams and failures with.
- Someone you can count on to comfort you when you do the ugly cry, or celebrate with you when you’re silly-excited.
- Someone you spend more time with than others.
- Someone you don’t mind wearing pajamas in front of. Or no makeup. Or messy hair.
- Someone who can drive you crazy with frustration, but you still love them to pieces.
- Someone you’d do anything for.
- Someone you can hang with doing nothing, and it’s not weird or boring.
- Someone you have traditions with, like watching all the ‘Twilight’ movies and laughing at them, or going to Kerbey Lane every Monday night for pancakes (aka nature’s most perfect food).
- Someone you can pray with. Peeps that pray together, stay together!
And the list goes on, I’m sure. But there are some crucial differences between your best friend and your spouse. For example, you are called to be physically intimate with your spouse, and not your best pal (augh, weird!). You are called to have children with your spouse, and not your best friend. You build a house and a home with your spouse. You have committed the rest of your life to your spouse, meaning you follow them to Antarctica if they move to Antarctica, whereas you are not really required to move around the world to follow your friend (though if you do, you’re being pretty intense, like let’s-talk-about-boundaries intense).
And one of the biggest differences: Your spouse is only a spouse while in relation to you – their life role dissolves if you leave. Whereas, your best friend’s life role is not defined by their relationship to you. Their life role is defined by their relationship to THEIR spouse.
Now, this isn’t to take away from the importance of the role of your best friend. We need them, too! It’s not like we’re limited to having a spouse OR a BFF, as if there’s a Score Keeper of Best Friends, and when he sees you have one, that’s it – no more BFF’s for you!
Our best friends are important, and we are blessed to have them. But putting our spouse in the role of our best friend, takes that role away from our lovely lady friends or our awesome guy buddies. The role of best friend also doesn’t describe the intricate, intense, intimate nature of your sacred, Sacramental bond (yay alliteration!) with your spouse. To me, my best friend is my best friend. And my husband is my husband (soon-to-be). They are different roles, both beloved and both needed, that require different levels of intimacy, commitment and time spent.
For me, I like respecting their defined roles in my life, because it helps to guide me on how to be in relationship with them. For example: If my best friend calls saying she broke her leg, I’ll ask her at what hospital she is being treated, go visit with chocolate or flowers, and help her Bedazzle her cast. Whereas, if my spouse breaks his leg, I’ll probably be at home to hear it, drive him to the ER myself, fill out his paperwork, be there with a Kleenex to catch any manly tears that manage to escape his steely man eyes, be the first to tell him his cast looks rugged, sign him out of the hospital, pay for the bill with our money, drive him home, nurse him back to health and also run the household until he can move around again. Different roles, different expectations, and different actions for two defined, separate people.
In closing, I am so blessed to have best friends in addition to my fiance. I’m still learning the balance of being a good best friend to my girls, and a good fiancee to my Danger – something I will be sure to explore out loud next time around. In the meantime, I’m gonna keep being excited to marry my beloved, with my best friends at my side.