Why I’m Not Dating My Best Friend

22 Oct
My best friend, who I'm not dating.

My best friend, who I’m not dating.

Are you in love with your best friend? Maybe dating or married to your best friend? You’re not alone if you are—it’s apparently trendy and super common to be romantically involved with someone you also refer to as your “best friend.” It’s funny that we can hear a word or phrase used so many times that it becomes commonplace and even cute to us, even if we haven’t really thought about it.

This one caught me off guard the other day; I’ve seen it on Facebook and other social media plenty of times, but I actually heard it—verbally heard it—in a commercial for a TV show, and it hit me how totally whack that concept is. I’m not dating my best friend any more than I am parenting my best friend. It drives me absolutely bonkers when someone refers to her mother as her best friend, and it now officially is another pet peeve of mine to hear that someone is romantically involved with her best friend. I’m not just being picky and obnoxious for no reason. Hear me out.

Here are some facts about my best friend:

  1. She knows EVERYTHING about me, for better or worse. Literally everything—down to the body parts I’m most self-conscious about, the deepest secrets of my past, and my weirdest thoughts and dreams.
  2. I love her to death, but I am in no way, shape or form romantically attracted to her.
  3. We agree on pretty much everything.
  4. We can give each other a look and essentially have a conversation.
  5. We have lived together for long periods of time, and it’s totally peaceful. We’re a roommate match made in Heaven.

Now, here are some facts about my boyfriend:

  1. He knows me well. He knows my hopes and dreams; he knows the things I’m good at, the things that make me happy. He certainly knows what pisses me off. But he doesn’t know EVERYTHING. Because he doesn’t need to. It doesn’t benefit our relationship for me to tell him my every insecurity, every bad hookup I ever had and every weird thought that’s every surfaced in my mind.
  2. I’m totally attracted to him romantically. Duh.
  3. We disagree all the time. We agree on the big things, like how we want to raise our family, what our goals are as a couple and what ultimately matters at the end of the day. But unlike my best friend, who’ll pat me on the back and tell me of course it’s okay to hate that girl for no reason, my boyfriend will totally call me out for being petty, bitchy or otherwise unreasonable. He will openly disagree with me when he thinks I’m wrong. And consequently we’ll argue for hours. But that’s okay, cause we aren’t supposed to agree on everything. He’s not my best friend.
  4. Sometimes, I have absolutely no clue what he’s thinking. Likewise, sometimes it completely amazes him that I could be so absurd and unreasonable. Sometimes I give him a look of “OMG how could you” and he hasn’t the vaguest idea what I mean by it. We do not have a mind-reader relationship going on at all. Guess what this leads to? You got it—we have to actually converse with one another, oftentimes at high decibel ranges, to understand each other.
  5. I am excited for my future with him, but totally dreading the move-in process. I think he’s a slob; he thinks I expect too much. We make no sense together. It’s going to be a daily struggle to co-exist in the same home. Hopefully it’ll be a learning process that brings us closer together, but we’ll just have to see.

Okay, these discrepancies aren’t meant to prove that my boyfriend is necessarily the opposite of my best friend. Of course, they do have some things in common. We all enjoy AMC shows and beach days and road trips. That’s not the point. The point is that my best friend isn’t the same person to me as my boyfriend is, in the same way that she isn’t the same person to me as my child is. My child needs me as a guide, a mentor, a leader and a caretaker. My boyfriend needs me as a partner, a lover, a confidante and a copilot. My best friend? She doesn’t need me at all. She’s in my life purely because we love each other and enjoy sharing our thoughts and feelings with each other. She’s a hand to hold and an ear to listen, but she’s not my knight in shining armor or the person I’m going to be building a future with.

My boyfriend will never become my best friend, and I’m okay with that. My best friend does her job perfectly and no one, including the man I plan to spend the rest of my life with, will replace her role in my life.

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