They Say The Best Marriage Is When You Marry Your "Best Friend." I Think They're Wrong

The CW screenshot
The CW screenshot

I was recently reading my girl Dara's latest blog post about marriage being boring and un-mysterious. (A conversation prompted by the Netflix show, Master of None). She also discussed the way she is comforted by the familiarity of her husband and their routine, and the newness they still experience as they grow and evolve, both individually and together.


While for some this is unappealing and panic-inducing, I’m actually really looking forward to the “boring” mundanities of marriage. But that’s not what this is about…

Dara also mentioned something I’ve heard countless people say about their spouses: marriage allows you to wake up to your best friend every day. And this is supposed to something that makes marriage attractive and worthwhile. Instead, it makes me cringe.

Because, well, I have no desire to ever marry my best friend.

Don't get me wrong, my best friend is dope af. It’s “Go best friend, that's my best friend” all day erry day. Top five most important person in my life. Buuut she's already married. And, I'm not into chicks.(Nttawwt.) So there's that.

But since my best friend position is already taken, what is the protocol? Does my love interest stage a coup d'état against the reigning best friend? Do I have to be the one to switch the BFF out for the BaeFF? Does Bestie honorably resign and relinquish her post to Bae?

Maybe people whose spouse is their best friend didn’t have a best friend before they got married. Or maybe they liked their spouse more than their best friend (it happens). Or maybe it’s just polite to bestow such a loving title to the person who is willing to commit to spending day in and day out with your difficult ass and actually paid cash money to the state and signed legally binding documents to do so.


To each his/her own, of course. But the best friend designation makes no sense to me when speaking of someone other than my actual best friend(s).

Now, what makes someone a best friend? It’s completely arbitrary. My bestie is my "bestest friend in the whole wide world" simply because we declared it so when we were three or four. We've considered each other as such ever since. We've been together since infancy. We were each other's first friend. Her family is my family, my family is her family. We answer each other in dated movie quotes (namely from Clueless and Save the Last Dance). Though we don't talk every day (or even every week), she's always there. She's a person I always consider when I think of the good things in my life. I love and trust her unconditionally. She's the first and forever family that I've had the pleasure of choosing. She's my ACE, my day one, my bestest friend in the whole wide world. We just straight like that.


I also have other friends I refer to as "best” or “closest” friends — friends who hold an extra special place in my heart (and iPhone favorites). Again, this "best" label is arbitrary but essentially denotes those select few who I've been through some shit with and I know undoubtedly will hold me down, and vice versa. My most trusted confidantes. Naturally, bestest trumps best, so bestest friend in the whole wide world sits at the top of the top in the friend hierarchy. My bottom bestie, if you will.

So, as far as BFFs are concerned, I've got it covered. Don't really need or want a new one. My friendship needs are met.


And, despite all of my best/closest friends being wonderfully amazing people who I wouldn't want to live without… they aren't exactly people I would marry. Certainly they have all of the qualities I desire in a friend, but not necessarily all of the qualities I want in a mate. And frankly, I don't want to wake up ev-er-y day next to any of them (no shade!).

It’s just that when I consider my life partner, I don't typically view him through the lens of friendship. Sure, I want my partner and I to have established a friendship, built on mutual trust, respect, and affection. I think that foundation of friendship is important in a meaningful relationship. But I'm not looking for my partner to be my main — or most important — source of friendship. Nor do I want my partner to think or require that of me. Because ultimately, my partner will be much more than a friend and will fulfill other needs and requirements that I can't, won't, and don't want to get from my friends. Just as there are some needs that are fulfilled by my friends (best or otherwise) that I won't and don't want to get from my partner. I see a partner and friends as serving very different roles in my life, and prefer it that way.


Perhaps it's all just semantics. But “best friend” will always be the description I use for friends – not an inamorato. I don't want my partner to be what I would deem a best friend. He will be in his own unique category and have a designation that no other can claim.

Gem Jones is a scientist by day, ratchet culture connoisseur by night. She takes her love of reading, writing, yoga, Black twitter, YG and having amazing eyebrows very seriously.



First, Hiya, Gem! Great post!

There's no real way to plan to have a best friend and a spouse being two separate people. Either it happens that way or it doesn't. But if you are fortunate enough to have a BFF and also have another person be your spouse then I think that's the best for lots of reasons.

From a very practical standpoint, if your spouse is your best friend then what happens if, God forbid, the marriage has serious problems or ends. You've put all of your friendship eggs in one basket and now who do you go to?

As the great George Castanza showed us all it's best not to have your worlds collide. Having a support network of friends being somewhat separate from your SO relationship can be vital in having healthy relationships with both your spouse and your best friend.