What’s The Difference Between A Lover And A Best Friend?
Have you ever had a hard time defining your relationship with a certain person, like you couldn’t tell whether they were your best friend or lover? Well, if your answer is yes, know you’re not alone. We’ve all faced this problem at one point in our lives.
The main thing that usually helps many people differentiate a romantic relationship from a friendship is whether they have sexual relations with that person. However, there’re many other aspects that can help you make a difference between the two types of relationships.
One aspect is related to how you describe the connection between you and a certain person or what you have with that person. For instance, when that person is your lover, you talk about your intense feelings and affection for each other, which is definitely not something you talk about if they’re only your friend.
Another aspect is concerned with jealousy. For instance, when friends get jealous, that’s because they want and expect their friend to give them their attention. And they certainly don’t get jealous when their friend doesn’t devote enough time to the friendship. On the other hand, when lovers get jealous, that’s because they want and expect their partner to be committed to them, and this jealousy usually leads to bitter arguments, while in a friendship, most of the time, it usually makes both individuals overlook this problem.
Then, one more aspect is related to how many people are involved in a relationship. For example, you can have only one lover, but you can have many friends. You can hang out with other groups of friends without worrying that your best friend might end your friendship.
In addition, you treat your romantic partner and best friend in different ways. For example, you let your lover know that they’re the only one who occupies a special place in your heart. You let them know they’re the right person for you. You make them feel loved and appreciated. And the truth is that you can’t treat others this way if you’re already in a relationship with someone.
Moreover, when you’re in a romantic relationship, you tend to make compromises and sacrifices for the sake of the relationship. You tend to respect your partner’s boundaries and needs. You go out of your way to show them that you deserve their trust and that you love them truly and unconditionally. And you do all of these things since you don’t want your significant other to begin doubting you and your love and dump you.
On the other hand, in a friendship, you act freely with one another. For example, you can forget an important date in your best friend’s life without fearing that this might scare them away or make them leave you, while if you forget your and your partner’s anniversary or their birthday, well, this could lead to a serious problem and argument in the relationship.
Another difference between a friend and a lover is that a lover is someone that makes you feel complete and like you’ve found your other, better half. They’re someone that’s physically attracted to you and you have an affectionate relationship and sexual relations with. On the other hand, a friend is someone that’s not physically attracted to you and doesn’t shower you with affection. You just love spending time and hanging out together.
Can You Be Best Friends And Lovers?
There’s much divided opinion on this question. While some think that being best friends with the person they’re in a romantic relationship with is ideal, others believe that a lover and a best friend are two relationships that don’t have and should not have anything in common.
However, many relationship experts agree that your romantic partner should also be your best friend, which is why, in fact, a lot of couples were friends before they got into a relationship. Additionally, all of the things that constitute a good, healthy, and happy relationship, such as mutual trust and respect, compassion, open, effective communication, loyalty, and caring, should exist in your romantic relationships and friendships as well.
Another thing that many relationship and friendship experts agree on is that the line between friendship and a romantic relationship is thin. For example, we often think that in our romantic relationships, we do and should do this, while with our best friend, we do and should do these other things. However, the truth is that friendship as well as the honesty, mutual respect and trust, and support it entails creates the foundation of any healthy and successful relationship.
So, the question arising here is:
Should your partner also be your best friend?
The answer depends on how you define a “best friend.” If you believe that this term should only be applied to someone that means the most to you and should be the center of your world, then it could be easy for you to put your partner up on a pedestal. But the problem is that if you do that, it’s likely that you’re setting yourself up for disappointment since expecting that your partner will be able to satisfy all your emotional needs means that you’re actually expecting too much. You can’t expect that one person will be able to fulfill two important roles effectively in your life as a lover and a best friend.
Expecting such a thing could easily make you become codependent on your partner. So, the only way to perceive your partner as your best friend without becoming codependent is to ensure you maintain a sense of self in the relationship.
On the other hand, if in your view, a best friend is someone who will always have your back and you can rely on no matter what, especially when you’re going through a rough time in life, then the idea of being best friends with your significant other may be a good thing.
So, in what follows, we’ve presented 10 reasons why your partner should be your best friend.
1. You’ll Be More Familiar With Each Other’s Flaws
Best friends are well aware of each other’s insecurities, fears, annoying habits, mistakes, and failures. So, looking at your partner as your best friend will help the two of you get closer and learn so many things about each other that over time you may even begin to like each other’s weaknesses and imperfections.
2. You’ll Feel More Comfortable Being Your True Self In The Relationship
Do you feel self-conscious when you’re around your friends? Do you worry that they might make fun of you because of your insecurities? Do you ever feel like you have to act out so that your friends accept and like you more? Right, the answer is no.
So, if you consider your partner your best friend, this means you’ll feel free and comfortable being yourself around them too.
3. You’ll Solve Arguments More Easily
Every couple has disagreements and arguments once in a while. But when your partner also happens to be your best friend, your disagreements and fights will be less bitter and less damaging. In fact, by the time you’re done arguing, the angry argument can turn into playful fighting.
4. You Can Be Brutally Honest With Each Other
A best friend is someone that you have complete trust in and whom you can always tell the truth, even when they’re not ready to hear it. So, when your significant other is your best friend, you’ll be able to criticize them without worrying that they might misunderstand your intention and think that you’re actually trying to belittle them, undermine their self-esteem, or hurt them intentionally.
5. You’ll Accept Each Other’s Tastes More Easily
Best friends know each other’s likes, interests, desires, and dislikes. So, this means that if your partner is also your best friend, you’ll understand each other more easily and know what to expect from one another, which will make it easier for the two of you to handle any problems that might arise in your relationship.
6. You’ll Connect At A Deeper Level
When you’re in a relationship with someone you truly love and your feelings are reciprocated, you connect on a deep emotional, mental, and spiritual level with them. And when your partner is also your best friend that connection becomes even deeper and more meaningful. It becomes so deep that you feel like you always know what your partner is thinking, feeling, or wants.
7. You’ll Be More Or Less Familiar With Each Other’s Previous Relationships
Best friends tell each other everything, right? Well, this means you and your partner won’t have to deal with unpleasant surprises appearing out of the blue because you’ll know everything about each other’s past.
8. You Won’t Have To Call Each Other Constantly To Know You’re Thinking About Each Other
You can go a day without seeing and talking to each other without worrying that the other person might get angry or feel let down since you’ll know each other perfectly well to overwhelm yourselves with such unimportant things.
9. You Can Do Fun, Silly Stuff Together
Best friends enjoy doing fun, silly things together, such as pranking each other or eating food from the same plate. When your partner is your best friend, there will never be an end to these things since you’ll be very comfortable with each other and won’t feel embarrassed to do even the silliest things around each other.
10. Last But Not Least, You’ll Laugh More Together
Best friends have plenty of inside jokes that only they understand. So, if your partner is also your best friend, know that things like sharing hilarious jokes and laughing until your stomachs hurt are something that will be an inseparable part of your daily life.
Can Friends Become Lovers?
One study has found that romantic relationships where partners begin as friends and not as acquaintances or strangers happen to be more common than we think and that friends-first initiation is a preferred method of starting a romantic relationship – a fact which has been disregarded for many years by relationship science (1).
To be more precise, researchers performed a meta-analysis of seven studies which included 1897 participants. Participants were asked to answer the following question: “What was your relationship with your partner before [you became romantically involved]?” They were provided with six response options, including: (a) friends; (b) a friend of a friend; (c) acquaintances; (d) worked together; (e) had never met before [strangers]; (f) other). The results showed that the majority of participants reported that they and their partners were friends before they got into a romantic relationship.
Moreover, researchers found that participants chose friends-first initiation as the best way to begin a romance, even better than meeting at school, college, or work, or through mutual friends. And you might find this information interesting, but participants perceived romantic relationships initiated on a blind date or through an online dating service as two of the worst ways to begin a relationship.