171: Partners As Best Friends – Don’t Do It

I stand very firm on the ‘partners as best friends’ set up. NEVER EVER DO THIS. This goes for them being your ‘soul mate’ too. It implies there is one and only one. There isn’t because there is more than one ‘someone’ for everyone. It’s just whether or not you find them and look past your ‘perfect partner’ profile. After all there are a lot of people in the world. Besides which you should never screw your confidant. It creates all sorts of weird blurry lines.

I have never described a partner as a best friend. Partly because I have had the same best friend for 30 years now so that spot has well and truly been filled. Also partly because of my instant realisation I had made a mistake most times I chose said partner.

Sarah Millican wrote a paragraph on the partner as best friend situation in her book ‘How To Be Champion’ where she writes about her first husband who shat all over her hopes and dreams and left her for no discernable reason other than his inability to commit several years down the line. She wrote:

‘The husband was also my best friend. I’ve never done that since…things
should have one purpose. I’ve had a separate best friend ever since. I
had stopped any contact with him that wasn’t about legal stuff; I didn’t
think it was healthy. So when something happened and I wanted to tell
someone, Now…I was understandably the person to tell.’

Personally, I think putting your partner on the best friend pedestal is a very rash decision indeed. As we know partners and best friends can be unreliable and both given to straying or flaking on you at the wrong moment. So if you lose the partner, where does that leave you? Partnerless and with noone’s shoulder to cry on. It’s a ridiculous notion to make the person you shag your best friend. You NEED separate people for these things. You need boundaries otherwise things can get very murky indeed. And who do you gossip to about ‘that weird thing’ they do in bed. Who’s perspective do you ask for when you’re not sure if you’ve made a good partner choice? And who’s sofa do you sleep on when it all goes tits up and you have to move out.

Like money, always have an emergency fund. And best friends would not (or should not) judge you like a partner or ex partner should. And whilst we’re on the subject, ALWAYS keep a dependable separate social life from your partner. Sure, have some shared friends. But don’t put all your friendships into his, or flake out on your friends in favour of ANOTHER night in with him.

There’s nothing worse than when a friend gets a new partner and suddenly they never want to go out. It is also unhealthy. It is a statistical fact that married or partnered peoples’ social groups shrink after they meet that person. Their lives become so focused around each other that everyone else takes a back step and there’s nothing more boring than ‘that’ person. If you split, do you think those people will be there? Possibly. But they’ve problably moved to other people that make time for them. So don’t be that person. Always keep an emergency fund, and check it regularly.

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