Many people fantasise about meeting that one person who can always tell exactly what you need, when you need it, but is marrying your best friend really all it’s cracked up to be?
If you met them during university, there’s no doubt that they’ve seen you at your worst, your best, and let’s face it – every possible stage in between.
Whether you’re bawling your eyes out an hour before a deadline, or passed out drunk on a football pitch, they can field your mood swings like a pro.
Nobody knows you better, and you both know it.
You could have met them a few months ago, or you could have known them your entire life, either way, the moment your best friend entered your life, things have never been the same.
But is that enough?
Though the idea of marrying your best friend is nothing short of a fairy-tale to some, it’s also become a bit of a clichéd idea – one that is constantly exploited throughout social media to the point where it no longer means what it used to.
I don’t know about you, but my Facebook feed is filled to the brim on the daily with pictures of couples gushing “I get to marry my best friend.”
Despite this being a charming concept, it’s still questionable whether or not these people are actually marrying their best friends or just want to be included within the clichéd subculture created by people who feel the whole world needs to know about their infatuation with their partner.
This insane need for the approval of people we barely know, this need to boast about how good our relationship is, is the main reason for “marrying your best friend” becoming as big of a cliché as it is.
People are no longer marrying for love as they once were, but are now marrying for the security that comes with being with someone who knows you better than you know yourself, essentially someone who can look after you.
Katherine, 22, says of her six-year relationship that the only theoretical downside to marrying the man who was her best friend of eight years before they dated would be that “he knows me too well, sometimes we run out of things to talk about.” If only that were the problem we all had.
Mike, 26, has been married for two years, but his outlook on things is that because his wife was his best friend at university before they were married, they are closer now than before, and it has “maybe even kept us together in the rough periods.”
Of course, this could be more to do with the fact that marriages are more likely to end in divorce by their 20th Anniversary, which people who are in their early to mid-twenties haven’t actually reached yet.
There are case studies that suggest that it is beneficial to marry your best friend, for instance, Dr’s Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz – considered to be “America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts” have discovered over a 30 year research period that: “Loving someone is not enough. If your partner is not your best friend, your relationship will not pass the test of time.”
The Dr’s Schmitz suggest that: “Best friends provide each other with total trust, loyalty, mutual respect, admiration, encouragement, support, care and much more.” All things that are pivotal if one desires a successful marriage.
As a rebuttal, there are of course people who believe you don’t need to be best friends with your significant other to have a successful relationship.
Monica Mendez Leahy, an experienced marriage counsellor does indeed claim that what she calls the ‘Friendship Factor’ is at the root of all long-lasting, happy marriages.
However, she said: “If a couple strives to be best friends, they’re aiming too low. The relationship between spouses is special, sacred even.”
So to Leahy, best friends are too lax in their attitudes towards their relationship with their partner, and they need to aim higher.
But really, despite the fact that marriages seem to end in divorce more often than not, it seems to be a unanimous point that there needs to be friendship within a marriage to work.
Whether you want to call it the ‘Friendship Factor’ or just know you were besties before one of you popped the question, you should probably like your partner as a person before you decide you want to spend your life with them.