Experts Say Your Partner Doesn't Have To Be Your BFF For These 3 Important Reasons

by Christy Piña

I always assumed that when you were in a serious relationship, your partner became your best friend. Of course your other friends were still in your life, but your SO was at the center of it, and that was that. Rom-coms always made it seem that way, and every other person on Facebook and Instagram captioning their photos with, "So happy I'm in love with my best friend," didn't shut down the idea either. But it doesn't have to be that way, and there are plenty of reasons your partner doesn't have to be your best friend.

Having your partner as your best friend seems like a really great concept. Besides, those are often two of the most important people in your life, so why not combine the two jobs into one? That way you can turn to the same person when you want to be romanced and when you want to rant about some b*tchy thing your boss did. But if you think about it, if your partner and best friend are the same person, who do you turn to when you're upset about something bae did? Or when you want to surprise your partner with something, who's going to help you plan it? Who's going to be able to relate to you, personally, about the situations that your partner can't?

While there's nothing wrong with your partner being your best friend, it's important to remember that your BFF and your SO don't have to be the same person. In fact, it may be better to have separate people for separate things. "You can have a best friend who you can absolutely tell anything to, without judgment," Fran Greene, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and author of The Secret Rules of Flirting, tells Elite Daily. "You have a best friend who loves to go out to dinner with you. You have a best friend that when you are so sad, that person is always there to pick up your spirits. A best friend when you have a really difficult decision to make, they'll be there to help you. It's nice to have different best friends who you can call for different reasons." So, it's totally OK if your partner is not your best friend. Here are three reasons why they don't have to be.

You need your girls.

Your best friends are the ones who have always been there for you, and always will be. When you get a new partner, it can be easy to focus all your energy on them and put your friends on the back-burner. But you need friends in your life! What if you just want to have a girl's day with your besties where you eat pizza in sweatpants and binge-watch Gilmore girls? Who are you going to vent to when your partner pisses you off? A support system is so important, and putting all that pressure on one person isn't always the best idea.

It takes some pressure off your partner.

Being a girl's best friend can be a lot of work. We need help picking an outfit, figuring out what picture to post and what filter to use, and someone to hear us vent about the f*ckboy who decided to waltz back into our life for no other reason except to ruin everything! Where besties are able to handle all of that, partners may not be. "To have your partner be your sole resource for friendship, support, and love is just too much for any one person to possibly fulfill," Isadora Alman, a relationship therapist in Alameda, California, told Cosmopolitan.

They don't need to know everything.

I used to tell my boyfriend everything, and I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but sometimes, some things are best reserved for you and your besties — or even just for you! "You want to keep a relationship exciting and somewhat mysterious in order to avoid letting too much comfort and familiarity set in," Ian Kerner, Ph.D and sex and couples therapist in New York City, also told Cosmopolitan.

It's 100 percent important for your partner to be your friend, but they don't have to be your best friend. Of course having a lot in common with bae and being incredibly close can lead to a successful relationship. But the most successful relationships also "strike a balance between spending time together and apart," John Jacobs, MD, author of All You Need Is Love and Other Lies About Marriage told Cosmopolitan.

If your partner is your best friend, there's nothing wrong with that. Just remember: Sometimes, having separate support systems for different things can be really beneficial. And think about how lucky you are to have so many people who love you and want to be there for you! Honestly, sign me up.

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