Having a romantic partner to do life with is awesome. You get to have great sex, go on dates, cuddle, and face life's challenges together. But being in a romantic relationship isn't everything, and it goes without saying that just because you're in a relationship, doesn't mean your SO has to be your BFF, go-to person for everything. They absolutely should be someone with whom you have a friendship with, apart from a romantic dynamic, but if your partner isn't your best friend, or you feel like there are certain life things you'd rather go to other people for guidance on, do not stress! I spoke to relationship experts on the subject, and contrary to popular belief, your SO doesn't have to be your best friend. At the end of the day, you need a best friend who you aren't sleeping with, and that's totally OK.
While it's certainly true that "friendship is essential and plays a fundamental role in the longevity of your partnership," as matchmaker and dating expert Julia Bekker tells Elite Daily, that isn't to say you can't have other people who you consider your best friends. Of course, maybe you "want to be around the person you’re with all the time," as Bekker describes. And that's great! "It [your relationship] should be enjoyable, as if you were with your best friend." But that doesn't mean anything is necessarily wrong with your relationship if your partner doesn't feel like your bestie.
If you and your partner are super close and you feel like you can talk to them about everything, then that's awesome! But it also isn't completely necessary. In fact, "there are some things that don’t need to be shared in romantic relationships that are more appropriate to share in friendships," Kali Rogers, founder of Blush Online Life Coaching, tells Elite Daily. "Those topics that aren’t meant for your partner but are meant for someone else are the key to narrowing down who your best friend is!"
Maybe you don't tell your partner all about the new ASOS shoes you're eyeing or the sex dream you had about your ex last night. That's fine, and that's where your best friends come in. Your partner doesn't need to be your go-to for everything. They might not always be willing to listen to you moan about every celebrity breakup (although, they def should), every reason why your partner annoys you (but you still love 'em anyways), or camp out with you outside the box office for Harry Styles tickets. And while you should definitely feel comfortable going to your romantic partner for anything you need, it's normal to feel like there are certain things reserved for a best friend who knows and understands you in a different way.
Additionally, you might need the love and expertise of your old bestie every now and then. "Your personality is complex and you will always need support from different individuals in different situations," Rogers says. "Plus, romantic relationships are inherently more complicated — there are deeper sensitivities, expectations, and challenges. While friendships can have great depth, they don’t have the same emotional complexities. Which means, people tend to speak more freely with friends, and that’s healthy! Hence why it’s normal to have a best friend who isn’t your significant partner so you can feel the bliss of speaking your mind without the same kind of repercussions."
As long as you and your partner "both feel loved, respected, and like your needs are being met in your partnership, then all is well," dating coach John Keegan tells Elite Daily. Of course it's important to have a partner who cherishes what you have to say and wants to share what's important with you. But don't feel bad if there are things you'd rather do or topics you'd rather talk about with someone other than your partner. That's just a normal part of having relationships, in general, and you're doing just fine.