Well following my little love story about best friends I’ve been dreaming a lot about a marriage where my husband and I would be best friends. (As an aside, I hope it’s clear that that story is completely made up – it is not referring to anyone whatsoever, and I do not have any male friends remotely close enough to me that such a story could be referring to!)
So yes, I’ve been thinking/dreaming/mentally exploring what such a marriage could look like… Deep down, I’ve always imagined that he and I would be best friends of course, but I don’t know whether I’ve ever explicitly stated it, except in passing. (Part of me thinks that of course I must have, but then it might be one of those things that I think I must have stated just because it is so prominent in my mind!)
So yes, I’d like to put this out there for the benefit of Mr Huggie-Wuggie. (I would say “Whoever Huggie-Wuggie turns out to be”, however, dreaming about being best friends with my husband seems to lend itself better to some kinds of potential husbands than others!)
So yeah, I wanna be your best friend! I wanna be there for you. I’d love to just go places with you all the time! I’d love to walk around arm in arm with you all the time, not even as a romantic thing but more as a friendship thing. The thing about talking about “love” is that it confuses me. All the different aspects and elements and how they work together – I can sometimes find them overwhelming. But friendship?! That I get! (Although there have been times when I have struggled to understand this too!) Perhaps my problem is that I’ve been trying to understand it all intellectually, when it is something that should be grasped with your heart.
I’d love to invest my life in caring for you and wishing the best for you in real, practical and tangible ways. I guess that what I am saying is I can so easily envisage building my marriage from a friendship, or at least I can easily envisage being so close to a man that we are essentially just living the same life. The one part I would struggle to incorporate into this vision is the romantic aspect. Hugging – no problem! I’m starting to suspect that everything I’ve always thought about romantic relationships has been plain wrong. I’m thinking now that being in a romantic relationship is simply about being one, so in that way it is a logical continuation of a deep friendship! Another difficulty I find with romance is that people always talk about it in these dreamy, poetic, flowery tones. On the whole I just don’t get flowery with my friends! Rather friendships to me are about being straightforward, being real, having similar goals, being able to have honest discussions. Also smiling at one another, being supportive, genuinely liking one another. I guess that is why it has always been easy for me to separate the concepts of “friendship” and “romance”…and let’s not forget the super-complicating factor of “feelings”.
Thinking about it, how do you incorporate the issue of feelings, or romantic attraction, when you are talking about a “best friendship”? Do you ignore this aspect altogether, and just go ahead to marry your best friend anyway? Or do you just trust God that if He is truly leading you into this thing then He will pour out the necessary attraction between the two of you? What if you start off with intense and almost irresistible romantic attraction first? Is it possible to build a strong and true friendship from that? How would you go about doing that? On one hand I so badly want there to be intense romantic attraction between my husband and me. On the other hand, I can’t help thinking how much easier my life would be if I could simply forget about attraction, and just forge ahead into a relationship on the basis of friendship alone. I honestly don’t know how to express both of these aspects at the same time! As bizarre as this might sound, I’ve often thought that in my marriage we might have to specifically designate days as “friendship” days or “feelings” days!
If I am to be very, very honest, I think my difficulty is that I’ve always seen friendship as being selfless, and romantic attraction as being legitimately selfish. This is possibly why I find it hard to reconcile these notions. It is also possibly why it seems that building a relationship from a selfless friendship would of course be stronger than building one from a selfish romantic attraction.
What I’ve got to work on then is understanding how to express romantic attraction in a selfless way. No matter how crazy you are about this person, your main focus should be on serving them, rather than reaching out and grabbing your own needs. In that way it would flow quite easily with a friendship, where you are utterly focused on being strong through serving one another.
What I would love is to see an example of this in practice; a marriage where the spouses are utterly best friends, and at the same time hopelessly and passionately crazy in romantic love with one another.
So Huggie-Wuggie this is one way in which you might have to lead me! As I simply don’t understand this although I’m thinking as hard as I can, and trying to imagine it…
Other than that, let’s do this! Let’s build this friendship thing. Let’s learn to talk to one another, let’s spend time being with one another, and let’s learn how to communicate our needs to one another.
In closing, I’d like to make this point: not only would I love to be your best friend, I’d also love to have you as my best friend, so that it is completely reciprocal…in case there was any doubt about it!