Friday, February 13, 2009

Best Friends

Who is your best friend? If you are married, engaged, or even just “engaged to be engaged,” I hope that you would say that the reason you want to spend the rest of your life with this person is because he is your best friend (or she, I’m just speaking from the woman’s perspective here).

I personally have quite a few “best friends,” colloquially speaking. I still have my “best friend from elementary school,” “best friend from middle school,” “best friend from high school,” and a few “best friends from college” (my roomies). Then there are my siblings, especially my sisters, who I consider to be my best friends, plus a few “best cousins” for good measure. The fact of the matter is that if I actually take the meaning of the word “best” seriously, then none of these people actually fit the bill (sorry to all of you that I mentioned).

They are all very good, close friends with whom I truly enjoy spending time, talking, and laughing. We share lots of fun and not-so-fun memories from different phases of my life, including the eighteen years before Daniel even entered the picture. But none of them are my best friend. Daniel has sole claim to that title, which is a good thing. He’s the one I’m marrying, after all!

There are a lot of movies and TV shows out there that seem to tout female friendship as being a relationship equal in value to the marital relationship, if not more valuable. I’ll use an example from Grey’s Anatomy, which is a show that I guess you could call a “guilty pleasure” of mine because—let’s face it—it certainly isn’t going to win any award for modeling Catholic morality (if there was such an award).

This season, friends Meredith and Christina spent several episodes not talking to each another because they were fighting. Meredith was really upset about something and her boyfriend Derek was unable to console her. So he drove her over to Christina’s house and told Christina that Meredith was in the car and wouldn’t stop crying. He didn’t know what to do, and wanted Christina to get over their fight and come out to the car to be with Meredith. Anyone who watches the show knows that Christina is Meredith’s “person,” above and beyond anything Derek seems to ever be for her, even though Meredith and Derek will presumably get engaged very soon. You can find countless examples like this on television, in movies, and in books; each with varying degrees to which this theme is present. After I noticed it once, I started noticing it everywhere.

Sorry if I lost anyone there; my point is that there is something not quite right about that kind of situation, at least in my mind. If you love someone enough to be seriously considering marrying him, then he should be your primary confidante—the only one to whom the statement “we tell each other everything” should apply. At least that’s the way I see it. Not that I don’t confide in my girlfriends, because I do. It’s just not to the same degree as I confide in Daniel, with whom I actually do share everything.

Female friendships are extremely important, but my relationship with my [future] husband is what I am going to be held most accountable for at the end of my life. That’s the relationship that I’m going to focus on. Alright, I’ll get down off my soapbox now.


Kate said...

I haven't commented on your blog in months, but I still read every time you post. I've thought about this too even though I'm still a ways away from getting married (since I don't think I've met the person I'm going to marry yet.) Even though I have people in my life, such as my roommate, other friends, and my sister, that I tell a lot to, I want my future husband to be my best friend--the one who I can tell absolutely everything to and always be completely myself around. I'm glad you've found that person in your life!

Good Thunder said...

It's interesting too that "telling each other everything" isn't the same as that 4 grade girl "we tell each other everything- we even finish each others sentences!" Everything means everything- a whole person in totality. How refreshing to be in that safe bond of a marriage where telling everything can never get you in trouble. If you tell a problem you also have to tell the potential solutions in your head- you can't ever hide from your spouse! In a sense they ARE you- not even your best friend, a lover, or a brother- something different- something unique and freeing where your very soul is allowed to breathe when you're together because you are completely unafraid. Peace to you!