The idea of marrying your best friend seems like a relatively new one. When I was growing up and even dating, that wasn’t a big thing. But in recent years, I heard about it more and more. It sounds like a nice concept. Unless you’re like me and you know that you didn’t marry your best friend. Then the idea made me uncomfortable. Did I marry the wrong person? Should I have waited for my best friend? Whoever that was?
I was in my mid-twenties and my husband was in his late twenties when we met. We had known each other for a few months casually before we started dating. Soon into dating, we started talking about marriage. We wondered how long we should wait to get engaged and we thought six months seemed reasonable. Andy proposed exactly six months later and we married a few months after that.
Did I love this man? Entirely. Was I committed? Absolutely. Was he my best friend? Um…. no. I had known him for barely over a year! I had shoes I’d known longer than him. Let alone my friends from childhood, high school, and college. I knew all their stories and they knew all of mine. These women were my collection of best friends. He was not my best friend– he was my husband. Even now I cringe while writing that because it seems socially unacceptable to admit, but it’s true.
Andy and I have had discussions about this over the years and he said I wasn’t his best friend either. He also came into our marriage with best friends from junior high, high school and college. Many of them stood with us on our wedding day to acknowledge the role and the history they held in our lives.
Two years into our marriage we started to make new couple friends and then we were a package deal, a two-for-one friend special. New friends would come into our lives to take the role of the best friend if even just for a season.
True confession- I actually hate the phrase ‘best friend’ and I’ve avoided naming anyone that my whole life. I always felt like it would leave someone out if I declared someone my best friend. So I’ve called my friends just, friends. Or, “friends we’re hanging out with a lot right now.”
Fast forward a dozen years and a road trip across the country later. Andy and I have built hundreds and hundreds of shared experiences into our relationship. With knowing each other for only a year when we got married, we simply didn’t have time and history on our side yet. But now we’ve gotten to know each other better than anyone else.
When something funny, good or bad happens, I want to tell Andy about it first. It wasn’t always this way. There were things I’d race to tell my friends or family. But that’s shifted over the years. It dawned on me recently that my husband is my best friend now. So I told him so over dinner one night. He smiled, considered it a moment, and said I’m his best friend too.
Thirteen years after meeting him, I realize I did marry my best friend.