Last updateMon, 29 Apr 2019 1pm


Best Friend = Significant Other?

Best Friend Significant OtherWhen thinking of a relationship today, many do not associate it with friendship. Though you are giving your entirety to that one other person, the thought of kissing or holding hands with the person you share all of your secrets with and you let see you in your worst mismatched pajamas can sometimes be overwhelming.

The vast majority of relationships, though, does in fact fall under the umbrella of friendship, and even best friends at times. But, even though this may be the case, the balance between friendship with your partner and friendships outside of that can vary based on the relationship.

Some relationships only need their significant others for the bare minimum; obviously being honest, caring and loving, but never really relying on that other person to stress over specific minor obstacles in the other’s life. In this case, the balance would lean towards something like leaning on your partner 20 percent and your friends outside the relationships 80 percent. With this relationship type, the couple may not be as open with one another about certain topics as others. Also, the couple may not entirely know everything about the other person in the relationship.

In the middle would be the type of relationship where the couple decides that each person has their own life, but also appreciates having each other to fall back on as well.

In this kind of relationship, the partners know almost everything about each other, but as Carina Chiarella said, “you can’t have girl nights with your boyfriend.” Having the balance where the partners trust one another and have the ability to not be with them all of the time allows both people to grow as individuals and together. This is the healthiest form of relationship.

In the last scenario, however, the couple would overwhelm each other with their presence; neither of the individuals have time or energy to spend on anyone else but the other person.

Besides this leaving no time for other people, this kind of relationship does not allow individuals to grow by themselves. Later in life, this may pose as a problem in ways such as socializing at work or making a name for yourself. Also, the largest question is what would happen if the couple broke up? Both people would have difficulties moving on and finding a new way of life because what they were used to would not exist anymore.

Grace Pelerin, a MU graduate student in MS student affairs and college counseling said that she was always told that romantic relationships first spur from friendships that held something deeper. “I do believe that before all of the romance and passion that is something good to have, but on the opposite side of the spectrum, there is a time when you can have too much of someone,” said Pelerin. “Finding the balance is key.” To harmonize between a personal life and a life with someone else is the best route to take when approaching a new relationship.

Though the first and third choices do work for some, most of the time it is best to have those choices between friends and boy/girlfriend or work/school and your significant other. Colleen Finnigan, the Office Coordinator for the Department of Educational Counseling and Leadership office, has been married for 14 years and has known her husband for thirty.

Throughout her marriage, she said that they definitely have similar interests and a friend group together, but they also have their own hobbies and friendships.

Clearly, if it has worked for fourteen years and counting, balancing personal and together life is something that keeps couples happy and well.

PHOTO COURTESY of Jamilah McMillan

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
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Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
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Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu