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Friday, February 17, 2012

Your significant other should be your bestfriend. Not your only friend.

 It's an absolute pleasure to find someone to share your life with. From the first glances, quickening of your heart, and anticipation of the first kiss, date, and anniversary, being in a relationship can be a great ride. Hands down, there's nothing better than finding your other half; the one that compliments you. For some, the search is easy but for others, it can be a truly daunting task.

The problem is, sometimes we're looking in all the wrong places or for all the wrong reasons. Sure it's perfectly fine to want the dark, tall, and handsome man, but from experience I've found their not always the best choice. In general, women need to stop looking for the Ryan Goslings of the world and start looking for the qualities that truly make a man worth sharing your life with. He's the man who can be your best friend.

This was a simple principle that took me all of my first nineteen years of life to learn. I had boyfriend after boyfriend. My parents would joke that I changed boyfriends as much as I changed my underwear. At first I thought this was a great thing.

And then I grew up . . .

I was searching everywhere, trying to fill a void that I now know only God could fill but the problem was I was looking for all the wrong things. The funny part is, I always had a best "guy" friend that I did everything with. In fact, when I think back to all my early memories, he was in every single one. Back in high school people would always ask, "Are you guys together?" and I would laugh and say, "uh no."

But they knew what I didn't know.

They knew that he complimented me perfectly. Like I said, it took me 19 years to stop looking for all the wrong qualities and notice that what I was looking for had been standing next to me the entire time.

And now . . .

That best friend is my husband.

You may be wondering what on Earth changed your mind and I'd be delighted to share with you. Here are some qualities to look for:

1. You should be able to talk to one another. 
(This is a huge thing I appreciate my husband for. I can talk his head off and know he's actually listening. He takes the time to hear my heart and then provide his opinion on the matter. The best part is, he talks to me too! Crazy right? Sometimes we find ourselves talking from when he gets off work all the way until he arrives home. Those days we laugh and jokingly ask one another, "Why are you still on my phone?")

2. You should be able to laugh together. 
(Nothing is more healthier in a relationship than being able to laugh and enjoy each others company.)

3. You can just sit and enjoy alone/down time with them.
(Spending quality alone time is very important. This can be time spent simply sitting on the couch or walking on the beach. The point is, you can do nothing and feel completely satisfied by just their presence).

4. You should be able to communicate effectively without arguing.
(Chances are if you disagree on everything or if there's no compromise, you should probably not be in that relationship. See our back article on Compromise).

5. They should fully understand what you like and what you don't. 
(If someone truly cares about you, they will take the time to get to know you. It's them saying "I love you enough to remember.")
6. They pay attention to the little details.
(This is so so important. While it may seem trivial to some, the minute details is what makes a relationship tick. What made me really look at my best friend in a new light was how well he knew me. How he took the time to know how to make my favorite Starbucks drinks or to know that I love tulips, not roses and that I'm highly allergic to lilies).
7. Finally, they know you better than you know yourself.
(As much as I hate to admit it, my husband knows me way better than I know myself. He knows what I'm thinking, what I'm going to say, and how I'm going to respond. In fact, he planned our entire proposal around my possible reactions and he got it down to the "T.")

With that said . . .

Now that you know what to look for in a significant other, I must warn you that while they are supposed to be your best friend, they cannot be your only friend.

Many women get so caught up in their relationships that they lose their girlfriends. While there are some friendships that will naturally dissolve because of many different reasons, don't let it be because you abandoned them. When approaching a serious relationship, be sure to carve out time for it and for your friends. Not only does it give you time to foster your friendships, it also gives you time to miss one another. You can't be attached to him every second. Believe me, he will truly appreciate you for giving him some space to hang out with his friends as well. The breathing room will give you time to talk about and do those girly things you wouldn't be able to do with your guy. Repeat after me . . .

My significant other should be my best friend, but not my only friend.

Great, I'm happy we got that out of the way! See you tomorrow for Styling Saturdays!

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