1. Best friends know an entirely separate version of you. If you grow up with someone, and go through all of the weird, awkward phases that two best friends do, you will always get to be a little bit weirder with them.
2. Sometimes you need “friend time,” and that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your relationship. It’s just different parts of your personality that need to come out.
3. There is nothing worse than people who enter into relationships and immediately abandon/disappear from their friends.
4. Best friendships are platonic love, but that doesn’t mean that the bond is any less strong. You can care for a BFF like a brother or sister, and tell them you love them, and have a strong partnership that has nothing to do with romance.
5. Sometimes you just need to cuddle without the expectation of sex afterwards.
6. All BFFs have a private, weird, twin-language-esque sense of humor that doesn’t make sense to anyone else. You need to preserve this, no matter who you’re dating.
7. If your relationship is solid, the best friend and the SO can hang out together and it doesn’t feel weird. Having one of those relationships where the “friend” and “love” lives have to be kept separate is never a good sign.
8. No matter how good the relationship is, sometimes you will need to vent about it, and it’s important to have someone you love and trust implicitly.
9. You need someone (your best friend) to supply your SO with what to get you for all of the important holidays/birthdays/events.
10. Often, you share a totally different group of friends with your BFF than you do with your SO, and those two groups should be preserved. It can be the people you grew up with, and the people you met as an adult, and those are equally important to keep in touch with.
11. Best friends are like living bits of history, and you get to be with someone who has experienced so much of your life that you’ll feel a stronger connection with your own memories. Losing the person who gets it when you tell stories about your old self is devastating.
12. The best couples are always the ones with really healthy, loving groups of friends. The best way to bring them into any group is to have them go through your best friend first.
13. (Not to mention, they also have to pass the Best Friend Test before they can even get into a relationship in the first place.)
14. If you have to change any part of who you are — especially the friends you love — in order to be with someone, that is a relationship you shouldn’t be in.
15. Love isn’t about putting “one person above all else emotionally,” it’s about realizing that there are tons of different kinds of love to have.
16. We all know the person who is totally different around their SO and around their friends, and there is nothing healthy or sustainable about that.
17. If an SO is any good, they will want to learn from your best friend and be a part of their life as well, because they are such a huge part of who you are (and if they love you, they should want to embrace all parts of you).
18. Weddings are always insanely fun if the couple and the friends are really close.
19. If you can manage it, nights with couples and their respective best friends on a sort of “double couple friend date” are some of the most amazing nights you can have.
20. You should definitely have a honeymoon, but there is no reason you shouldn’t have a “best friend moon” where the two of you just randomly take an amazing vacation to celebrate your friendship.
21. Because ultimately, you need both, and the idea that one part of your life — your friendships — is going to be recreated our outweighed by your romantic relationships is ridiculous. Our hearts are big enough for all kinds of human connections, and there’s no reason not to have them all!