I am single, but Valentine’s Day doesn’t bother me in the way that it does many who think it serves as a sick reminder of their party of one relationship status. For me, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate the relationships and love in your life that isn’t transient, that isn’t romantic, but is always there. For me this is family and friends.
I truly believe that there is no relationship more sacred than that between best friends. Maybe it’s because I’ve yet to experience the kind of deep torrential romantic love featured in movies like The Notebook, but I’ve been through enough of those relationships via my friends and their significant others to know that at the end of the day, romantic love can be fleeting or long-term, but best friend love is forever. Best friend love is going to be there for all the ups and downs caused by romantic love, and best friend love is going to feed and nourish your soul in a way that only someone who has been there for you through breakups, makeups, family drama, tears and hair holding, truly can.
One of the hardest aspects of best friendships though, is learning to share them, especially with significant others. Here is this person who is your platonic soul mate and suddenly they’ve found someone who can offer them something wonderful that you can’t, sex. There is a careful balance that is hard to maintain in which as a best friend you need to be willing to give your best friend time and space to revel in their new romance, but he/she also must make an effort to not take advantage of your space giving and forsake you entirely.
There can naturally be some trepidation in throwing yourself into liking your best friend’s significant other, because of the jealousy aspect, but you have to get past this to be able to see the person for what they truly are. Now I am not saying that you always need to love your best friend’s significant other, and what I am about to say does not apply if this person is abusive, a jerk, or in anyway mistreats your best friend. In situations like that I invite you to hate on them and try and convince your friend that this is not a good situation to be in. In all other situations, I invite you to see through your jealousy or feeling of loss and think of your best friend. Think of all the selfless things they’ve done for you and how you privilege their happiness above most other things.
One of my best friends in the world (M. you know who you are) started very seriously dating a guy a couple years back, who for some reason I just didn’t like. After some serious soul searching as to why, I realized I was just jealous. Not of their relationship, but in what it was taking away from ours. Once I made this realization, I started to truly look at the guy she was dating, not as the evil boy taking my best friend away from me, but as a human being and as a person who treated my best friend like a queen and made her happier than I had seen in a long time. I realized that true friends are the ones who allow you and encourage you to be happy, and to be a true friend I had to start loving my best friend’s significant other, because of how happy and confident and strong he made her.
This Valentine’s Day, I invite anyone struggling with the somewhat odd threesome dynamic that is best friends and a significant other to evaluate your feelings towards their best friend’s significant other. If these feelings are negative for no apparent reason, then think about your best friend. Think about their happiness and celebrate your guys’ best friend love on Valentine’s Day by learning to love their significant other.