Health & Wellness

Should your spouse be your best friend?

Should your spouse be your best friend?

This is a lightning-rod question for many people. Some say a vociferous yes, others shout a resounding no. The issue received new attention recently after actress Anna Faris said she didn’t necessarily consider Chris Pratt, from whom she recently separated after eight years of marriage, to be her best friend.

“The idea of your mate being your best friend — it’s overhyped. I really believe that your partner serves one purpose and each friend serves another,” she wrote in an essay for her upcoming memoir, “Unqualified.”

“I truly believe it’s okay to have intimacy with different people in different ways.”

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Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announce they're separating

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Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announce they're separating

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As a pretty happily married person for 20 years who wed her best friend from college (and counsels singles/couples for a living at Smart Dating Academy), I strongly believe your spouse should be ONE of your best friends (if not your best friend). Not only is this better from an emotional standpoint, but also from a physical standpoint since women often need to feel emotionally connected to their spouses to have a good sex life.

In past centuries, expecting your spouse to be your best friend was unheard of. Men provided, while women took care of the domestic chores. That lasted for hundreds of years, but the fact of the matter is that today, society has transformed, and most people want more. They want a partnership and they want to enjoy their lives with someone they love and trust.

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The most important key to a happy marriage is...

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The most important key to a happy marriage is...

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Now, let me say this: If every emotional need you have is coming from your spouse and he is your only best friend, that can be a risky situation. What happens when you have a fight or when you need some female perspective on a situation? Or when you want a shopping buddy for the newest mascara or red lipstick you're dying to try?

Most happy men and women have a network of close relationships around them that fulfill different needs. I have great friends all around me — including my spouse — and do different things with each of them that provide me with happiness.

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Marriage 101: Millennials take college course in how to stay wed

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Marriage 101: Millennials take college course in how to stay wed

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If your spouse is one of your best friends make sure you keep other friends close to you as well. In our busy lives, this takes time and effort, but it's well worth the small cost! If your spouse is not one of your best friends (or anywhere near that category), chances are high that you will need to have an extensive village of friends around you to fulfill your emotional and venting needs.

Dating coach Bela Gandhi is the founder and president of Smart Dating Academy.

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