love part 3: being in love with your best friend

“with him, life was routine. without him, life was miserable.”

–          to kill a mockingbird (Scout about Dill)

Being in love with your best friend.


This is a tough one. A great one. But a really tough one.

I guess some couples spark and blaze and then realize “shit, I just blazed with someone who could be my best friend” and off they go into the sunset.

Well. I don’t think that’s the way it works most times.

But “shit. I wanna blaze with my best friend” doesn’t seem to be heard that often either.

If you ever want to wrap your head around this falling in love with your best friend riddle make sure you have a good strong cocktail with you.

“Being too comfortable is bad for love.”


“Its so easy it cannot be love.”


How about … “we have so much in common it’s too scary.”


Those would be the main over thinking aspects that come along with this type of love.


I guess the real point here is that sometimes loving your best friend can feel like such a perfect match, each one knows each other so well, understanding expectations so well, it can become scary.

And sometimes (in over thinking mode) you kinda go “shit. What’s left? Where do we go from here?” and you get scared that this is all it will ever be.


Nuts? Isn’t it?


I guess I elected to begin this one with a childhood look at love. Possibly because Scout & Dill have the innocence to believe that romantic love can be found simply through friendship.

To Kill a Mockingbird is, of course, my favorite book and the relationship between Dill and Scout remains one of the great love stories.

(and a love story I scratch my head wondering why more people don’t use it to show the strength of women in relationships … oops … different post).

The book was written in the 50’s.

Scout is strong-minded, independent, incredibly smart young girl. Let’s just call her a handful.

Dill is solid and simple and strong and comfortable in his own skin.

As a pair they are comfortable with each other.

They are balanced in their own way and at their core is that easy friendship companionship of understanding the craziness of their differences and yet could be comfortable 24/7.


I know I am talking about kids and not complicating it with sex and passion and stuff.

But. You get the point.

So let’s move specifically to adults (or how about people who are of age to be considered adults but love makes them act less intelligent than kids).

“People always talk about that moment when they fell for their best friend. There never was a moment for me and mine. I’ve always loved him.” Michelle Burns


You wish it was this simple.

The true fact is this type of love takes no energy and incredible amounts of energy at exactly the same time.

Maybe because the people are already in love (friendship love = no work) and you have to find the energy to hop the ditch – (= lots of energy) – to get to the other side (romantic love = some work).


And that ditch looks like a chasm. Like the frickin’ Grand Canyon from friendship love to romantic love.


And that ditch is filled with something called “over thinking.”


If you can cross the chasm (and someone smarter than I will have to explain how) when I have seen this type of love work it is pretty amazing. I found this quote from Reality Bites and it is the closest to saying what I have seen:

“Sometimes new love comes between old friends; sometimes the best love was the one that was already there.” Reality Bites

As for the no energy but lots of energy thought?

Maybe it takes so much energy cause you have to dig down a little deeper (through a very very strong foundation) to find what is already there. And it takes a shitload of energy because you want to be really really careful as you dig through the foundation for fear you make irreparable damage to the existing foundation.

And it gets perplexing (hence the nth degree of over thinking that takes place) because love and friendship share many aspects in common that discerning the difference between the two isn’t just difficult but almost impossible.

Sure. Some people combine the two with a genuine love for their friends and a sincere friendship involved with their love relationship. And affection certainly is present in both styles of relationship. Friends often feel warm towards one another and share a hug, hand squeeze, or a friendly kiss on the cheek. Lovers progress further along the path than friends (yeah. sex.) but sex sometimes enters within a friendship (sometimes just as a trial … sometimes just as a drunken mistake – where over thinking then moves into a completely different stratosphere). So, yes, there are occasions where friendship may involve sex temporarily, as an experiment, or because that is an area you both enjoy and seek to share, without developing a love commitment. What a tangled web.


Add in admiration, respect and communication (typically caring conversations) which are also typically present whichever side of the line your relationship falls into.

I guess a key aspect in figuring this out is not a black & white thing (of course … it couldn’t be that simple).  Is there a sense of some inner warmth and personal companionship or is it just time shared with someone who cares about everyone they know?

The crux of the issue seems to be the crashing together of two seemingly different things.

Best friends is the long and steady road. Passion is about ‘highs.’

So I would argue passion is the tricky part.

Infusing becomes the high risk maneuver.


Infusing it is often “different”. Not bad. Just different.

It’s most likely not that Latin American salsa dancer throw caution to the wind wild abandoned passionate type.

It’s more careful caring passion.

And I think it often runs the risk of being misunderstood as “shouldn’t there be more” or “maybe something is missing”. And there may be something missing. But comfortable is tough. It is so good it is overlooked.

This whole discussion and hesitation all seems odd.

Because it seems kinda the logical thing to do this whole idea of falling in love with your best friend. It’s a person you feel the most comfortable with, you can tell them anything, you enjoy their company, and you trust them.

So. If you’re attracted to them as well you would think falling in love with them is quite the obvious next step.

I also believe that many people (definitely including myself) wants their romantic partner to be their best friend and that the emphasis shouldn’t be put on the romantic side (but not excluding “a friend I can sleep with”).

And it also seems the way you get emotional and physical satisfaction from this person, and that’s just a great thing for everyone.


Wacky things happen when you fall in love with your best friend.

When you fall in love with your best friend you never know what to expect (which seems even weirder in that thru friendship you have probably faced everything together already).

Yeah. But. It can be the start of something beautiful or the ending of a friendship (with a HUGE thud) if the feelings aren’t returned.

Oh. Let’s be clear.

Deciding whether or not to tell them that you have fallen in love with them is one of the hardest decisions that you will ever make.

No matter which choice you make you will wonder if you made the right one until you feel secure in the status in of that relationship.

Being prepared to fight for that friendship is usually a weird priority in handling falling in love with your best friend (weird in that it is a defensive maneuver when in reality all energy should be invested in the offensive ‘lets fall in love!’ aspect).

What I do know is falling in love is a different experience for everyone.

And I do know that friendships are valuable things that make people feel secure and loved.

And I do know that with these two things said that falling in love with your best friend is a scary endeavor.

And handling it can be even scarier.

It’s hard not to panic on occasion.

You have trusted them with all of your secrets and they have been your rock through the hardest times of your life. But you have never trusted them with your heart.


The good news is they typically know you warts and all. All your baggage and they still like you.


If they go along and fall in love that knowledge doesn’t disappear. They know it. And have decided … “what the hell … I can handle it as well as I could in friendship”.

So. Not to imply anything or getting ahead … if you fall in love with a best friend and they reciprocate they have accepted (just as you have) “for better or for worse.”

THAT is the prize.

Ok. This one (falling in love with your best friend) I have experienced and I do think it can work and be awesome. Tough? Yes. Maybe only tough because of the transition and nothing more.


On to love part 4 which is discussing the balance between sex & cerebral. And, no, that doesn’t just mean being a good thinker about sex.

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Written by Bruce