I met my best friend when I was 19 years old. We were young and living our best lives in New York City. I was pursuing a career as a dancer and he was making his way into the music industry as a producer. We hit it off as friends from day one, and he has been like a brother from another mother ever since. And now we have been doing this friend thing for over 22 years.
We basically figured out how to adult together. He was there for me through many relationships and breakups, and he rooted for me when I fell for my husband. Over the years, as life has happened, we have only gotten closer — and my husband has been okay with our friendship every step of the way.
Before you go assuming, my husband is not a pushover in any capacity. I admit to being a very stubborn woman, and I need a strong personality to balance that. And his confidence and ability to call me out when I am being a pain in the butt are some of the main reasons I decided to marry him. Not to mention, he was the one guy that my best friend liked from the very beginning.
The thing is, I am just the kind of girl that has always had guy friends. People tend to think that means I don’t like women, but that’s just not true. I was in a sorority in high school, I lived with two other women back when I was single, and I went salsa dancing every weekend with the same group of ladies for years. Even now I have a group of amazing girlfriends, I love taking “girl trips,” and I am a member of several mom groups. So I am not the type that can’t get along with women.
There was just something about me and my best guy friend that clicked right from the beginning. It started with him offering to get me some food the first day we met, and I knew we could at least be foodie friends. The next thing I knew we were partying together, acting as each other’s wingman and supporting each other through career changes and relationships.
I am a heterosexual woman and he is a heterosexual guy. But over the 20-plus years we have been hanging together, there has never been anything sexual between us … not even a kiss. I speak to him almost daily and we tell each other “I love you”… well, it’s more like “love ya,” but you get the point. I traveled across the country to be with him during his chemo treatments and he has been there for me when I needed him.
We are like any same-sex pair of best friends. What do we do when we hang out? Go shopping, eat lots of good food, laugh and watch bad TV. He knows me better than anyone and I can always count on him for his honest opinion, even if it’s not what I want to hear. And we have been through so much together: boyfriends, girlfriends, marriage, kids, divorce and even cancer.
We tell each other basically everything and we will forever support each other no matter what. And besides, who better to bitch about your husband to than your best friend? But one difference with a guy friend is I get the bonus of an honest male perspective I know I can trust … so it’s a win-win for me.
How does my husband feel about this? Thankfully, he isn’t the jealous type and none of this fazes him at all. To him, my best guy friend is no different than any of my girlfriends. Do they know each other? Of course. Are they close? Nope. Do we all hang out together? Not at all.
And it is not because I lack things in my marriage. My husband is one of my favorite people in the world and we share a happy life together. He is the first person I want to share my good news with and the shoulder I cry on when I need it. We can stay up into the wee hours of the night chatting about all kinds of things and sometimes I love just sitting in silence with him doing our own thing together.
But my husband and I have always been fairly independent people. We have never been the couple who is constantly attached at the hip. It has always been important to us to have social lives outside of our relationship. I have friends that he doesn’t hang out with and he has friends — including women — that I don’t hang out with. And we are both okay with that.
I know a lot of people in heterosexual relationships aren’t comfortable with their spouses having close friends of the opposite sex, and I get it. It’s not the norm. I mean, every other rom-com is about male/female best friends finally falling in love. And we have been programmed to believe that is impossible to have platonic relationships with the opposite sex … but that is just not true.
My husband and I trust each other. We have a healthy, thriving relationship that I believe is served well by the fact that we are not completely dependent on each other or up under each other 24/7. So, if you think no husband should have to put up with their wife having a male best friend, we can agree to disagree. Because at the end of the day my husband is okay with it — and that’s all that matters to me.