Before I get off the Mindy Kaling train, I want to mention one other concept she wrote about that I really connect with. It’s the idea the best marriages are when the husband and wife are pals but not best friends.
A few months ago, I was e-mailing with a woman who said she wanted to be best friends with her future husband. She wanted that kind of marriage. I’ve actually heard a lot of people describe it that way, using the justification that for every couple, the chemistry isn’t always going to be there, so they want a friendship at the foundation of the relationship to keep things going.
I totally agree with that justification. But to me, that’s the concept of “pals”–pals are able to joke around, have fun, tease each other, and just sit back and enjoy each other’s company.
A “pal” is a subset of being best friends with someone. But as I told that woman, I don’t want to be best friends with the woman I marry.
It’s for the same reason that my doctor and my dentist are not the same person. Sure, it would be convenient to have the same person take care of all of my health needs on the same visit, but is that really a good idea? Do you want the same person who puts their finger in your butt put that same finger in your mouth? (No judgment if you do.)
My point is that best friend territory is special and sacred, just like spouse territory is special and sacred. I think the two complement each other really well, making all of your lives healthier and fulfilling because you have that balance instead of putting all of your eggs in one basket.
So yes, I want the foundation of a great friendship with the woman I marry. I want to be pals with her in addition to being lovers.
But I don’t want to be best friends with her.
What do you think? Is it all just semantics to you married people?