For most of my life I had always thought that the best relationships started through a long lasting friendship. I thought that in order to really know whom you were committing to, you needed the time that a friendship yields, first. It had to brew and seep like a perfect cup of coffee. Relationships were doomed otherwise. That was what I thought.

It took meeting my husband to see things differently. He looked at me one night when we were dating over a candlelit dinner and said, “You are my best friend;” I smiled and held his hand. I was head over heals in love with this man, but not once did I stop to consider whether he was my best friend. I have a best friend. She lives in CT and we run together and share life’s ups and downs. She has been my confidant and the first person I would call if I needed ANYTHING. This man across the table was my lover. He was turning into the greatest love of my life, but he did not fit into my archaic category of best friend.

The definition of a best friend as I knew it most of my life was a person that brings out the best in you, the person whom you can trust and be yourself, completely. The one person you could count on for the truth, and for a soft place to fall when life throws curve balls. I had never mixed the two concepts before. Friendship was always separate from lovers. Ideally, I wanted both in my life with the same person but that meant that I had to be friends FIRST. I had no idea that a real friendship could blossom in much the same way as a loving relationship does. My husband taught me that a loving healthy relationship has all the same qualities of a loving healthy friendship. Not only can they be one and the same but also, they can grow at the same pace. I was looking for love when I met my husband. I had no idea that he would be my best friend too.

I learned that in order for a real relationship to develop and grow, all the aspects and critical components of a friendship have to be present. I learned that these two very different, but same concepts, are intrinsically mingled offering the same results. I learned that you couldn’t have a loving healthy relationship without a committed loving friendship. My husband has clearly become the person that I enjoy being with the most in this world. The friendship we have been building since we met is what keeps us together. Our friendship is the foundation of how we relate and how we express ourselves. My husband taught me to love in a new way. He is my best friend and I am so honored that he was the one who pointed that out!

Sarah Ruiz

Author's Bio: 

Sarah was born in Boston, MA, raised in New York City and graduated from the University of Connecticut with two degrees. She obtained her degrees in Communications and Psychology. Through her own personal tragedies and struggles Sarah married young and had two beautiful girls. Even though her marriage failed, her devotion to her graduate education and her girls was unsurpassed. With her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in analyzing foreign markets, and a new career opportunity in MD, she moved to MD where she met and fell in love with Enrique. Today, Sarah lives in Maryland with her husband and their children, researching, writing and publishing articles and books.