The best and worst things about dating your best friend

by On Becoming Anna

If you have ever read my blog, or looked at my instagram/twitter/facebook, you’ll know that I have this boyfriend called Josh. We’ve known each other since the first day of uni, we met at parties every day for a week and I thought him and another boy called Ryan were the same person up until about November – drink does weird things to me.  We have been in the same friendship group for three years, but despite seeing each other almost every day, I was never really more than ‘slightly fond’ of him. It wasn’t until we starting living together in my third year that I realised I liked him as a person, I even thought he was kind of cute.

Anyway, fast forward a couple of months and we’re in this ridiculous, fairy-tale perfect relationship, and whilst I wouldn’t change him or us for the world, there are some ups and downs to going out with someone who you’ve been friends with before.

You know about their past
Obviously, as best friends at uni, it is imperative to share who you got with and where/how good they were/how long it lasted etc. etc. and then make fun of them for it for the rest of their lives. And whilst up until last year I just thought this was hilarious, as the girlfriend you suddenly start to take a different view on things. I start to take the piss out of him for someone he’s been with, like I would have two years ago, then freak myself out because I don’t want to think about him touching anyone that isn’t me. If he was a stranger I would never have known about the other people that he’s been with, but as I’ve seen Josh throughout his entire uni experience, I know a fair amount about his past. Going from the friend to the girlfriend is an interesting step, but one I’m definitely getting used to.

Knowing about each other’s past is also a good thing however. I know about his other relationships, which helps me understand him more, and we’re also best friends. We can joke and laugh about our histories together, even if it does freak us out sometimes.

Everyone knows about you
Our relationship begun in the classic unconventional way that university relationships do, and as we were housemates, we decided to try and keep our affairs on the downlow for as long as possible. Living in such close proximity with your best friends however, who know literally everything about you, I don’t think our secret stayed secret for longer than 24 hours – from then on we were the butt of every single couple joke when we were in that awkward stages of, ooh does he even like me? are we exclusive? are we dating? do I ask him any of this or will that just freak him out? As you can imagine, every night out consisted of asking us if we were together, or in love, when we hadn’t even had a sober conversation about our feelings. It was pretty awkward for a long time, and the fact that every single one of our friends knew that, made it even worse. I hate my friends so much (Jack and Joe, I’m talking about you).

On the other hand, having everyone know about you is quite good. Because we’re all friends, once people heard about our fiasco, they pretty much stayed away from us in terms of trying to pull (bar one or two), which made the whole exclusive question a bit easier to manage, seeing as there was no chance to play games or get anyone else involved.

We are together pretty much all the time
Now, I don’t actually consider this a bad point at all  as I need to be pet constantly, but at the beginning stages of the relationship, the mystery had pretty much gone. In fact, I’m not entirely sure if it was ever there. Knowing each other for a while, then living together means you have to face a lot of the classic beginning of the relationship problems head on; these may include pooing in front of your significant other, crying, having the first period where you scream at them for absolutely no reason and then cry about it some more whilst cradling a pillow and snotting down one of their shirts. There is no hiding the crazy. I had definitely seen him naked on more than one occasion, and I think he probably had seen me too. In any other relationship, this would be something the boyfriend could avoid. In our case however, there was no where for him to hide (unless he left the house for a few days, which on one particular occasion, he actually did).

The fact that we’re together all the time is pretty great otherwise. We go out together, come home together, cook and sleep together, and it’s pretty perfect. I’ve always been someone to crave my own place to get away, but with him, there seems to always be space.

We share the same friends
This is something that worries me greatly, as if we break up, who gets to keep our housemates? As the only girl in a group of boys, I’m pretty sure I’ll lose out in the divorce terms, and I’ll end up with no one, watching my ex boyfriend and best mates dance off in to the sunset snogging beautiful girls and leaving me on my own with our seven children, crying into a blanket. Sharing the same friends can be quite difficult, because when Josh is doing something really irritating like not putting the toilet seat down or not making the bed if he’s the last one to get out of it, or leaving absolutely everything to the last minute and making me freak the f*** out, there is no one to bitch to. The boys will probably have to listen to both sides of any argument, then feel torn at who to sympathise with (this should always be me because I’m absolutely never wrong, but sometimes others can’t see that). Sometimes I feel like we risk smothering each other, like Josh is never able to have his ‘boy time’ and that I’m always in the way. I wouldn’t want to change him or stop him being who he is by always being there, but it’s worked for us so far, so I guess you shouldn’t try and fix anything that’s not broken.

Sharing the same friends is also great. There’s never any of that awkward worrying that they’re going to be different around other people, or that you’re not going to fit in with him in a different setting. Josh and I have known each other in almost every situation a person is likely to get themselves into. There’s no worrying of anything to hide.

I’m sure there are hundreds of other reasons why dating your best friend is great, but also awkward and terrible at the same time, but these are the reasons I feel most specific to me. I wouldn’t change it for the world though. He does my head in, but he’s pretty great too.