You’ve been with your boyfriend a long time, and you two have developed feelings of friendship, so much so that it’s starting to feel less like a passionate love affair and more like the two of you are best buds. You often hear how people refer to their partners as their best friends, and you wonder what it could mean when these feelings of friendship seem to trump passion. Understanding the reasons why the lines can be blurry between a best guy friend and boyfriend may help you find the meaning behind your dilemma.
Knowing Him Well
One of the many reasons you feel more of a friendship with your boyfriend is that you are comfortable around him, which enables you to reveal your true self. Long-lasting relationships have at their core deep friendship. So feeling like your boyfriend is your best friend is normal and may suggest that you will be compatible over time. In fact, there’s a name for the feeling you have: companionate love. And in the study "Passionate and Companionate Love in Courting and Young Married Couples" published in the journal “Sociological Inquiry,” researchers Susan Sprecher and Pamela Regan have found that having a relationship built around companionate love leads to greater satisfaction.
Walls Have Crumbled
When you really get to know someone, you open yourself up more and the walls come tumbling down. This kind of vulnerability and honesty is associated with intimacy and genuine friendship. Granted, this doesn’t make for a good Hollywood blockbuster because of the lack of pizazz and absence of flying dishes and heated encounters. However, in real life, having an authentic relationship based on mutual interests, genuine like and respect is invaluable. Try to enjoy the settled contentment that comes along with your relationship -- it is special indeed.
The two of you spend a lot of time together and it’s probably because you enjoy each other’s company. Enjoyment is one of the expectations of an ideal friendship, say researchers Jeffrey Hall and Bailey Hall in the study "Friendship Standards: The Dimensions of Ideal Expectations" published in the “Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.” Those awkward silences you had on the first few dates are long gone. You are interested in similar things and can spend hours on the phone talking about everything under the sun. You’ve had embarrassing moments together and you can easily laugh them off. So, feeling like you’re with a friend when you hang out with your boyfriend is normal.
A Place for Passion
Sometimes, no matter how much fun you have with someone or how comfortable you are around that person, it doesn’t feel like enough. Perhaps you want that fire in your relationship or a look or touch that makes you go weak in the knees. It’s normal to want that, but do know that it will likely subside over time, say Sprecher and Regan. However, adding more passion to your relationship is a great short-term strategy for experiencing some zest and thrill. You could try increasing the physical affection you have with him, kissing more intensely, holding hands and caressing one another.
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Nina Edwards holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been writing about families and relationships since 2000. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and often writes for relationship websites as well. Edwards is a university lecturer and practicing psychologist in New York City.
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