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Should Your Partner Be Your BFF

Kim and Rog advocate for becoming a unified “team,” arguing that friendship fosters mutual respect, intimacy, and affection—traits they consider essential for a strong relationship.

These Show Notes are a ChatGPT summary of the episode transcript (with brief additional editing)

In this episode of the podcast, hosts Kim and Rog discuss the merits of making your romantic partner your “Best Friend Forever” (BFF). The conversation begins with them declaring that they consider each other best friends, but they also admit that there have been times when their friendship within the relationship has waned, which they identify as the low points in their partnership.

Kim and Rog share their personal journey, recounting how they first met 21 years ago during their first week at university. They discuss how they became friends before becoming romantically involved, describing how they initially bonded over shared activities and in-depth conversations, or “deep and meaningfuls” (DnMs) as they refer to them.

The hosts then move on to discuss why being best friends in a romantic relationship is beneficial, directly challenging the viewpoint that maintaining a level of independence is healthier. Kim and Rog advocate for becoming a unified “team,” arguing that friendship fosters mutual respect, intimacy, and affection—traits they consider essential for a strong relationship.

They also delve into psychological research to support their perspective, citing the work of relationship experts Dr. John Gottman and his wife. These experts, according to Rog, emphasize that a deep-rooted friendship is the core of any strong marriage or romantic relationship because it helps the relationship withstand ups and downs over time.

Lastly, they touch on the concept of “positive sentiment override,” a term coined by Robert Weiss, which means seeing your partner through a positive lens, even during difficult times. This positive sentiment, they argue, is cultivated through friendship and can act as a buffer against adversarial feelings or conflicts within the relationship.

In the second part of the podcast, hosts Kim and Rog continue their discussion on why it’s crucial for romantic partners to be best friends. They delve deeper into the idea of “attunement,” which is understanding your partner’s nuances, strengths, and weaknesses over time. Rog argues that if you’re not attuned to your partner, you risk disconnecting from them, as people continuously change and evolve.

Kim picks up on the idea, mentioning that attunement involves not only understanding but also supporting your partner as they go through different life stages. She asserts that the sense of isolation people sometimes feel in relationships comes from feeling misunderstood.

Rog then moves on to discuss shared interests, pointing out that while it’s okay to have individual pursuits, having common interests makes it easier to spend time together and talk more frequently. He emphasizes that conversations foster better communication, which is crucial for relationship health. Kim agrees and states that shared interests create opportunities for bonding.

Kim later argues that friendship enhances communication within a relationship. She explains that talking to a friend usually comes with a sense of compassion and empathy, which can lead to deeper and more open conversations within a romantic relationship. She stresses the importance of trust

and the mutual desire to spend time together, saying that this is what friendship brings to a romantic relationship.

Rog discusses the power of celebrating wins and sharing joy with your partner. Both hosts agree that positive emotions help to bond partners together. Rog mentions that joy and shared celebrations can help relieve stress and make it easier to navigate the challenges of life.

In the final part of the podcast, hosts Kim and Rog discuss the potential pitfalls or “watch points” of having a best-friend dynamic within a romantic relationship. They begin by acknowledging that while being best friends with your partner has significant benefits, there are also challenges that couples should be aware of.

Taking Your Partner for Granted: Rog notes that the comfort that comes from a long-term friendship can lead to complacency in the relationship. He recalls a phase where he stopped making romantic gestures because he assumed that the bond was strong enough to sustain itself without extra effort.

Loss of Romance and Passion: Kim adds that romantic relationships require more than just companionship; they also require romance and passion. A focus on friendship could potentially overshadow the need for romantic gestures and intimacy.

Loss of Mystery: Both hosts discuss how a deep familiarity could cause the relationship to lose its initial excitement and intrigue. Maintaining some level of mystery can help keep the relationship fresh and exciting.

Stagnation and Lack of Challenge: The comfort and support in a best-friend relationship can sometimes turn into an “echo chamber,” where neither party is challenging the other to grow. This can lead to stagnation both individually and as a couple.

Loss of Intimacy: Lastly, Rog notes that becoming too comfortable as “best buddies” could potentially lead to a loss of emotional and physical intimacy. The couple agrees that while sexual intimacy is important, emotional bonding acts as a prerequisite to a meaningful sexual connection.

The hosts conclude by sharing their personal experiences, stating that their strong friendship has allowed them to weather life’s challenges with increased happiness and resilience. They emphasize the importance of shared activities and enjoying spending time together as key to strengthening their bond.

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To learn more about Kim & Rog's story and what inspired them to start their podcast.