— Besties Know Best

My boyfriend isn't my soulmate — my best friend is

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for TNT

I have always maintained that love is one of the most important aspects of life. It enriches the time we have on this earth, and provides the people and experiences that we carry with us. With that being said, it’s pretty safe to assume that I take love — in all it’s various forms — very seriously.

My grandma is one of the most important people in my life. I love my job and the career I’ve chosen. I believe in familial love, despite having come from a fractured family. I want to protect my nephew and the children I take care of. I love books and the path they’ve given me in life. I adore my boyfriend, and I put my full support behind my friends.

I read a quote from the fabulous actress, Michelle Williams, who was asked on the red carpet about her forever date — best friend, Busy Phillips.

She said, “That’s the love of my life right there.”

Valentine’s Day is approaching, and in this ~month of love~, that quote truly resonates with me.

Not because I understand what having a support system on a red carpet is like, but because I believe my best friend really is the love of my life.

Our friendship was an improbable one. When I met Alex nearly 13 years ago on LiveJournal, meeting friends online wasn’t exactly the norm yet. I was doing some silly project for a band that I liked at the time, and she decided to add me, even though she never added strangers. Something about us just clicked, and before you knew it, we were chatting every day.

I implicitly trusted this person, and when we finally met in 2006, I didn’t even question if she was a murderer! It was as if we had known each other forever and hung out every weekend, despite living 1,200 miles apart for the entirety of our friendship.

I had never known such immediate kinship — very rarely have I experienced that instant click with someone, and that’s something truly special to me.

She became the person who knew everything first. She knew of crushes and heartbreaks, friend fights and family problems. When I couldn’t trust anyone with the knowledge of my anxiety and panic attacks, she was the first — and only — person who knew of them for quite some time.

She has never made me feel judged or insecure. Quite the opposite, actually. As a proper best friend should, she reminds me of all of my good qualities when I can only see negative ones. It’s that openness — that lack of any sort of barriers — that reminds me she will always be by my side, no matter what, through sickness and in health, until death do us part (and even then I very seriously doubt that we would be separated for too long).

And my love for her — and the knowledge that she really is my soulmate — does not negate the love I have for my boyfriend.

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He’s a wonderful human being. He brings so many different things, people, and experiences to my life. He’s someone who loves me, cares for me, and supports me in my decisions and choices. He makes me laugh…and he let’s me steal his body heat.

But that love is different from the love I have for my best friend. I don’t know if anyone, even my boyfriend, will ever know me the way that Alex does.

She’s my person, no matter what life has thrown at me or what happens in the future. If she ever needed me, I would be on the next flight out to Philadelphia — just as I know that, when something major happens in my life, she’ll be there without hesitation.

The distance has been difficult. When I have bad days, I wish it was easier to go over to her place for ice cream and Netflix.  Sometimes I’m bored, and just want to do something with my bestie. But, weirdly, it’s actually made our bond stronger. It’s made it important to keep each other updated on whatever is going on in our lives, and the time we do get to spend together is all the more precious — even if it is just flying to each other to stay on the couch and order food.

I know that without her friendship, my life would certainly be different. I wouldn’t have had certain experiences, and I wouldn’t know that kind of support. I am eternally grateful.

There are many different types of love, and so many different types of soulmates.

Love is powerful, no matter how we experience it. We have to appreciate it in the many forms that life presents to us: Romantic, familial, friend. We need each type of love. I am thankful every day for every love that I have in my life. And you should be too.

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