If You Have Great Friends, You Have Everything You Need In Life

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hugging friends

Everywhere I look, there are articles floating around about how to get a man. It’s all about getting married, getting in bed, and getting people to have a sexual interest in you.

In our world, it’s no joke. Romantic relationships are king and, to a point, people even seem to look at you a bit funny when you say you’re single past a certain age.

Our attitude towards relationships sucks for a variety of reasons.

It sucks because most of the pressure to be in a relationship is on women, not men. It sucks because it makes men feel worthless if they’re not getting any.

It sucks because it really encourages us to have this weird, indescribably frustrating tunnel vision where we don’t care about our friends or how to be a good friend, and focus all our time and effort on a relationship ending in marriage, kids, and a white picket fence we may not even want.

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Seriously, I can’t even begin to talk about how much that sucks.

The thing is, most people want sex and companionship. They want validation that, yes, they are attractive. They want intimacy and the security of knowing someone cares about them.

It’s excruciatingly painful because, at one point or another, you keep trying to make things work with people who don’t give a damn about you — all knowing you’re basically just trying to do the impossible so that you can have that validation. (And the regular sex doesn't hurt, either.)

It’s brutal on your psyche. I ought to know; I fell into the relationship tunnel vision issue harder than most other people I know. And while I still would love a husband or wife, I’ve also realized I might be better off just being alone than being with the wrong person.

Think about what having really great friends means.

I don’t want to talk about friends who are just good — I want to talk about great friends.

Great friends are the ones who will stand up for you when you can’t defend yourself. They’re the ones who will give you a place to stay when you are out on the street. They’re the ones who will come by and drive you to the hospital when you’re really not feeling well.

Great friends love you just as much as any spouse will because to them you are family. Great friends don’t betray you, nor doubt you, nor do they do shady things. Real friends are there for life and will always make an effort, whether they’re taken or not.

Great friends can be found once in a blue moon; the most lucky of us will be able to count them on a single hand. Most people I know don’t really have a friend who would be there for them regardless of what tragedy happens.

In a weird way, your closest friends are more intimate a relationship than a spouse is.

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Think about the last time you dealt with a breakup in front of your friends — you know, the friends you trust. When you were wailing, they were there for you. Your ex wasn’t. When you drank so much that you almost did something stupid, they stopped you. A love interest didn’t.

They saw you at your lowest and were there for you when a lover wasn’t — and if you think about it, that’s a pretty intimate moment that most people won't experience with you. Not many people will ever see you at your weakest and be there for you.

And it’s not like you can’t get a lot of the privileges of a relationship from close friends.

Friends can hug you. They can cook for you and bring you out to cool places, much like a date would. They can even be your roommates and act as your family in some circumstances.

They can give you advice, lend you money, and even take care of you when you’re sick.

In many ways, our best friends can double as the spouses we wish we had — even when we have our own. Your real friends love you and it’s a love that’s purer than a romantic relationship.

If you think about it, your real friends are the ones who love you, too. They do things for your benefit without asking anything in return.

They don’t stop talking to you or stop being interested in chilling with you just because you don’t fit their ideal "look." They're just there for you and you’re there for them.

That’s real love, man.

With dating, things like appearances, sex, and even your socioeconomic status matter a ton. Meanwhile, friends don’t typically care about that stuff — and that makes friendship all the more real.

The only thing that seems to be missing from friendship is sex. I will be the first to admit that my libido gets the best of me. I will be the first to admit that I need it, and for that there are apps and other methods you can use to have sex.

If things are really not looking rosy in terms of "natural" hookups, then you can always use an escort. Realistically, there will always be ways to make ends meet.

Basically, what we need is friendship. Great friends give you emotional intimacy.

They take you out when you’ve been cooped up. They do all sorts of wacky, wicked things with you, and they’re there for you when you need a rock. They are your family.

And isn’t that everything we need, anyway?

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others. Follow her on Twitter for more.