A couple of days ago, I came across a tweet that said, “Aside from sex, I expect whatever kind gesture you extend to your lovers. I’m entitled to the same as your friend.”

It got me thinking, is a lover just a best friend you sleep with? Is someone you’re in a relationship with entitled to more from you than your best friend? 

I know there’s no universal answer to these questions because it all depends on the dynamics of each relationship, but I asked a bunch of Nigerians what makes their partner more important than their best friend. 

“My partner is supposed to be my forever person”

Amina*, 24

I can’t say one is more important than the other, but I’d have to prioritise decisions that affect my partner and I as a couple. One of those things is money, another is sickness. But even with sickness, if it’s possible to put the two of them in the same place so I can take care of them together, I will. If that’s not possible, I’d stay with my partner because he’s supposed to be my forever person. I would hope that my best friend would have other people who can step up when I can’t. 

“My best friends are my real soulmates” 

James*, 27

My best friends can NEVER be less important than my partner because they’re my real soulmates. With them, there’s never been any pressure. All I can be is myself. Plus, partners will come and go. My best friends have seen me through so many romantic problems but they’re still here. They’re a priority for me. 

RELATED: The Yin to My Yang – 5 Nigerians on Having Platonic Soulmates 

“My partner gives me orgasms, my best friend does not”

Amaka*, 36

I don’t sleep with my friends because that’s a level of intimacy reserved for my partner. So my partner gives me orgasms, but my best friend does not. That’s the thing about the two different relationship types. Especially with marriage. I’ll definitely prioritise my husband over my best friend. That’s family. My partner gives me affection, acceptance, security, prioritisation, intimacy and all the other things. My best friend gives all of these things but on a lower scale than my partner. 

“The connection I have with my partner is just different”

Sandra*, 26

The connection I have with my partner is just different. The physical and emotional attraction is on a higher level. I’d like to say my partner isn’t more important than my best friend, and they both play different roles. But the truth is, on a certain level, he is. That’s the person I’m spending the rest of my life with. I’m going to marry him, live with him, have a family with him, it’s a whole thing. My best friend has her own partner she’s doing the same with. Even if she doesn’t, she still has a different life outside of me. 

“It’s like asking me if I prefer food to shelter”

Adaeze*, 21

My partner and best friend are there for two different reasons, so there’s no way to compare them. One is not more important than the other because they don’t even perform the same function. It’s like asking me if I prefer food to shelter. They’re both important, but don’t do the same things. 

If you say grading their importance is a compulsory affair then it depends on what they need from me at that time. If my boyfriend loses his dad, at that moment, he becomes more important than my best friend. If my best friend loses her job, she becomes more important to me financially. 

RELATED: What Life is Like When Your Best Friend is Your Soulmate

“The only person more important than my husband is my daughter”

Mary*, 58

We’ve been taught that when you get married, whatever family you’ve had before becomes secondary to the one you’re currently building. That includes friendships. 

That is not to say friends aren’t important because spouses have ill intentions sometimes. But all things being fair, your partner is more important than your best friend— especially because your best friend probably has someone in their life they’re also building a family with and prioritising over you. In my life, the only person more important than my husband is my daughter. That’s because she’s my responsibility.  

“They both want the best for me”

Lolade*, 20

These are the two most important people in my life, so I don’t think I can say one is more important than the other. We’ve been best friends longer than my boyfriend and I have dated, but he’s closer to me because our bestfriendship is long-distance now. So, my boyfriend and I hang out all the time and my best friend and I hardly ever see, but even if there’s no him, there’ll always be her. 

They both equally want the best for me and will do anything to make me happy. Recently, on my birthday, I was really sad and didn’t feel like celebrating. My boyfriend planned an entire birthday weekend for me and my best friend sent me money. How then can I choose one when they both care for me so much?  

RELATED: 6 Nigerians on Falling in Love With Their Best Friend

At the end of the day, we should evaluate why we feel there needs to be a hierarchy for love. We should just appreciate the people who love us and love them how they’ve asked to be loved.

READ ALSO: Sunken Ships: We’re Working on What Friendship Means After a Breakup


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