The one thing great couples and best friends have in common

You've heard it before: Marry your best friend. Have you ever wondered why so many people give that same advice? Well, great couples and best friends have something in common.

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  • When I was in my late teens and early 20s, the advice I most often got from my elders was always the same: Marry your best friend. Over and over I heard this. As often as I heard it, I figured they were onto something. So, I set out to do just that. I wanted to marry my best friend. All I had to do was find one — easier said than done ... especially if you don't know what you are looking for.

  • What do best friends and great couples have in common? Along my journey I discovered it was pretty simple.

  • Respect

  • To respect someone means you have a deep admiration and reverence toward his or her qualities, thoughts, beliefs and achievements. It means you hold him or her in high regard and value who he or she is and what he or she represents. Great friends and great couples respect one another.

  • They have a respect for each other's:

  • Time

  • Time is such an important part of any relationship. It doesn't matter if it is a business relationship or a romantic one. Time is what each person has to offer. If it isn't respected, it has the potential to ruin just about any relationship. Would you ever demand your friend not go to an important event just to be with you? No. So, why should the relationship with your partner be any different?

  • Family

  • People who say, "I married you, not your family," have no idea what they are talking about. Friendship and marriage both mean interaction with families. Imagine your best friend walking in to your family home and being standoffish, disrespectful or rude. Imagine if you had to hear him or her say, "Gosh, your mom is so annoying." I'm willing to bet you wouldn't stay friends for very long. Marriage too requires acceptance and patience when it comes to families. After all, the family your friend or partner grew up in is what helped mold him or her into the person he or she is.

  • Space

  • Alone time is healthy and vital to recharge and energize. You do not have to do everything together and constantly be around each other for your relationship to flourish. Respect the fact that sometimes alone time is needed. Don't demand attention and never make the other party feel bad for needing his or her space.

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  • Beliefs

  • You may have heard that it is best to be friends with and marry someone with the same set of beliefs as yourself. It does make things easier; that is for sure. But, just like the rest of life, you can't always plan on that being the case. It is OK to believe different things. With that said, sharing and practicing your beliefs should be respected. Each person should feel safe doing so.

  • Being a couple should mean you are best friends. Remember to have respect when it comes to that special someone.

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Cristel Romero is a wife and mother to three sons. She works part-time in marketing at a home health company.

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