The real #CoupleGoals is making your boo your bestie.
– Keys Soulcare
From the classics like When Harry Met Sally to the modern coming of age tale To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, watching love unfold between unsuspecting pals draws us in. But, don’t write off friends-to-lovers romances as mere movie magic. More and more, relationship experts are finding that when it comes to romance, friendship is taking center stage and becoming the main driver for building long-lasting, happy connections.
One couple that’s living proof of this truth? Alicia and Swizz. Read on to uncover the magic behind their 11-year marriage and how to bring the power of friendship into your own romantic relationships.
Make no mistake, communication is essential in every relationship, but we’re often misguided when it comes to romantic love. Many societal pressures discourage expressing disagreements or speaking up at all to avoid conflict, especially in the beginning. For Swizz and Alicia, direct and clear communication is the non-negotiable that sustains their marriage and keeps them from heated discussions down the line. In an interview with Marie Claire, Swizz gave Alicia credit for their success. “We have this method my wife came up with, where I speak or she speaks, and then we repeat what each other said so it’s understood,” he said. “We haven’t ever raised our voices to each other.”
If you’ve ever taken a risk to build your dream career or wore an outfit you’ve been saving for that special occasion, nothing can boost your confidence more than a best friend. When pals can genuinely cheer each other on and celebrate each other’s gifts, friendships flourish. This is a key element in romantic partnerships as well. Alicia and Swizz have a mutual respect for each other—as both artists and individuals—and aren’t afraid to share the spotlight. Alicia told E! “He’s always encouraging what it is that I’m envisioning. I love that there’s support there.” It’s clear Alicia and Swizz adore each other and we love seeing them both shine at full wattage.
Our friendships not only bring us opportunities to connect with others, the best friendships also teach us to be more connected to ourselves. When it comes to romance, it’s important to enjoy growing together, but equally important to grow your independence. When it comes to your “other half,” it’s all about balance and finding a love that makes you feel free to be seen. “I think a lot of times people think they own each other because of a ring. She’s her own boss. I’m my own boss. We don’t own each other,” Swizz shared in NOTED: Alicia Keys The Untold Stories, reminding us that love is just permission to live up to your fullest potential.
Is your partner your best friend? What’s your secret to a happy relationship? Drop some gems in the comments!