What if you only had one friend for an entire year?
Just one friend in whom you would confide. One friend to go out for coffee dates, shopping dates, and movie dates. Who liked all the same cafes, stores, and films, obvs… One friend who would hopefully get your dry sense of humor, but could also have deep conversations when you were hit with the urgency to discuss life’s deepest meaning.
Just one friend who knew which side was your best for selfies, and could help you wax that tricky part on the back of your leg. Just one friend who would sing along to Top 40 hits and not be embarrassed if you sing a little (a lot) off key.
Just one friend to do it all.
Do you know this person?! I don’t!
But here I am.. living the One Friend Challenge for an entire year. Ladies and gentlemen, here is my friend, and this is my story:
Choosing to go on the road for full-time duo travel is tricky business. There’s flights to book and accommodations to find and itineraries to plan.
But one thing that a would-be traveler seldom considers is the magnitude of the role their travel partner will play along the way.
I assumed that spending 24/7 with my husband would be a challenge, in some abstract way. But we already spent so much of our free time together that I figured it would only be the stress of traveling that would open us to more conflict. Little did I know that having Tyler as my One Friend would be enough to send me over the edge. He is amazing and interesting, but he just can’t cover every friendship need I have.
Did you see my leg waxing need listed above?!
Tyler has come a long way in understanding my personality and anticipating my needs during our four years together. And I’d like to think I’ve done the same for him. But I’m pretty sure the “forsaking all others” part of marriage vows did not mean you enroll in the One Friend Challenge for life.
For us, a year is going to be our limit. We’ve already decided that after this year of full-time travel we’ll return to our habit of basing ourselves in one place for a year. Even though a year is hardly enough to develop deep relationships, it opens up a world of possibilities for human interaction outside our marriage.
So far, we’ve made it about four months in the One Friend Challenge and it’s hard to imagine that I’m prescribing our success for a year-long limit. Can we make it!? I
hope think so.
The thing about picking a good spouse and choosing unconditional commitment is that you have 30% higher chance of succeeding at the challenge. (That may or may not be a totally accurate statistic…)
Tyler is my partner through life and he’ll be my One Friend for every major milestone of my life, and all the mundane moments in between.
While I’d rather have a girlfriend to go shopping with, and I would certainly prefer my sister to confide in every once in awhile, Tyler is learning to love Top 40. And he’s long ago given up on a professional duet career.
I wouldn’t recommend the One Friend Challenge to anyone, but it’s been eye opening for me. If you’re married… make an effort this week to deepen your relationship as if you were entering the challenge, relying on your spouse for a friendship need that you wouldn’t normally think of asking of them. You might be surprised! If you’re dating, consider what it would take in a partner to be able to meet the challenge should the situation arise in your life. And if you’re single, just thank the Lord that this is one thing you don’t have to worry about! (;