Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Women and the importance of friendships

I've always had only a few good friends.  I have a tendency to be the kind of person who does not make friends easily.  In my youth, I was irritating and had little social skills.  In my teens, I was depressed, covered in acne, and violently shy.  In my early 20s, I was uncomfortable in my own skin and only spoke to people I knew.

I always had a safe net of friends (actually: sisters and cousins and kids of my parents' friends) so I didn't need to make friends.  However, most of my friends who were not my sisters or cousins lived in other provinces.  Then my cousins moved away.  Then my sisters moved away.

And then there was one.

I had The Guy and I had Monty, but felt lacking in the female friendship department.

It was then I realized: women need their friends and friendships are hard work.

Have I mentioned I hate hard work?

However, more and more, I've needed the female element.  I need the things that only female friends can provide.  There is a level of camaraderie, companionship, and communication that can only be understood by another female.

Don't get me wrong.  I love The Guy.  We can sit and talk for hours about anything.  Hopes, dreams, futures, disappointments, achievements, etc.  He's my best friend.  And yet... there are times when I need to discuss things with someone who is not him.  And that is where girl friends come into play.

I have a firm belief that a woman needs someone who fulfills one of each of the following: a professional mentor, a maternal friend, a spiritual guide, a spiritual equal, a person to be foolish with, a person to discuss relationships with (e.g. sex!!!), a person who pushes you to be more than you thought you could be, someone to be quiet with, and someone who knows everything about you.  These can be filled by one person or many.  It's just important that we have them.

Sometimes friends come and go in our lives as we change and grow.  Some pick up where they left off -- whether it be days or weeks or years.  I've realized I need to work harder to create, cultivate, and cherish my female friends.


  1. The older I get, the more I value and love my girlfriends. My closest female friends all live far away too, but we manage to keep up the friendships by technological means... and when we do manage to visit one another, it is EPIC.

  2. Yes, technology lets us keep in touch but it is not the same as spending time with girlfriends. I've never felt so connected and disconnected at the same time.
    My problem is I feel a little left out of the lives of my girlfriends. I realise that people and relationships change over time. People get married, have children and are able to spend less time with friends. Most of my friends in the city have significant others and/or children. They go out on couples' nights or make play dates for their children, all making me feel very left out. Recently ending work and school has left me feeling very lonely. I understand their priorities have changed for me but mine haven't for them (I hope that makes sense).

  3. So what am I, chopped liver? We've gotten pedicures together for the love of heaven!

  4. Zoe, you're one of the friends I am cultivating and cherishing. Duh!

    Kate: That's exactly it. FB has allowed me to keep in contact with friends that I otherwise would have lost out of laziness.

    Teacher: Yeah, that is always the problem when people's lives change at different rates. Someone feels left behind.

  5. Violently shy: Introduce yourself and I will KILL YOU!

  6. I used to talk to all kinds of people all the time, but I was drunk all the time, and now that I'm not drunk every time I leave the house, I've started realizing how nice it is to have actual conversations that everyone will remember in the morning. And friends to do that with.

    I think we really learn to value people as we get older in a way that we couldn't when we were younger.


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