forever a girl’s girl

Girls can so easily hate on other girls. Competition, jealousy, whatever. We hear it all the time, with things like “I’m one of the guys; they make better friends” or “girls are full of drama.” While that stuff can absolutely come up, I’m a firm believer in the power of female friendship. I live and breathe through and with my girlfriends. It has been my observation and experiential discovery that men simply do not make the best friends for me. As Samantha Jones candidly put it: “Women are for friendship, men are for fucking.” Although that is obviously an overgeneralization, I think at the core, she’s pretty much right.

I’ve tried [really hard] to be platonic friends with men at so many different stages of my life – mostly with ex-boyfriends or former flames, or the “friend-zoned” guy who always wanted more than I did. I don’t mean to be conceited, but it actually kind of sucks when guys in any of the aforementioned categories are attracted to me and let my looks (which I personally consider to be average at best) distract them from my less obvious qualities. It’s damn hard to be close friends with exes for all the obvious reasons. Suffice it to say, it always feels like there’s a conflict of interests. And all too often, when a dude figures out that he’s not going to get it in with me, he abrubtly stops talking to me. Well, fine.

The fact is, I’m a girl’s girl. I always have been, and I always will be. Never a tomboy, never one to watch the game. I am unapologetically feminine and vulnerable (but strong as fuck, don’t let it fool you) so I guess it makes sense that I relate better to other females. A guy friend isn’t going to relate to you the same way as a female friend. Men and women have such different ideas of what constitutes friendship — there have been countless studies on the subject. Men like “side to side” friendships. Think shooting hoops, watching the game, playing music. Women like – and need – “face to face” friendships. Big bottles of wine, sappy movies from the 80s and early 90s (Dirty Dancing and Mermaids please), cheesecake, and lots and lots of talking. About everything, anything.  I read this book over the summer and found the notion interesting. Everyone’s always on about how your husband should be your best friend – sounds great, right? But in this woman’s search for a bestie in her new city, it’s clear that husband and girlfriend fill very different emotional needs. You cannot ask your significant other to be your best friend, at least not in the sense that your girlfriend is. It’s too much pressure, and ultimately, he’s bound to fail.

I also learned via my teacher and guru Gabrielle Bernstein about the “special relationship.” I learned through her and a study of A Course in Miracles about the importance of making one’s romantic relationships more brotherly, and brotherly relationships more romantic. It’s basically like – not putting your boyfriend (or girlfriend, or husband, or wife) on a pedestal and placing them at a significantly elevated level of importance to your other important relationships. We’ve seen the symptoms of this coming through as codependence, fear, and jealousy. I try to focus on finding romance and love in ALL of my relationships, not just my primary romantic relationship. (Not to diminish the importance of those relationships; it’s more about balance.)

So yes.  I adore my close girlfriends – would do anything for them. Maybe it’s my typical Leo loyalty, or just the way I am. But when you’re in, you’re in. There are so many different types of friendships – sometimes we need momma bear for nurturing, our partying friend for a night out, or the friend who’s known you the longest for when you really need to cry. Sometimes friendships adapt and grow with you; sometimes they grow apart. People move away and have babies, and priorities shift with these changes. What I do know is this – I will continue to celebrate and cultivate my fiery female friendships. Someday (God willing) when I’m old and wrinkly, I’ll have a couple of them by my side still, and we can reminisce, knowing that were the true loves of each others’ lives.

This is what makes us girls
We don’t look for heaven and we put love first
Don’t you know we’d die for it? It’s a curse
Don’t cry about it, don’t cry about it
This is what makes us girls
We don’t stick together ’cause we put love first
Don’t cry about him, don’t cry about him
It’s all gonna happen

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5 thoughts on “forever a girl’s girl

  1. It’s kind of funny you write about this because today I’ve been thinking about how I lack female friendships. I find it hard to maintain friendships with girls for a good length of time, but I agree with you that they’re just as important as a romantic relationship. I’m on the hunt for a good shopping buddy…but until then, my boyfriend will have to be my lover and my best bud. He’s about all I have sometimes, so I envy you all who have the close-knit circle of friends you can rely on to be there no matter what.

    • It wasn’t always this way for me. When I was 16-20 I was in a long and very serious (read: teen marriage) relationship. I cut ties with ALL my girlfriends because they were doing the college thing and I was “lost” in my relationship. When that ended, I began to actively seek out and grow my own circle of friends that I met organically. Coworkers, friends of my boyfriend’s friends, friends of those friends – before long I developed a pretty solid circle. Now when I’m out and I meet a girl I click with – we just start hanging out and talking to each other. It doesn’t *always* work out, but unlike with dating, you can engage in multiple friendships at one time. That said, I don’t have a HUGE circle, maybe three or four really solid ones at any given time.

      If you lived closer, I have a feeling we would be hangout buddies!

  2. You wrote:
    “You cannot ask your significant other to be your best friend, at least not in the sense that your girlfriend is. It’s too much pressure, and ultimately, he’s bound to fail.”

    Then you wrote:
    “I learned through her and a study of A Course in Miracles about the importance of making one’s romantic relationships more brotherly, and brotherly relationships more romantic. ”

    Maybe I’m not understanding but that seems contradictory. I agree with the second sentiment, not the first.

    For anyone who claims that “it’s too much pressure” for one’s spouse to also be the best friend doesn’t have a high enough standard for a spouse. If the spouse isn’t also a best friend, then what’s left? Just a combination of (a) provider of shelter and food, (b) sexual gratification, (c) assistant in routine house chores, (d) partner in child rearing, etc.? If so, then no wonder so many married people go outside of the marriage looking for the missing element to fulfill their lives (and thereby creating the conflict that can lead to divorce).

    • That wasn’t exactly what I meant. “Best friend” can hold a lot of different definitions… I do not think that a romantic partner is the sum of a, b, c and d. My current relationship is none of those. He’s not a “friend”… yes we support each other in what we do and obviously want to be together as much as we can, but the dynamic and camaraderie that I have with my girlfriends is just not the same as the one I have with a man. One is not better than the other, just different, and it comes back to the first statement you quoted – I don’t expect or want my romantic partner to satisfy all or even almost all of my social needs.

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