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Sunday, March 18, 2012

There's Nothing Like a Girlfriend

I have always considered myself a woman's woman. I have always had good friends who are women, and they mean the world to me.

Since I've been single I've found I enjoy talking to guys too, though being friends with guys is often fraught with a little bit of tension and that underlying possibility of it becoming something more, so I'm more cautious. That tension isn't there with my female friends.

Being close to my women friends is not something I think a lot about, but I recently received a compliment from a guy that took me by surprise. He told me one of the things he admired about me is that I have several close female friends. My initial reaction was, there are women who don't? Well, it's pretty evident there are some - like I don't picture Angelina Jolie hanging out with girlfriends over coffee kibitzing about her relationship with Brad, how tired she is being a mother to six, and how she just can't find a good pair of jeans.

I get something very vital from my girlfriends. I get support, and a chance to just say how I feel without someone trying to fix me or the situation. Men are fixers. This can come in very handy sometimes, but other times we just want to vent about our bad day, how we feel lost or fat and don't want a laundry list of solutions. We just need to say how we feel., and be listened too. That's all. I don't want or need anyone to fix my life, I just sometimes need some validation.

During my life I have only had a couple of friendships end badly. One in particular was devastating. After over fifteen years of close friendship it was like this person didn't know who I was at all. Accused of being selfish and being a bad friend I was crushed and walked away. Another friendship I ended when the person had a very toxic resentment of me and I got tired of defending myself.

It can be complicated with other women. I don't think there's a woman alive who hasn't met at least one mean girl in their travels, but I find the older I get the better I get at sussing those ladies out and don't let them close.

For those women with whom I've very close there is nothing I wouldn't do for them. Having not had a husband or consistent boyfriend for many years, I count on my friends in a way I probably didn't when I was married. My friends have been there through sadness over breakups, bad bouts of the flu, and a crushingly empty nest when my last child left for college. They held me up when my parents both died and the grief felt overwhelming. I could not have survived without them.

They have also been my biggest cheerleaders and believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. I'm blessed to have added some amazing women over the last few years and feel incredibly grateful for the amazing women who are in my life.

I think my friend was right when he said he is a bit suspect of people who don't have friends of their gender. I love guys, and love having them in my life, but when the chips are really down, I always call one of my ladies.

2 comments:

  1. Yes, I agree about being suspect of people who don't have friends of their own gender....the same way I am suspect about people who don't like dogs! :-)

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