This past weekend I attended a baby shower for a very good friend. The host was her best friend. I had never met the BFF before, even though the shower honoree had been a very dear friend of mine for several years. I had heard about her but seeing the two of them together was too cute for words. I watched the host (aka BFF) tear up as she spoke about our dear friend and their almost lifelong friendship. She talked about how they met when they were five and how every important life event from Bat Mitzvah to weddings they had been at each other’s side. I felt a tinge of envy because growing up I moved around so much that sadly, I would never have a story like that to tell.
The truth is I have always had a BFF but at different stages of my life. I had a few grade school BFF’s, a middle school BFF, a high school BFF, a college BFF and now in my adult life I have a grown up BFF. Being a military kid meant moving every three years and starting over. I always kept in touch with my best friends but absence in platonic relationships doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. Luckily, I never had a problem connecting with another soul mate. That being said, even though I won’t be able to go back to kindergarten with my lifelong BFF, I have been fortunate enough to have shared a special bond with several amazing women over the years.
I am a girl’s girl! I have always enjoyed the company of other women. I cringe when I hear a woman say she doesn’t have female friends or prefers men because they are easier to deal with. Men might be easier but sister bonds are so much more fulfilling. Here is why:
We speak the same language-There is a hilarious episode of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix where a gay man pays another gay man to learn to communicate like a straight man. They are at a bar and the teacher starts to role play about how his wife is sick. The trainee first starts to tisk tisk and then nods his head. The teacher grabs his face and says “straight men make no acknowledgment at all that they heard what the other person is saying.” “Just look straight ahead!” Obviously this is overgeneralization and stereotypical but the truth is men do communicate differently than women.
We know when to listen and when to give advice-Men ALWAYS want to fix things. Sometimes we just need a sounding board and not a solution. However, we want that sounding board to display active listening skills, you know… head nods, and an occasional umm hmm.
We can be our authentic selves-You and your significant other should have a relationship that is unique and beautiful in its own right but I believe in a little bit of mystery. He doesn’t need to know every detail of your Brazilian wax disaster or how many foundations you have tried to get that no makeup look. Leave a little to the imagination and hash out the logistics with your BFF.
We know where all the bodies are buried-Again, I believe in disclosure but he also doesn’t need to know about every detail of every failed relationship. Sharing past sexual histories and important medical information is imperative but that week you spent on your couch in your PJ’s with Haagen Dazs and Kleenex thinking that you would never laugh or love again is BFF classified.
We inspire each other to be great through friendly competition-I hear all the time that women are competitive, well so are men, with each other, in a slightly different way. There is nothing wrong with a little friendly competition. It inspires us to be better than we were the day before. If your friends don’t inspire you, you might need new friends!
And finally, since many of you reading this are single moms I can pull back the curtain without being a Negative Nancy.
Your friendships should last a lifetime even if your relationship doesn’t.
So, if you are one of those ladies who disappears when a new man comes into your life pick up the phone and call your BFF today. You will be glad that you did!
If you are looking to increase your circle of girlfriends here are a few suggestions:
- Take a group exercise class like Zumba or yoga
- Join a local book club or start one
- Find a volunteer organization that supports women
- Schedule a play date with other moms at your child’s school or daycare
- Take a class-pottery, flower arranging, photography, scrapbooking or jewelry making
- Invite a few coworkers out for happy hour or dinner once a month
- Join a tennis or golf club
- There’s an app for that! http://heyvina.com is like Tinder for girl friends!
Until next post,