On Friendship

NYJL

A few months ago, I took a leave of absence from Junior League to focus on being around for my mom and because of a busy work season. Last night, we had a party to celebrate the Outstanding Volunteers we’ll honor at our ball on Saturday, and I got to see lots of ladies I hadn’t seen in the month or so since I took my leave, and my heart is so full.

My Facebook newsfeed has been full lately of articles about female friendships, so I thought it was something interesting to talk about here.

The Long Game of Female Friendships

Where All the Girls Go (these first two by Felicia, who has such a way with words)

Relying on Friendship in a World Made for Couples

What Women Find in Friends That They Might Not Get From Love

Three years into my 30s, I have to say that the quality of my friendships is one of the best parts of this phase of my life.

I had some really crappy friendships in my 20s, and I also spent a lot of time trying to make some friendships work that I should have just let go. Over the past few years though, I’ve become really conscious about guarding my precious free time and making sure to spend it with people that make me happy — the ones who know me inside and out, the ones who make me laugh until I cry.

Felicia talks about friendship (in the first link) like the market, and I’ve been careful to nurture friendships that have a return on my time investment — that add to my life, rather than taking away from it.

I love all of my married friends, too, but one of the best things I’ve done for myself in my 30s is strengthen my friendships with single girlfriends.

“It’s difficult to organize your life around friendship in a world that’s built for couples, and it’s doubly difficult when your time with friends is seen as a fun extracurricular instead of a basic human need.”

The bond runs deep with my single girlfriends who understand what it’s like to be single in your 30s in a world where (it feels like) everyone’s coupled up. Who understand dating in this difficult city. Who understand the fear that we might not find our person. I need them as much as they need me, and it works. We don’t call them “girls’ dinners” or “girls’ weekends” because that’s what they all are to us. We text the way we’d text with a boyfriend — often and consulting each other on life decisions — because our friends are the most meaningful relationships we have right now.

But single or not, as I’ve gotten older I’ve appreciated the depth of these friendships. We’ve seen each other through job losses, losing parents, dealing with sick parents, dealing with our own illnesses.

And I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Speaking of, one of my good friends has been raving about the Happiness Planner all weekend, and I bought it tonight and am excited to dive into it. Also, I did some window shopping tonight, and Kate Spade has ICE CREAM STUDS. And Old Navy is having a massive sale on their activewear.

What about you? What role does friendship play in your life right now, married or not? And…any good window shopping finds lately? I’m so happy spring clothes are in the windows now. THERE’S AN END IN SIGHT TO WINTER.

16 comments on “On Friendship

  1. Ash Diamond

    Can I get an amen for the girl who speaks the truth. You know I agree with all these words. Living abroad helped me realize what and who is important as has this past month. I’m so thankful for you and for the beauty you write in this post. I also just clicked/pinned each of those articles. Keep on giving no fucks and keep on making me laugh – pretty please.

    Reply
  2. Liz Morris

    “The bond runs deep with my single girlfriends who understand what it’s like to be single in your 30s in a world where (it feels like) everyone’s coupled up.”

    Couldn’t agree more.

    It’s a magical thing; single-girl friendships in your 30s. To say I appreciate mine is an understatement. Great post which rings very true for me 🙂

    Reply
  3. meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles

    When we find even one good friend – we are lucky. I am blessed like you to have the greatest friends. In a world that is so phony (especially here in ny!) I am so grateful to see past that sort of stuff, not get involved in it, and have my core group of friends who are simply amazing people. there is nothing I wouldn’t do for them and I know they are always there for me. In shopping news – did you see the marc Jacobs puffed heart wallets and wristlets? I want them to make a bag! It’s so cute and so 80’s style. Love it.

    Reply
  4. Sana

    Adult friendships are so so important but are so important to have. I am lucky to be besties with my running partners! We exercise and socialize together 🙂

    Reply
  5. Kim

    As always, love your honesty in these posts. I think this conversation is so important to bring to light. I am coupled up now, but work really hard to maintain friendships outside of that relationship because I know it is important and because I’ve had that fear of not finding someone. Not sure if you listen to Dear Sugar podcast, but if you don’t and you have time, tune in! They recently did a series of posts on the topic of finding “the one” and what happens if you don’t. I loved the message of living your life and seeking fulfillment and happiness within YOURSELF and letting go of these notions that we MUST partner up!

    Reply
  6. Tracy Schwartz

    In today’s society this is such an important topic to bring to light. We live in a world where Social Media can connect us with some of the greatest friends or acquaintances we will meet during our life. As someone with many married and coupled friends I always struggle to find the balance in the friendship. I have yet to hit my 30’s but I will be sure to reference this post once I do. I have 1-2 single girlfriends but I never thought about talking to them like in a relationship and sharing everything.

    These posts of honesty and beauty make you one of my favorite bloggers! Thank you for another wonderful post!

    Reply
  7. Dietitian Jess

    I’m married and have been with my husband for several years but I have always tried to be consciously aware of having time with my friends. I have way too many friends that rarely venture out without their significant other- it drives me crazy when I ask a friend what she’s doing on Saturday night and she says she has to check with her husband and see if he wants to go out. I also have too many friends that disappear when they get into a new relationship, another pet peeve. My husband and I love spending time together but we also love spending time with our friends so we make time for both!

    Reply
  8. Lisa

    The grass is always greener I guess. I’m married, and happily so, but have very few girlfriends who live in the same city as me. Nyc is tough not only for dating, but also for making friendships. I would love to have a group of girlfriends, but it hasn’t happened for me. Oh well. I’m glad you have such a great support system!

    Reply
  9. Melissa

    yes, yes, YES to everything here.

    i feel like I get more single with each passing day (is that possible?) – but it is totally OK because of the friendships that I have. And though I do have a small handful of married friends, the vast majority of my friends are single too. We bond over our singleness, laugh about our bad dates, and we make each other feel like we are not alone.

    Reply
  10. Katie

    The majority of my close friends are married, however I thankfully have some great single friends that like getting together for different events. Way to go on taking a step back, its so important to do that every now and then.

    Reply
  11. Mike

    I cherish all my friends whether they’re married or not. I do agree that hanging out with friends that are still single is more comfortable. Whilst hanging out with my female friends that are married is as difficult as it can get.

    Reply
  12. Laura

    As you know, I’ve been struggling with friendships lately, and I think part of it is what you describe around the differences in friendships with single ladies. I had always treated my friends with husbands/fiances/boyfriends as the same, but there are some things that women who aren’t currently single just can’t identify with, and I think I need to build back up my roster of single girlfriends. I love this post!

    Hugs from Colorado – hope to see you soon!

    Reply
  13. Patti

    Female friends…they are just so important. I have a few close friends. I did met a very special friend the past 3 years who helped me make it through a difficult time. She made the difficult time easier just by being there.

    Reply

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