The importance of girlfriends.

December 15, 2011

One night during BlogHer’11 I went out to dinner with a bunch of women I’d “known” through their blogs and Twitter, and some on FB, for nearly 2 years. I was excited to be there, but the magnitude of it really didn’t hit me until halfway through. I looked around, saw the laughter, the intimate conversations between people who had read each other’s personal lives, the way we all knew things about each other, the connection so many of them had – and it hit me.

I missed, ever so desperately, having girlfriends.

And in an odd way. A way that I’d held back my friendship from women for a very long time. From being hurt. From moving so often as a child. From opening up to someone new and having them draw back after they realized they still wanted to pretend life was perfect. From being so judgmental about people until I’m sure they figured it out. From thinking that a friend was someone who I had met in person.

I was missing out on real friendships because I was afraid, and I had a narrow view of what a friend was.

In the months since then, I’ve tried to open up. To appreciate the friends I have, near and far. Just because someone doesn’t live in my town doesn’t mean we can’t have a strong connection.

I Skype. I write Christmas cards to women I’ve never met but really know. I friend them on FB. I have tried to show the friends who continually call, write, comment, and ask about me how much they mean to me. I have opened up in this city to making friends, and for the first time in a long time, made a dear friend who lives just down the road. I went to a meetup group yesterday to be with more women who share my parenting and life values.

Little by little, I am letting go and redefining the definition of a girlfriend. I am accepting some are face to face, others a phone call away. All are special parts of my life. There are ups and downs to each friendship, but most of the time it’s worth it to stick it out. No one is perfect.

Women have something to give emotionally to each other that men, however much we love them, can’t fulfill. As I let my “What if they don’t like me/hurt me/back off” fears go, I’ve seen just how much joy I get in return from the girlfriends in my life. How amazing it is to be a part of their lives; for them to share their struggles and successes with me, and to celebrate and sympathize with mine. How amazing that they love me back.

16 Comments

  • Suz

    December 22, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Muah! I’m playing bloggy catch up at work & loved reading this post. So proud to call you friend.

  • Teresa

    December 15, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    This is so true for me as well. My husband teases me that most of my friends live in the computer. It hurts because I know he is right. I have ZERO close IRL girlfriends. Thank God for my 3 sisters, or I would spontaneously combust.

  • Rach (DonutsMama)

    December 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    This was so timely for me. I’ve been struggling with this since I’ve become a SAHM. It’s been a year and it’s been frustrating trying to find other moms who are home that I can “click” with. I have to say that I’ve met some amazing friends through blogging, but only wish they lived closer so we could actually chat in person or meet for coffee.

  • Susan

    December 15, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I don’t know what I would have done without my girlfriends; it would be a lonely life without them. Girlfriends are a special gift from God. We have so much in common and because of that we really “get” what eachother is going through. It’s a lot easier for my husband to talk about THINGS (hunting, cars, work, etc) rather than FEELINGS and relationships, which are the topics that women like to talk about. Husbands and wives can’t meet all of eachothers needs, so that’s where God and Girlfriends come in. That lets our spouses off the hook.

  • Manda

    December 15, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Beautiful! I’ve always had a hard time making girl friends. Maybe for the same reasons? But, I’m really trying. Good for you for being so brave.

  • Erin

    December 15, 2011 at 11:47 am

    what are you doing to make new friends in ur new city?

  • Alena

    December 15, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I love this! You are such a dear friend to me and maybe one day we’ll live in the same place and then we can have covered all the ways to be friends!! 🙂

  • Kim

    December 15, 2011 at 9:53 am

    🙂 Loving this. SO glad you are making friends in your new city – and insanely jealous, too 🙂 I’d like to be a block away! Doesn’t Sam need to be at Dover Airforce base or something?? I know it’s hard,opening up, but you’ve got a lot to give and are an amazing woman.

  • molly

    December 15, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Oh yay! I was at that dinner with you so I’m special. Did you see the picture of us both caught in deep conversations? Priceless. I truly hope we get that chance again.

    I have recently rekindled a friendship with two of my best friends from high school. It feels so good to let everything go and start fresh. I am having so much fun getting to know them again.

  • Desi

    December 15, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Its definitely hard to keep in touch with friends that don’t live near you. I use skype every day. It keeps me sane. I miss my family and that is a way of seeing them and not just hearing their voices! I am a huge advocate for having some girl time :). Its the key to keeping me happy.

  • Cindy

    December 15, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I love this! Some of my dearest friends are close to me, but many are far, and some I have not yet met! I love the idea of a friend. To me, it has changed. One of my best friends is someone whom lives in Colorado right now, we have met three times, we chat daily, can talk about mostly anything, and honestly she is a better friend than some of my friends whom live close. Great post! Proud to call you my friend 🙂

  • Good Girl Gone Green

    December 15, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Love it! We all need girlfriends and i most definitely consider you one of my girlfriends! We need to skype or something….please! 🙂

    1. Diana

      December 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      Yes! I just messaged you back.

  • Veronica

    December 15, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Wonderful post CANT WAIT FOR MY CHRISTMAS CARD!!! That needed caps.

    1. Diana

      December 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm

      It’s on it’s way! I loved mine – on the fridge as we speak. 🙂

  • Elyssa McDowell

    December 15, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Beautifully written. It is so hard to keep extending yourself after you’ve been hurt or rejected. Kudos to you for stretching yourself!

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