When I reflect on my many blessings in this life, my girlfriends are always in the top five. Women have always played an essential role in my life. I saw my mother and her girlfriends build a beautiful bond – even after we moved to a new country. My mom continued the friendships with the women I still call aunts. Four decades into my life, I feel blessed that I can give the same example to my children, especially my daughters.
I recognize that making new friends in adulthood can be challenging, and I want to show empathy for any woman reading this who is unable to relate. I’m deeply sorry and I hope reading this will inspire you to take the risk and invest in female friendships. One of the best things about our modern-day world is that friendships don’t have to be in person and that we have many ways to stay connected with our friends.
The truth about friendship is that the best way to maintain great and long-lasting friendships is to be a good friend first. Here are some of the ways I honor my girlfriends and our relationship.
Hype Up and Support Your Girlfriends
My friends are talented in different ways. I have girlfriends who are stay-at-home moms who make parenting look like a piece of cake in the best way. I have friends who are killing it in their careers, marriage, and life. I take the time to hype them up. There’s no room for jealousy. I listen to podcasts they are in, I read what they write, I share posts, support their businesses, and buy their music. Whatever it is, I’m there for them. I pray for my friends. When there’s a new guy, I’ll go on a double date. When there’s a new baby, I’ll start the meal train. I’ll listen to them vent about their work, boss, kids, and partner without judgment.
Celebrate with Them
Whenever my girlfriends get married, start a new job, or have a baby, I add it to my Google calendar with a two-week and day-of reminder set to repeat annually. The thing about celebrating with your friends is that it doesn’t always require money. I find that taking the time to remember and honor their special days makes anyone feel loved. It’s a small yet impactful way to let my girls know that they mean a lot to me. Don’t just stop there; I attend as many events as I possibly can. My friends know how much I detest driving but there’s no distance I won’t drive to attend their graduation, their child(ren)’s birthday, or any other special event they have. This is part of friendship – celebrating and mourning together as the events occur.
We live in a world where everyone is busy, yet so many people are lonely. I do my very best to stay connected with my girlfriends. I know group chats can be exhausting but they are so efficient. I have a group of girls from my twenties who have gone on a girls’ trip annually for over a decade. That chat isn’t always active and we all live in different parts of the country but we use it to stay connected. For my friends within Houston, I do my best to get together when we can. It requires planning and commitment, but my family knows how important it is to me. When it’s on the family calendar, I do everything I can to make it happen. The thing about staying connected is not the frequency – it’s the consistency. Even if you don’t talk daily, weekly, or even monthly, being consistent in your communication is what will help you honor your friendship.
Accept and Forgive
It seems people are quick to drop people for any reason. While I’m not condoning toxicity and unhealthy relationships, I’m saying we have to learn to accept our friends for who they are. Yes, that friend is always late but they also always show up. Yes, your introverted friend doesn’t come to your big parties but they are there when you need a last-minute sitter. It is my self-awareness of my flaws that make me more accepting of my friends and their flaws. There’s beauty in knowing someone’s mess and loving them despite it. Lastly, while conflict occurs in many relationships, if it bothers me, I reach out to my friends and work it out. When I’m the one who offends, I take ownership and apologize. They mean that much to me.
So, on this National Girlfriends Day, I hope you’ll take a look at your friend list no matter how short or long it is, and commit to honoring them because your gal pals are some of the most important relationships you’ll have.