I was very anti female relationships for a number of years. As many of us often are, I was the brunt of many bad jokes when I was younger, the majority of the taunting coming from my female peers. By the time I hit high school and college, I was incredibly cautious about the women that I let into my life. I gravitated towards men for friendships when I could. Men were far less complicated. My guy friends didn’t care how I looked or acted or spoke. I wasn’t judged for how much I ate or for how much or little I said. I am lucky that this same group of guys is still in my life 10 years later with an addition here or there and I love them all just as much now as I did back when we used to make really lame theater jokes and our idea of a “cool” night out was grabbing a late dinner and being out past curfew (because our parents said we could.)
As I age however, I am realizing, as a woman, the true importance of female relationships. I don’t even think I realized it was happening- these friendships I have found- which was probably beneficial. One day, I simply realized that I have slowly been surrounding myself with really strong, incredible women. These women work with kids, they work in hospitals, they keep businesses in operation, they travel the world, they cook, they clean, and they raise babies. They have been through sickness and surgeries and falling outs within their own friendships or families. They have conquered long distance relationships, forged new lives in a different state or country, and bought their own cars, houses, and yachts.
These women and I have bonded. We know things about each other that no one short of our life partners may ever know. It terrifies me to put that amount of trust in someone, but at the same time, I’ve realized how freeing it is to just be able to let your heart go over a glass of wine. When a female friend says “how are you” or asks “what’s wrong?” I feel as though, over the last 5-6 years, I can give honest answers to those questions and not be judged.
I know that because of my personality, I have similar bonds to my male friends. I like to know people inside and out. As a result, I have very few friends, but I’m very close to them. I would cry in front of one of my boys just as easily as I would in front of my girls and it wouldn’t be awkward. On the other hand, I’m happy that whatever slowly changed my opinion of women overall over time did just that. I’m grateful for the very small number of women that have been in my life for many years and have never let me down. On the other hand I’m grateful for the large number of women that I’ve let into my life that totally burned me- that told my secrets, that made fun of my appearance or my weight, that judged the girl they thought they knew. Without them, I never would have learned the value of a good female relationship. And everyone knows that girls run the world, so I’m glad I’ve gotten this figured out so that we’re able to run it together.