Wednesday, September 8, 2010

in celebration of female friendship

I enjoyed Mia's article "When Girl Meets Girl" in Sunday Life on the weekend (you can read it here). It's about how, when you're married or in a relationship, you can't date guys (well, fair enough!) but how it can be just as much fun to date girls (in a platonic sense, that is).

While it's not really "dating", it's true that there's something about a new female friendship that feels a bit like falling in love: exhilarating and a little scary. An evening with a girlfriend, or a group of girlfriends, can be a lot of fun. Best of all is time spent with a good old friend, where you know each other inside out, but still have more to learn.

When I go out with a female friend, my (very supportive and happy to look after the children) husband calls it "escaping back to singleness" (which was so long ago I'd have to squint to see it) but it's not really. It's just the joy of getting to know a new friend or re-connecting with an old friend, far from the world of dirty socks and crumby carpets and rumpled beds.

Female friendship are easy because, let's face it, we don't have to navigate past all the landmines which litter male-female communication. There are no romantic complications, and we get each other with less explaining. We can talk over and under and around and through a problem without boring anyone, and no-one tries to "fix it" and tell us we should just stop worrying.

Nothing can replace an evening out with my lovely man, and nothing's better than a good talk where he takes that finely honed male logic and gently cuts through my anxieties. But it's also good to talk around and around an issue with a girlfriend, to get a woman's perspective and sympathy, and just to chat and pray with my besties.

It's true that female friendships can be complicated by ugly realities like gossip, envy, clinginess and oversharing. But female friendships can also be loving, rich and selfless. At their very best, they help us to be all that God wants us to be.

So let's stop for a moment and celebrate female friendships, old and new. Because - praise God! - female friendship can be very, very good.

image is from lanuiop at flickr


Meredith said...

A gorgeous post. Great female friendships are so worthwhile cultivating.

I have been in a group of eight women (we call ourselves a prayer triplet but that is another story!) who have sharing lives and praying together since 1997 - not all eight present every time because at least one is usually overseas or interstate due to a work post - and we have travelled through engagements, marriages, deaths, births, infertility, sickness, unemployment and all manner of other stuff together. It is a wonderful heritage that we have and we are all certain that will still be meeting to chat and pray and drink tea when we are all old and grey!

Fiona McLean said...

Mia Freedman's article resonated with me, too, as over the last year of so I've been building new friendships with two local women, and the experience has has some similarities to a "crush" ("Does she like me too? Will I see her at school pick-up today?" etc)!! I've been thanking God for these friendships.

Fiona McLean

Jean said...

:) Some lovely reflections on friendship, thank you Meredith and Fiona! I know exactly what you mean - both of you. J.

Bec said...

You have made me really miss my easy girlfriend relationships. An by-product of moving countries a bit (as we have) is that I really value email and skype friendships as well as those I have to work hard on starting in each new place. But you have reminded me to thank God for them - old and new - so I will right now! Thanks!

Jean said...

Thanks, Bec, I hope I didn't make you too sad. :( My friend who has done lots of moving like you does have one advantage - she has good female friends in a number of different places - she starts a prayer triplet wherever she goes and they grow from there. So I hope and pray you find some good girl buddies wherever you are. :)