When I was in my 20s and, to some extent, my 30s, I was often so focused on my romantic relationship that I didn’t put as much time and energy into my friendships with other women as I should have. I had friends, of course, but I didn’t nurture those friendships the way I did when I was in grade school (and even high school) or now. I regret that.
Now that I’m in my 40s — and loving it, I have to say — I’m convinced that among the best things a woman can do for herself (and her marriage or romantic relationship) is to nurture deep and meaningful friendships with other women. Friends round out our lives, and balance us. Having healthy, vibrant friendships also helps to make sure we don’t expect our romantic partner to be our everything. Wise women, women who can willingly submit to (trust in and support) a man are able to do this in large part because they nurture strong friendships with other women as part of their life’s foundation. The more complete you are on your own, the healthier your relationship with a man will be.
I feel very fortunate to have two very dear friends in my life, Katherine and Sandi. I’ve known Katherine only for a couple of years, but she has quickly become one of the best friends I’ve ever had. She’s brilliant, refined, well-educated and hilariously funny. She’s a mom and a fighter. I’ve known Sandi since we were 14 and met in band, and though we fell out of touch for some of the middle years since then, we have in recent years rekindled our friendship and become closer than ever. Sandi is one of the most talented musicians and dancers I’ve ever met, and an incredibly patient, resilient mother. Her laugh is infectious and beautiful. These two women have been rocks in my life. They make me laugh, they let my cry. They are my chosen sisters and I love them. We get much-needed support from one another on everything from raising our kids to managing our men to knitting (Katherine is one hell of a knitter).
Tonight, I’m very excited because I’ve made a brand-new woman friend, a fellow writer and lawyer named Monique, and she has graciously invited me to join her set of girlfriends for their Girls Night Out dinner. Among the new friends I’m meeting are a filmmaker and a pediatrician. I am so looking forward to the company of amazing women.
I know many of my readers here are younger women than I am, and I guess I just wanted to throw this post out there to remind you to remember your girlfriends. I know men are important, and when you’re searching for your future husband it can be very hard to tell that hot guy you can’t see him this weekend because you have plans with your friends. But I promise you, there is no substitute for the support and love of friends. They are the net that catches us when we fall. Make time for them, and nurture those connections. You’ll be glad you did.