I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately - friendships now that i’m a thirty-something mom with two kids, more jobs than I can count at times, and a marriage that I’m constantly trying to figure out how to carve out special time for. Actually, I’m trying to figure out how to carve out more time for all of those things! So if thats the case, then where do friendships come in? Especially for someone like me who places so much value on true friendships - the good stuff, ride or die girls, your chosen family. In an age where being “social” can be defined by likes and comments (which don’t count as communication by the way), what do we do if we crave more? Today I wanted to share what I’ve learned about friendships in my late 20’s and early 30’s and I asked my best friend Virginia to weigh in as well. She brings up an important point. Not only are these relationships impacting us positively or negatively, our children are watching and mirroring what we do. If I’ve figured out anything at this stage its this, that quality over quantity wins.
f r i e n d s h i p
don’t sweat the small stuff
After three decades of life on this earth, we’re all a little quirky, we have our things and thats OK. it makes life more interesting.
talk about how you feel
If something she said hurt you - tell her! The foundation of any real relationship is honesty.
the foundation of any real relationship is honesty
Be yourself - obviously this is true with your best friend right? You can tell her anything. I’ve found this is most important when forming new friendships. You don’t have to tell them your life is going down the toilet the first time you have coffee together, but don’t hide behind what you think someone wants to see. Give them a chance to get to know you and prove that they don’t care about the bells and whistles. This is what I look for in a friend - someone who can come over when my house is a mess, i’m still in my pajamas with no makeup on, and just hang out. No judgements, just love.
We are busy. its a fact. in this age of technology and distraction it can be even harder to carve out time to chat on the phone or get together. Prioritize time for one another, even if its just for 30 minutes a week (although Virginia and I would probably die if we only talked 30 minutes a week haha).
its the little things
as i’m writing this i’m thinking to myself, “these can apply to romantic relationships as well!”. Its true, everyone likes a little reminder that they’re loved, and that goes for friends too. If you’re friend lives far away, pop a postcard in the mail. If she’s close? Drop off a pie you picked up at the market, or flowers from the garden. Its so easy to get wrapped up in our lives but if we want to curate long-lasting and fulfilling relationships, we have to put in the time.
A note from Virginia on friendship
I have been very transient in my life. Picking up friends along the way as I moved about the country. Having recently relocated, yet again, I am starting over socially and just beginning to meet new ladies. It’s hard to do this at my age. Most women have long-term friendships in place already. Many don’t feel the “need” for new friends. I’ve never understood this, I love meeting new people, expanding my world view, and always welcome the opportunity to get to know someone. It takes time to build authentic relationships though and it can be lonely at times. It’s imperative for me to stay in touch with those friends who no matter what make the time to invest in my life, as I do in theirs. I once heard you only get about 5 major soul-sister level friendships over the span of your life. The more life I live, the more that handful of women have become my rock.
We as women have the greatest capacity for empathy and care-taking, it’s in our DNA. And yet, it is shocking to me how cruel women can be to one another, especially in social environments. You don’t have to be friends with everyone, but you absolutely have to be kind. If we could just show each other greater compassion and civility, and not get bogged down in petty superficialities or insecurities; if we could just truly support and root for one another, we as a gender would become stronger and our individual day to day lives would be happier.
We don’t just have to do this for us, we MUST do this for the girls (and boys) we are raising. Our children learn everything by osmosis. Today, mean girl behavior is happening earlier and earlier. Whether it’s our culture evolving or social media, girls are being exposed to mature social dynamics, competitiveness, celebrity culture, materiality, body image issues, anxiety and more so so young and they do not have the emotional intelligence to be able to process it all. We have to teach our girls how to be compassionate, good friends by modeling it for them, because they are watching us. That means not gossiping about that other mom, calling out and celebrating other women’s victories, starting a conversation with the gal standing by herself at the cocktail party, SMILING and saying good morning to EVERYONE at drop off, even if they aren’t in your group of friends and loving those special ride or die girlfriends with everything you’ve got.