January 26, 2005

Elusive Female Friendships

Last week This Chick's Life posted some great commentary regarding how she felt, not having a close female friend to hang out with. I felt compelled to write a response which I now re-post here:

I'm glad I'm not the only one going through this.

I've not been single for some time, and I truly enjoy the time I have with my partner, but not having a close female friend IS getting to me. Unfortunately I've more or less given up trying to find one for now as:

1/ My past experience has shown me there are many women who are willing to become satellites - dropping their friends / interests / independent lives - the moment they meet a guy and think there's a possibility of coupledom. Worse, still, they suddenly become available if (or when) the relationship sours and they need someone to listen to them. While I like to think I'm a sympathetic soul, I don't want that to be my only role!

2/ Friends who've become coupled or parents have little free time to share, and seem to think that not planning weeks in advance is so very, very high school and not what they, as proper grown ups, will even consider.

Wow. I didn't realize I felt so strongly about this until I read your post...

Here we are a week later, and this is still nagging at me, mainly because it seems like such a negative viewpoint.

Does this mean I expect my current group of female acquaintances & friends to go down one of those two routes?

Good heavens, no! I always hold out hope.

But it does make me wary of making deeper connections.


Cayce said...

Lately, I've been feeling the same way myself. The funny thing is that I do feel that I have close, great friends.. but no one that I feel so close that I could call up on the spur of the moment and just hang out. These days, if I want to meet up with my friends, we'd have to make plans at least a week in advance because everyone's so busy. It's such an effort to meet up, and I do wish for a friendship that was much more accessible.

Samantha said...

I'm from BE, so you don't know me, but I've been struggling with the same thing lately. I feel like I've been dumped by so many old "friends", I don't have the energy left to try anymore. I acctually blogged about it here recently, come visit if you feel like it.

Josse said...

I think this is a North American thing. I grew up in NZ and the most important thing there was hanging out with your friends, conversations and the art of "beingness." In north American everyone is so busy getting ahead that there is not time to hang out with loved ones. Personally i hate having to plan weeks in advance to see someone. i really miss my life in NZ and Australia where we used to hang out with friends after work - swimming in the ocean or going to cafes.
Take care

BustersDad said...

Hey Cin-

First, thanks for being the first commentor on my blog. It really made my day!

I know what you are talking about and the difficulty in finding spontaneous friends--particularly as folks pair up and/or move around for better jobs, etc. I think that one of the best things that I did five years ago was to start taking a pottery class. I really hit it off with the folks in the class and I still go to open studio "Thursday Late". Most of the faces in the class have changed over the years but there are about five of us that meet before class for dinner and then go to class. It is great to have a weekly support group that does not overlap with work or other friends. We joke that it is "cheaper than therapy" -- especially since 3 of the 5 of us have ended major relationships and made countless other major and minor life changes in the past five years.

The friend are out there, you just have to make the effort to find them and keep them fresh--and try not to be too discouraged when friendships change. As Helen Keller said, "when one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us." Keep looking for the happiness in your life--its out there!

L-girl said...

As I work my way through your blog, I'm mostly keeping my (many) comments to myself, but here I must add my voice.

This is an age-old concern among women, and though it happens, it's not inevitable - definitely not!

It's true that women with children tend to hang with others who have kids, and it can be challenging to maintain friendships across major life differences.

But there are so many women who deeply value female friendship, and want it to always be an important piece of their lives. It's disappointing, it can be crushing, when friendships don't last - and that's part of life. But so are the bonds of sisterhood.

Living a very scheduled life shouldn't be a factor in this, IMO. I use a calendar - as does everyone I know - but it's not because we're too busy "getting ahead" for friendships! It's has more to do with activism and busy cultural lives. I plan when I'm going to see friends because those friends are important to me and I want to make sure I see them! Friendships are not necessarily better when they're spontaneous. Planning to see someone doesn't mean you love or value them any less! It's just a different way of living - but greed and ambition aren't necessarily part of that picture.

The blogger you quote is writing in disappointment, and who can blame her. But real, lasting friendship is out there, too.