A Grown-Up Girl’s Guide to Friendship

There are blue ships and red ships, but the best ships are friendships.”

True friends are those with whom we share bonds that cannot be broken no matter what happens in life. We have school friends, work friends, virtual friends and life-long friends. We grow up and move on from some friends. We fuck up, get caught up and sometimes give up on friends.

Whereas false friendship can devastate, true friendship can withstand and forgive. Follow these five steps to navigate the treasures and traps of friendships.

1 | What Makes a BFF and Why They Should Always Come First —

Your best friend is the one you call in the wee hours, the one you bare your soul to. You keep each other’s secrets and are supportive of each other — without judgment. This is your best friend before, during, and after a new love, so heed caution when starting a new relationship. Sure, we all get excited about a new love, but it’s always good to remember, girlfriends/boyfriends come… and they often go. Friendships, like the one you have with your BFF, are there for the long haul and that is not to be taken for granted. While there may be some adjustments in the amount of time spent together, make sure to devote some quality time every week to your BFF… because in the case that your new boo turns into a toad, you’ll need them to be there.

2 | Growing Apart Doesn’t Mean Goodbye —

That being said, sometimes new love does turn into forever. This can lead to children and a bigger house in the suburbs or a new city. One of you may need to go on a personal journey, while the other may have life all figured out. Maybe your BFF suddenly becomes a vegan and you’ve never met a steak you didn’t like. Maybe one of you goes through something traumatic, or an illness strikes. The bottom line is: life happens, and people do change. Some fair weather friendships may not survive those changes, while new ones may develop on the side. But the ties that bind BFF’s run deeper than what happens on the surface. So when it seems like one of you may be falling away, pull her or him back and remind each other of what unites you, instead of what has come between you.

3 | Don’t Make Assumptions —

Sometimes however, one of you may fall so far off the radar that you don’t know if there is any coming back. Maybe one of you is single and the other has a family, and to the single person it feels like they are the only one putting effort into the friendship. Don’t assume that your friend doesn’t love you anymore just because they are no longer as available. Don’t assume they don’t want to visit because they don’t care, or don’t call because you think they aren’t thinking of you. Assumptions lead to resentment and before you know it, there will be an energetic ocean of frustration between you — on top of whatever is really going on. Usually the fear of picking up the phone after not hearing from someone in six months is more terrifying than actually doing it.

4 | Being Accountable Vs. Being Right —

So maybe there is a legit reason you haven’t spoken in a while. They did something, or you did something, or someone thought the other person may or may not have done or said something… whatever. The reality is there are always three sides to every story: theirs, yours and the truth. Meaning in all likelihood, no matter who started it, both of you are right and both of you are wrong. Which ultimately means, one or both of you have to show up and admit your part in what happened — even if you don’t think you should be the one doing it. The old saying “It’s never too late to say you’re sorry” is true. Holding on to anger doesn’t make you more right or them more wrong. No one wins, so just reach out!

5 | Apologies + Forgiveness —

Say it with me now: I love you and I’m sorry. Or say this: I forgive you and I love you. There. It wasn’t so hard, was it? No one wins when someone’s need to be right is bigger than their capacity to forgive. It doesn’t mean things magically go away, but part of what made this person your BFF in the first place was that special bond where you can share everything, talk about things, and be real and honest with each other. So bring that back, admit your parts and hug it out over a bottle of Rosè… or if you live in different cities, then two bottles over FaceTime. Your best friend is irreplaceable, and that’s worth all the wine and WiFi in the world.

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