Why Best Friends aren’t just a High School Fad by Allison Rose
As a young girl, I had a plethora of best friends. Girls that I laughed with, played with, created imaginary worlds with, chased boys with and ate lunch with in the school cafeteria. When I reached High School, my friendships grew deeper and stronger and these relationships were like gold to me. At this age, a girl would have been lost without these connections and support. Sleep overs, sneaking your parent’s alcohol, broken hearts, learning about makeup, drivers’ licenses, passing notes and all the usual teenage girl shenanigans were made possible with a best friend by your side. It didn’t matter what we were doing, as long as we were doing it together. So many of my early life moments, feelings and memories are associated with a best friend, and at that time I never could have imagined a life without my best friend.
As a teenager, you know everything and so does your best friend. That’s why you’re best friends. However, something they don’t teach and prepare you for in high school is that as you evolve into adulthood, finish college, start careers and families, these friendships begin to fade, they become less of a priority and coffee dates, wine nights and phone calls get farther and farther apart. Husbands, children and work begin to take up a bulk of your time, leaving very little time to nurture any other relationships. Especially the ones that we need the most, even if we don’t know it.
Over the years I lost touch with my girlfriends and these relationships and any new ones took on a very surface level connection. I just assumed this was a normal part of growing up and being an “adult”. Best friends were juvenile and it wasn’t fair to my family to have them when they needed me. For a girl who knew everything, I knew nothing. (Don’t tell my mom) ……What I now know, is that you can’t always sacrifice the things you need for your family. You can’t be the person they need if your cup is empty. And what I need is a best friend. And so do you.
It’s validating to have the types of best friends who really “get” you, and know your history. It’s important for emotional stability, to feel like you are not alone in the world, and a friend like this satisfies that need. This type of friend is usually someone you’ve known for a long time, although friendships like this, which often seem quite magical, can happen at any time if we’re open to them. The gal pal who has known you since forever may be the one you walked hand-in-hand into kindergarten with, or your college roommate. She may even be the woman who introduced you to the love of your life. She may be somebody that you just met. Female friendships are so healthy for us. A best friend is not only necessary, it’s magic.
A couple years ago, I realized that I was missing something in my life. My heart didn’t fill full and I often felt alone. So, I started making coffee dates, wine nights and phone calls a mandatory part of my day, and it has made all the difference. Today, I am blessed with a best friend and more female friendships than I can count. I will never again take these relationships for granted. I need them as much as the air that I breathe.
I may not know everything, but one thing that I know for sure is that women need other women in their lives.