I often pause and think about how blessed I am to have some great female friendships. I honestly would be lost without these relationships and the joy that they bring in to my life. The older I get the smaller my circle of close friends becomes but the quality those friendships are worth their weight in gold. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great relationship with my hubby, but the difference between friendships with you girlfriends and your life partner are not the same, nor should it be. Marriage is a partnership, you share common goals, you raise a family together. Its a deep bond that is completely separate from your friends. Friendship doesn’t have all that heavy stuff. With your friends you can let your hair down and recharge. Plus who but your friends understand what its like to go through Menopause!
Your friends know you better than you know yourself-many friends that you have at this time of your life have been with you through everything. Multiple romances, high school dances, divorce, childbirth, death of close relatives, and perhaps more than a few alcohol-fueled crying jags. These lifers have seeing the best and the worst of your personality and have still stuck around. They can predict what you will say before you say it, or maybe even finish your sentences for you! They are not going anywhere and when you lose your job and they show up at your front door in their pajamas and a bottle of vodka, you know that you have someone you can truly count on.
It becomes easier to make new friends-I don’t know about you, but I find it easier to make a new friend now than I did when I was younger. Why this is, I’m not entirely sure. It may have to do with the whole female competition thing, meaning we don’t need to play that game anymore, or maybe we just know ourselves better at this point in life, and can be more authentic with people we meet. We don’t have to be what people want us to be and we can be who we are. I think this opens yourself up to more enriching friendships. There is less at stake. You don’t need to be friends with everyone, and when you find another person who you can really relate to, you are open to a higher level of friendship.
The laughter is more painful-I don’t mean literally painful, I mean when your cheeks, stomach, and every bone in your body is in pain from laughing so hard. You know the kind, its either over something you two did together 20 years ago, or the fact that you can relate when she says that her hubby nearly wanted to drop her off at the side of the road when she told him to pull into the next gas station cause you have to use the restroom AGAIN when he had just stopped 10 miles before. Now you are not only laughing so much you are in pain, but you just peed in you pants a little!!
The hugs last longer-Do you hug your friends when you see them? When I was younger I was not a hugging type of person. Probably cause in my family affection was not shown at all. Still isn’t. Now most of my close friends are huggers. First it was hard for me to get used to hugging. In fact, I can tell who I am comfortable with and who I am not as much just by the hug. Now it is automatic with my besties. Incredibly hugs feel great!! It makes you feel appreciated when we are getting a hug. Like you are part of a tribe. Then you have your inner circle, those hugs just last longer and are heartier than your run of the mill hug.
The advice is more meaningful-This summer this has become truer than ever before. I have needed my friends like I never did before when I lost my job. Those friends have been there for me, giving me support, advice, gifts, shoulders, and endless ears. At this time I know that my friends have a life time of experience that when they give advice it comes from that experience. That is something you do not have at a young age. I have took all their advice and wise words to heart. I know that between my friends and my family I can survive anything.
I’ve learned one thing about female friendships after 50, they are fun-loving, and life-saving. I think my friendships are an eternal fountain of youth. After all, when you are with your girlfriends, don’t you just feel lighter on your feet? Like you can get through anything. I certainly do!
Tell me, do you have friendships that have stood the test of time? How about a friend that you have a shorter history with but feel like you’ve known them forever? Tag them in the comments and let them know.