Contrary to what the movies might have you believe, some of the most important relationships you have in your life are not romances but friendships. But not all friendships are created equal — there are certain things women deserve in friendships, and any good friendship you make will definitely include them. Because women deal with enough nonsense all day, every day, from just about every other aspect of the world; our friends, at least, should be easy.
When it comes to women and friendships there are a lot of misconceptions. For one, there's this incomprehensible stereotype that women can't get along, that we're too inherently petty or catty or competitive with one another. I don't know where this idea came from (though I strongly suspect it's one of the many ways patriarchy uses to try to keep women divided so we don't band together overthrow patriarchy altogether). But having been close friends with women and girls my whole life, I can safely say it's not true regardless.
On the other side of the coin, there's also a stereotype that men and women can't be friends with each other because the somehow inevitable sexual tension will ruin the platonic relationship, and the whole thing will either end in heartbreak or wedding bells. Which is also, in my experience, incredibly not true. (Also, incredibly heteronormative; come on guys.)
So if we can't be friends with women and we can't be friends with men, are women just supposed to... never have friends?
Obviously, that's not going to work. Friendships are important. Whether you have one close friend or 100, having people in our lives we can count on and can relax with is important — especially given all the stressful things women deal with every day.
But having friends for the sake of having friends isn't a great idea either. There are certain things women deserve in our friendships. Here are five:
You deserve to have friends who will support you. They don't always have to agree with your decisions or think that you're right about things, but they should always support you as a person. Obviously, this is all conditional, hinging on you also being a good friend — your friends aren't required to stand by you if you're being awful to them, or aren't supporting them. But if you're putting in the work they should, too.
Friendships in which the other person second guesses you, or where it feels like their friendship is conditional on you being a certain way or making a certain decision aren't real friendships. Friendship is about being there for one another, and given everything else women have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, we deserve to have people in our lives who are going to give us the support we need.
Someone Who Will Tell You The Truth
Being supportive doesn't mean your friends need to tell you what you want to hear all the time. Real friends tell you what you need to hear, and usually, that's the truth. For one thing, friendship that's based on lies isn't what you'd call a solid relationship. And for another, we rely on our friends to provide perspective and help us navigate our lives. Most of all, we deserve to be able to trust our friends. And that means you need friends who don't lie to you.
To Have Them Make Time For You
No one is saying that you and your friends have to spend every waking moment together, but you deserve to have people in your life who are willing to make time for you. We all go through periods of our lives where we're incredibly busy, but even if it's just once a week or even once a month, you deserve to know that someone can make you a priority on some kind of regular basis. Because it's no fun sitting around wondering if you're important enough, or needing to talk and not being able to. You deserve friends who find time for you.
For some people "wild adventures" might mean skydiving or cross-country road trips; for others it might be bar-hopping and dancing on table tops; for others it might be all-night movie marathons. But whatever counts as a wild adventure for you and your friends, you deserve to have some. Friendships are about the day-to-day stuff, sure — making time for weekly coffee or talking at length about your problems or getting together for a weekly dinner date — but friendships are also about having ridiculous fun and letting loose, and just enjoying life and each other. Everyone deserves that.
A Chance To Be Yourself
More than anything, friends give us a place where we can just be who we are, where we don't have to worry about being perfect or about pretending to be something we aren't. Women especially spend so much of our time trying to be perfect, the "have it all," and it's exhausting. And so you deserve to have people in your life with whom you can just be you, without trying to be something else. We all do.
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