Monday, January 10, 2005

Girlfriends

I guess I should preface this post by clarifying that by girlfriends I mean "same-gender friends" as opposed to "same-gender romantic relationships". Now that that's all cleared up....

As an adult, I have struggled to make friends with other women. A lot of this blame can be place on my choice of field and my choice of career. My work always has and always will take up a lot of my time, time that could be spent meeting people and doing things that "normal" people do. So I don't have time to meet other women and I don't meet women at work. And when I did meet women, I had a hard time turning them into friends: we were so different, or our schedules didn't mesh, or the feeling of friendship was not mutual. (Geez, this sounds a lot like dating, doesn't it?) For a few years, I felt like I did not have many close female friends, and the ones I did consider really close to me lived very far away. I have to admit that I felt like a failure sometimes: why wasn't there anyone I could call up for coffee or go shopping with?

Lately though, I seem to be having better luck, and I am ecstatic about this. I still don't feel like I have really close friends, but I have a number of friends with the potential to be close girlfriends at some point. This is something I haven't had in a while, and it feels very good. I'm not sure why things are different now---maybe I'm feeling more settled? maybe I've learned how to relate to other women better? Or maybe (probably) it's because I'm now in an environment where I meet more women, and even though these women are in fields that are different from mine, they are mainly academics and so we have some sort of shared lingo?

What triggered this post: A few months ago, I met a woman and we hit it off really well---we talked as if we were already old friends. We exchanged numbers and then never followed up. I have to admit I was disappointed, but calling out of the blue seemed too weird. Well, I ran into her again this weekend, and we have made firmer plans to stay in touch and get together. And I am just very excited about this. (Again, this sounds suspiciously like dating! Has anyone else noticed this connection or am I just a weirdo?)

I'm not sure what my point is, other than to say that girlfriends are cool and that I'm happy to finally have some. Awwwwww.......

5 comments:

jo(e) said...

I think forming and maintaining a friendship, no matter what the gender, IS an awful lot like dating. You have to work through the phase of figuring out if you like each other, and then move toward some kind of intimacy, and then sort of negotiate how intimate you want the relationship to be. The older I get, the more I value the friendships in my life, and the more I am conscious about really working at them.

~profgrrrrl~ said...

Hooray! I typically have a hard time making girlfriends, so I totally understand what you're talking about. It can be really difficult to find other women to hang out with.

Dr. H said...

I definitely relate to this post.

Jane said...

Thanks, everyone! It is so nice to hear that I'm not alone in this.

New Kid on the Hallway said...

Not at all! I feel the same way too (hmmm, could just have repeated my comment from your more recent comment...great minds thinking alike these days and all...).