how I learned to be a girlfriendI was never a girlfriend person in my earlier years.  My marriage, my job, my errands took precedent over girlfriends. Most of my “friends” were either work buddies or family members. None of us were really close.  We had common interests or jobs but no intimacy or vulnerability.

I always worried that my one true friend was my husband and that to add others to this equation would somehow dilute the marriage. But I have learned that is not true. There is no competition or conflict.

I finally have come of age. At 62, I have opened my heart and cherished my close personal female friendships. We walk our dogs, go to lunch, go shopping, text each other, share our joys, ask each other for help, honor each other, and take great pride in knowing someone else shares our life with all its joys and sorrows. We don’t push each other’s buttons and remember to ask how each other is doing. We say please, thank you, throwing in a few crazy stories and adventures. We boost each other up and know when to lie low. We have no expectations of duties for each other. We don’t use each other. We just enjoy the warmth.

Ultimately, we share each other’s hearts in a different way than with a man—we innately feel each other’s pain, joy, excitement, and fears. We talk about everything without interviewing each other. We also know that each of us has a life outside this friendship. We honor and support each other’s parallel universe. We are genuinely happy for each other and give each other space and support to live out dreams without being judged. We are “there” for each other. We care for each other. And we love each other.

We “giggle” together and play just like we did as children. Only now, we have grown bodies and different toys. The feelings are the same: the closeness, the desire to spend time together, and the joy in sharing our lives.

Who knew knowing that your friend ate a tuna fish sandwich for lunch could bring such joy? But it does… For some reason that simple tuna fish sandwich is the basis of a sharing of lives that intimately makes up the warmth of a close personal female friendship. Yum!

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