Ever since the book came out, I've received feedback about how it's made women think about friendships throughout their lives, as well as who is in their lives now. The goal of this blog is to open up and create a dialogue about friendships: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Each week I will post my thoughts, experiences, as well as various articles, topics or quotes that I feel are important when examining female friendships. Please feel free to leave comments; I look forward to hearing from you!

Email me: survivingfemalefriendships@gmail.com

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
~Marcel Proust

Monday, December 17, 2012

Long-Distance Friendships

Does the heart grow fonder with distance?  I've found that it's unlikely for friendships to blossom and become stronger with distance; I've experienced many long-distance friendships that wavered and ultimately crumbled over time.  It's sad, yet life happens, we get busy and so it's not unusual for our long-distance friends to be the ones who are let go first.  It's not good or bad; it simply is (a common phrase my Mother uses).

However, I have a couple of friends with whom the friendship deepened with distance; it's because we both put in the time and effort to keep up with one another, and to make sure we're including one another the best we can.  Is it difficult?  Yes.  But I wouldn't have it any other way because these friendships mean the world to me and I could not imagine my life without these people in it.

It definitely takes a certain person to maintain a long-distance friendship: you have to enjoy e-mailing, texting, Skyping and/or talking on the phone.  Some people I know dislike talking on the phone, so that may prove difficult for those who don't have other options.  You also have to be okay with not knowing every detail of your friend's life, such that you're most likely not involved in the day to day things because that would be extremely time consuming and difficult to explain - for example, have you tried telling someone a story who wasn't there and she doesn't get it?  It's one of those, "You had to have been there to understand!" type of stories that are challenging to share with someone who clearly wasn't there.

On the other hand, some of you enjoy long-distance friendships because when you do talk, you are able to re-connect and get caught up on each other's lives.  And it can feel great to have those positive moments with a friend when your world is feeling a little upside down.  It truly depends on the type of person you are and how you maintain your friendships, both around you and from afar.

What's been your experience with long-distance friendships?  Have they been positive, negative or both? 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Study on Friendship

After spending some time on Google and searching for articles on friendship, I came across this one on the power and benefits of female friendship:

UCLA Study on Friendship Among Women by Gale Berkowitz

What are your thoughts?  Do you agree with the findings?

Monday, December 3, 2012


I was recently asked to do a blog post about reunions and what purpose they serve (thanks, Kelly!), so here goes... 

Did you ever see Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion?  Below is the trailer:

I remember watching this movie in early adolescence - it was funny, yet it also led me to wonder about my own high school reunion.  Unfortunately, I was not able to attend my 10 year high school reunion - the following morning, I left for a hiking trip at the Grand Canyon.  However, I'll be honest and say that a part of me had no interest in going.  Yes, I said it. 

The whole idea of reunions is an interesting topic, especially how it relates to female friendships.  Reunions can trigger old feelings (good, bad and downright ugly) from earlier years.  We feel as if we have to show our "best" selves and seem we're doing amazing, even if that's not really true.  Maybe we weren't in the popular crowd, and so we have some feelings about running into certain people who made our life horrible during those awkward adolescent years.  We may even prepare in extreme ways for the reunion by dieting, working out and/or getting a makeover (see above movie).  It is one night of our life, but can cause some major anxiety and fears.

I didn't have much desire to attend my high school reunion due to feeling it wouldn't provide any real purpose for me, especially since I do not live in that state nor remain close with anyone from high school.  Thus, it didn't feel worth the time and money to fly back to the east coast for one night where there would probably be superficial conversation and uncomfortable silence.  But that's me, and I realize not all of you feel this way.  Although, since the book came out, I've re-connected with one friend from high school (I wrote about her in the book), so that's been a positive outcome. 

Some people enjoy seeing where their classmates are living and what they're up to; the purpose is to get caught up with everyone.  However, I think high school reunions are similar to Facebook - you get updates but nothing really happens past that.  If you don't keep in touch with those from high school and don't live in the same state, it's hard to maintain a friendship that you haven't for the past 10 or so years.  Maybe you disagree.

For those of you who have kept in touch with your friends from high school, then my guess is that you're planning on or already have attended your high school reunion.  It'll probably be more fun for you and have a greater purpose since there's a connection with the people there.  

Did you attend your high school reunion?  Was it what you imagined or completely different?  Did you leave feeling closer to anyone?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Will You Be My Friend?

Making friends is Tough (yes, with a capital T), especially as you get older.  Maybe you relocated for a job or moved to be closer to family and find it difficult to create your social network.  As we age, there are not as many social opportunities there once was - like those organized events in high school, college and/or graduate school which provide access to meeting people - and so it becomes more challenging to make new friends without it being forced or awkward.  It's important to "get out there" - but how?!

I've been asked this question - and have asked it myself many, many times - because it's not like you can walk into the grocery store and start asking people if they will be your friend.  They may run away from you or tell you to go to your nearest emergency room.

A common emotion that tends to get in the way of putting yourself out there is fear – there’s always a possibility of being rejected or not getting the response you'd hoped for – but if you don't try, then how do you expect things to change?

I believe it's about creating opportunities out of what you have and already do in your day to day life.  I completely understand that it can be daunting, but when you put yourself out there and get back positive results, it can be rewarding and provide reinforcement to continue this behavior.  Therefore, I have found that you have to put yourself out there in small and realistic ways.  For example, you attend a gym and start striking up conversations with other gym-goers.  It wouldn't be so weird or awkward to ask if they wanted to go out for coffee or grab a bite to eat after a workout.  Or maybe, suggest that you all go for a walk or hike outside of the gym.  Over time, these activities bond you, and hopefully a friendship develops.

Have you had an experience where you put yourself out there and created a friendship out of interesting circumstances?  Think about how you met some of your current friends – was it through a spontaneous interaction or through an organized event?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Defining Moments

In every friendship we have, there is a defining moment in which we realize the person has reached true friendship status.  Maybe the person steps up during a difficult time in our life by showing her true colors when we didn't think or expect she would be there for us.  I've had many of these moments with various friends, and it's a nice feeling to experience.  We then put that friend in a different category, and over time, the friendship deepens.

For example, a defining moment in one of my friendships was when a friend shared some of her personal experiences that were painful and heartbreaking.  The fact that this friend felt comfortable enough to share her story with me only reinforced the deep bond of our friendship.

Think about your closest friends - what was the defining moment in which you realized this friend is a keeper?  Was it a crisis that one of you experienced that brought you together or was it a shared experience?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Why Was I Not Invited? Wedding Drama...

For some of you, this topic may be hard to identify with - but for many of us, this does happen and isn't something we openly discuss: When you're not invited to your friend's and/or friends' child's wedding.

I recently heard a story about a few women whose friend's adult son got married and the women weren't invited.  Suffice it to say, they are feeling hurt and one of them even feels as if she's done with a friendship that has spanned more than 20 years - all because she wasn't invited.  Weddings are supposed to be happy and wonderful, but why can so much drama come out of what's supposed to be a beautiful event?

I understand there are exceptions to this – for example, some are limited financially and cannot have a big wedding and therefore, cannot invite everyone.  A couple of years ago, one of my friend's let me know that I was not invited for this very reason and I respect her now more than ever for being honest with me, rather than having me think things that weren't true: that she didn't think of me as a close friend or didn't think of me enough to invite to her wedding.  Since then, our friendship has deepened and because of the honesty in our friendship, I don't think twice about not being invited nor harbor any ill feelings about it.

But for those of us who aren't invited and are not given any reason, it can be challenging to manage our feelings.  And then how do we continue the friendship as if nothing happened?  It becomes a big elephant in the room, especially if this friend posts a gazillion pictures on Facebook and talks to you about her wedding.  Or the friend calls you up and discusses her son's/daughter's wedding.  Uh, hello, you weren't there!

Another kicker to this situation is when you're invited to the engagement party and/or bridal shower, but not invited to the wedding.  Maybe I'm slow to understand things, but how does that make any sense?!

Have you experienced any of the above situations?  If so, how did you manage it and your feelings?  Did your friendship change? 

Monday, October 29, 2012

New Girl

Let me first start out by saying that New Girl (Fox, Tuesdays) has become one of my favorite television shows.  If you're not watching it, I strongly encourage that you do.

Okay, moving on...
Last week's episode had so much material regarding the topic of friendship that I found myself glued to the TV for the entire half hour.  From male to female friendships, the show explored how time impacts friendships - such as how we may come to wonder why we're still friends with certain people.

At the end of the episode, there was a small interaction that required me to rewind the DVR about 3 times to make sure I wrote it down correctly:
Jess: "Do you think if we met today, we would still be friends?"
Cece: "I don't know, but we're friends now."

Jess and Cece have been friends since childhood, and as they get older, Jess feels as though they may be going in different directions.  Cece is a model and Jess is currently unemployed and trying to find her way.  The show does a great job at looking at friendships in the present day, yet also brings up the question: if you met your BFF today, would the friendship work?  I went to sleep that night thinking about many of my friendships and wondered if I met them today, we would "hit it off"?  For some friendships, I wasn't so sure.

Would you still be friends with those around you if you met today?  Do you wonder about some of your friendships and why/how you're still friends?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Politics and Friendship

You would have to be living under a rock not to notice the political ads every time you turn on your television or notice the bigger than life ads while you're driving.  With the November 6th election soon approaching, it's hard not to get wrapped up in the politics.

When it comes to your friendships, does the upcoming election become a source of topic or one that you avoid at all costs due to differing opinions?  How has politics affected your friendships?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Think Pink

As many of you know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

Every October during my dancing days, I'd participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk and then perform at the Hatch Shell in Boston with my dance group.  It was a very meaningful day - even in my youth, I knew it was a disease that affected many people.  Each year, I felt such an honor to perform on that day; it wasn't just any performance, it was one that had a significant amount of emotion for those in the audience - emotions different than those felt during other performances.

As I grow older, I am even more aware of this disease, and it's impact on those around me. 

What does this month mean to you when it comes to breast cancer?  Have you or a friend experienced the disease in some way?  If so, how did you and your friends manage the news?

Monday, October 8, 2012


No, not that kind of threesome - get your mind out of the gutter!  I'm referring to a group of three best friends.  I have been in situations in which they can become too difficult to manage due to two of the three becoming close and/or hanging out without one of you present. 

Sometimes I wonder if it's possible to have two best friends, who are also best friends with each other.  The three of you can't always hang out, and so it will naturally happen that one of you cannot make a dinner or be available to take a phone call.  Is it possible to keep up a threesome?

Maybe I'm not able to be in this type of situation because I find it gets too complicated.  When you have one best friend and spend time with her, it provides time and space for the two of you to grow.  If there is another person involved, I find it can get somewhat chaotic.

I experienced this a few years ago.  I thought I was good friends with both women, and then came to find out that they had planned a get-together without me - one that involved one of the women bringing her spouse to meet the other friend.  I was upset since we had always planned things together, although now I realize that I over-reacted and that these things happen.  The two women were good friends too, and are/were allowed to spend time together.  But it still feels crummy when you feel left out and may not understand why.

Have you experienced this?  If so, how do you manage the threesome?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Location, Location, Location

As we become older, many of us "settle down" and find a place where we see ourselves living for a long time - at least that's the goal, right?!  For some, it's having a beach nearby; for others, it's having (and experiencing) four seasons.  Some go where their work takes them, while others choose the location because their family lives there.  

For me, I re-located for two reasons: one due to Arizona's warm and sunny weather, and the second due to having family close by.  I actually re-located from a place where I had a good network of friends - so it was a tough decision to make.  Remember, our family are our friends, too!  I've had to make new friends and keep in contact with old ones, so thankfully it has been a somewhat smooth transition.

Location is important when looking at our friendships.  Many of my close friends live in other places and so we maintain our friendship through text, e-mail and phone calls.  Of course, I wish I could see these friends more regularly, but it's just not possible unless someone moves (which I don't see happening in the near future). 

Which factors did you consider when deciding on where to live?  Was it family, friends and/or work?  Or did you not have a say in the matter?  Did where you friends live factor into your decision?