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Forging female friendships

How many friends do you have, girls?

And I don’t mean on Facebook (although…..more on that with a special guest coming up here very soon!)

It seems as time goes on and we get married and have families, female friendships lose their importance to us. Those who were once our friends simply become more like acquaintances that we fondly remember and spending any real time with a friend takes a back seat to, oh, all those million of other things that we have on our plate.

Of course, there’s usually that one special childhood friend who you consider your BFF but you may not talk to on a regular basis or even see more than once a year, or two or three. But you know she’s there and things will be the same when you do catch up.

I have that kind of friend. She lives in Athens, Ga., and I have known her since kindergarten and been we have been besties since third grade. Our families have vacationed together at least once, they’ve been to visit us here and we’ve been to visit them there…once, only I went. But we don’t email or call even once a week and she won’t join Facebook! Nevertheless, Jane is the one I can count on.

But it seems, as women, we need to cultivate friendships with other women. Science says it makes us healthier! Would you believe in the Nurses Health Studies that have been done at Harvard Medical School for years, researchers found a lack of close friends was as bad for women’s health as smoking or being overweight?

And a study done at UCLA discovered that women actually seek out friendships as a way to cope with stress. They called it “tend and befriend.” A first response to stress for women is to take care of their children followed by looking for contact and support from others. A vast difference from the guys’ stress response: fight or flight!

So it’s in our nature to need and crave friendships and we should make room for them in our busy lives. Prevention Magazine said there is a wardrobe of friends we should have including your childhood friend, but also a new friend, a workout friend, a spiritual friend, a younger friend, and your mom!

Call a friend for a lunch date today!