Having a good girlfriend can really mean a lot to women. And yet, sometimes, they can be in short supply. It can sometimes seem tougher to make friends later in life, without the support of college or schooling to bring us together.
Great Friends Can Be Found Through Different Sources
We might find feel that we are in the wrong stage of life to make friends, too: our children are too young for us to make friends with other parents, or they have already left the nest, or we never had children. Or, we might just be the type that find it hard to make friends.
It can definitely be tough to find a close girlfriend, across any level of education or society. As we go through lifestyle changes between our twenties to our thirties (and beyond), really growing into who we are as people, we many no longer be as close to friends from early adulthood. And if we don’t live near those friends from college or high school, it might make the transition even harder.
We might also have the feeling that we have done what we can to try to make friends – joined the book club or the running club, only to find that we don’t necessarily fit in there, or that everyone seems to know each other already. No matter what the reason, if we don’t have that close female friend, we may feel slightly bereft, even if we are in a strong relationship with a partner.
More Benefits Of Finding Great Friends
Because girlfriends provide something different than a spouse or partner does: much more than a sounding board for our kvetching, they are there when we need emotional support. They tell us we still look great in our jeans, that our kids are not crazy, and most importantly, that our dreams are still important.
A good girlfriend can also be the stalwart against grief and emotional distress that we face during bad times: death, loss, serious illness. Or they might even just be the friend who encourages us to get out and exercise or to stop that bad habit, once and for all.
In fact, having a good network of friends is one of the contributing factors to longevity, according to many. Translation: having friends helps you to live longer. Social engagement is one of the overlapping factors that defines life in the “Blue Zones” – those places in the world where people live to be older than 100 quite regularly, and with great health, to boot!
And one girlfriend can go a long way towards creating that community. They can be the bridge to others if we are naturally shy, or perhaps we can be that person for them.
Where To start?
Unlike dating, there are no real websites set up for making good friends. While the site Meetup.com (and others) might be of interest, it is not specifically tailored to finding new friends.
And it might even seem awkward to attempt to find friends at first – most of us probably won’t even admit we are searching for new friends. “I don’t have a lot of close friends, and I’m searching for one” is not something we often hear at a cocktail party.
Though finding a new friend is not dating, some of the same advice still applies:
Go With An Open Heart
Channel openness and possibility before any new endeavor or friendship. Realize that every person has something to teach us.
On the other hand, don’t expect one person to fulfill all of your emotional needs and requirements. A friend can be there for us, but they are not obligated to make us happy or make us feel better all of the time.
Practice Saying “Yes” To All Opportunities
For just one month, say yes to everything that anyone invites you to – regardless of whether you have time or not. You never know who you might meet.
Again, like dating, join things that are of interest to you – if you haven’t already joined those clubs, groups, try one now. And perhaps look outside of the box.
If you’re interested in meditation or more spiritual practices, try a round robin of different spiritual practices near you. Or what about Reiki classes, drum circles, yoga retreats, or any kind of adult education classes like writing, language, or music? Crafting and sewing classes are often offered for free at local stores, too.
It's hard not to be afraid to break into a perceived click or established group. Some of the best friendships are formed within these groups, though. Just know that you might have to be the one who prompts the first invitation. And yes, rejection can be hard, but even worse is not knowing – that person could be your next best friend.
Allow Things To Happen Organically
After throwing out an invite, don’t feel as if you are at fault when someone doesn’t respond; everyone is allowed to be busy and forgetful.
Learn A New Mantra
I am a wonderful and engaging person. I have these great traits:____. People respond well to me and want to be around me. (Or anything that gives you a sense of buoyancy and optimism when you say it to yourself.)
If you have tried many of these things, but still feel like something is “stuck” or not working, perhaps it’s time to talk to someone.
A trained psychotherapist is very connected to inner work – the process of learning who we are, and then being able to shine that brilliant light back out to others.
With dedication and compassion, a good therapist will help you to find out what is holding you back from your dream life. You deserve the richest and most fulfilling life possible!