Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.Albert Camus
Have you been trying to find someone with whom you can be vulnerable? A girlfriend or a bestie who is open to hearing what is truly happening in your life and the emotions that you’re experiencing? So many of us struggle to find a great friend, someone who won’t judge or criticize us for what we’re thinking, feeling, or doing. After all, you can’t exactly take out a personal ad or go on Match.com for a BFF!
We all need someone who is both emotionally and physically available with whom we can share. And while men may also be longing for these deeper connections, women are more often the ones who express this need. Moreover:
- Many of us are searching for a girlfriend (even if she is married or in a committed relationship) who is open to spending time together, and not only couples time together.
- Someone who won’t ditch us when she enters a new relationship, who deeply values the girlfriend relationship, someone in whom we can confide and be ourselves.
- As we grow older it may seem more difficult to find this sort of connection with someone with whom we don’t already have a relationship.
- We might remember how easily we found our friends at high school, college, or graduate school, and now lament that lack of close relationships.
- In school we were surrounded by huge numbers of people to choose our friends from, however once we enter the workforce, or choose to work from home, or work in the home, then our choices become more limited.
- If we have children, then we may have the opportunity to connect with potential friends in sports, school activities, etc., however it can be hard to connect on a deeper level.
- It might also be hard to enter an already established group, or we find that people aren’t always open to inviting new people into their group.
- The people that we meet might already have an established group of friends and aren’t really looking for those deeper connections.
- Sometimes, it might just be too scary to put ourselves out there.
But if we can find ways to connect to others, then the rewards are so great.
Nurture the connections that you already have
We often think that we need to go out and find new friends, but:
- What about the connections that you already have?
- Which women would you like to be closer with?
Perhaps ask them to go out for coffee or lunch.
Be open as you go about your day
You never know when an opportunity for a connection or a friendship might be made.Kathleen Dwyer-Blair, Director, Nassau Guidance and Counseling
And as a corollary:
- Don’t discount someone based on your preconceptions of them.
- People may surprise you; you never know what life experiences they’ve had, no matter what their outward appearance may say.
Find more great tips on nurturing adult friendships here.
My wish for you today is that you are able to share a little bit of yourself with others and be open to what they say in return.
Kathleen Dwyer Blair, LCSW, BCD, Director, Nassau Guidance and Counseling.