Longing For Friendships
Growing up, it seemed like you could be friends with anyone. You play together once and you become best friends. Then, you became a teenager and things got harder. Suddenly friends were harder to come by. True friends even harder. Am I right?
It seems as we get older, it becomes more and more difficult to cultivate good lasting friendships. Sometimes it feels like everyone already has their squad and you don’t want to be the odd man out. This may be more of a female issue as we tend to not want to impose on others when we think we are unwanted.
My mom always told me growing up, “If you make it out of high school with a handful of friends, you are doing pretty well. Through high school you will practice friendships, college you will practice some more. As an adult, you’ll make the best friends of your life.” Not saying you can’t have lasting relationships from childhood. But, truly when we are young we don’t even know who are yet. We don’t know what we are interested in or what our beliefs are. And we truly are practicing for when the real friendships come along!
“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”– Muhammad Ali
If you still consider your childhood best friend your best friend today, You are incredibly lucky to have such an amazing friend and relationship with that person. You have literally gone through life together from the beginning! What a blessing! And if that isn’t the case for you, that’s OK! I’m right there along with you!
As adult women, creating those lasting relationships can be hard. We are all going a million miles an hour in different directions! All of us are wives, moms, going to school, traveling, working odd hours, or business owners. Finding someone in the exact same stage of life you are in is hard.
I’ve learned recently that it’s not a similar stage in life that makes a good lasting friend, it’s someone with a similar mindset as you. Because, you won’t be in that stage of life forever. You will continue to grow, mature, and change. As kids, we just become friends with other kids because, well, they are also kids!
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” – C.S. Lewis
Find someone who shares your faith, your love of books, or your excitement for health and wellness. If you can find someone who hits more than one, then you’ve hit the jackpot! Having the same mindset and view on life is far more valuable than finding someone your age and stage in life! A friend who sticks with you through all stages of life are the ones we are really looking for! I have good friends that are 40 years older than me and 10 years younger than me! Age and stage of life don’t have anything to do with the quality of friendship.
A true friend shows up when you don’t want to go out or are having a bad day. They bring you coffee and watch Disney movies or Friends reruns with you until you feel better. They take you out shopping when you need to get your mind off something. Real best friends stay with you when you’re at your lowest point and help you get back up. They celebrate your successes and mourn with you during your seasons of loss.
What Women Want In Friendships
So, what do we really want in a friendship as women? What makes us want to actually put makeup on to go out for coffee or brunch when we really just want to sleep or binge Netflix? Women are extremely relational beings. God created us in His image to be relational. That is one of our gifts from Him.
“That’s when I realized what a true friend was. Someone who would always love you-the imperfect you, the confused you, the wrong you- because that is what people are supposed to do.” - R.J.L.
Women seek relationships as much as we do because of a longing God placed in our hearts. We want a friend to love every little imperfect thing about us. We want to be loved in the way God loves us. We want a friend that reflects the love of God in our lives. Someone who understands what we are going through or thinking.
Since we’re being honest here, we want a friendship like the girls in Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants. Oh how I loved those movies as a young teen! The friendships were messy and real. They were there for each other when they really needed it, even if it was in a different state (or country)! All of them are from completely different families and backgrounds. Their interests were as different as you could get! And yet, they were a group of young women who respected and supported each other no matter what.
Writing this, I now really want to go watch Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants!
Friendships are hard. They take time and effort. They require you to be honest and vulnerable. Let’s take the risk and see what happens! So, let’s start groups and meet with other women in the community! Go for coffee with a friend once a week or once a month. Create habits that show you care and want to be involved in their life. Join a women’s group at your church or start one of your own! Every woman was created to be relational.
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”– Winnie the Pooh
Each one of us can have those friendships we want if we are willing to put in the effort (Unfortunately, I don’t expect a spontaneous trip to Greece will be included). Also, be patient. These friends aren’t just going to show up at your door tomorrow. Trust me, I’m right there with you. Being patient and waiting for God to work in our lives is worse than watching paint dry sometimes, but it’s well worth it!