Happy Valentine’s Day! Or, more fitting for this post, Happy Galentine’s Day for yesterday!
I’ve been seeing the whole concept of ‘galentine’s day’ on blogs recently and, ngl, I had never heard of it until seeing it thrown around on blogs this year (or maybe I did last year but forgot since then *shrug emoji*) but from my understanding it’s an alternative to v day that brands and retailers push as a marketing ploy, and a concept that the online world came up with to make it a bit more inclusive for all the single ladies (now put ur hands up!) and to make it a bit more girl-power friendly. Also, I think it came from Parks and Rec then people ran with it? Not sure. Never seen it. A sin I know – soz.
Where’s guylentine’s day at thoooo? A concept.
I had a sort of epiphany when planning this post in my head at around midnight on Saturday night whilst mid nighttime skincare routine, and all the friendships I wanted to speak about sorta fit into categories – though of course most friendships cross over into some or all of these categories, but they sum up some lovely little parts of friendship, especially female friendship, that you cherish. Each category of friend holds a lot of importance because they all give you something different, but something that you need.
the like-minded friend
You know when you meet someone so similar to you who thinks in a similar way as you do, does things in a way you would, enjoys similar things that you do, understands you. And it’s that ‘where have you been all my life?‘ feeling that movies will have you believe is only possible for a romantic relationship, but really it can happen with friendships all the damn time. It’s like you were meant to be friends. It’s special to be friends with someone who really understands you and has a way of life that’s so close to yours. It’s more than just having common ground and shared interests, it’s having someone with a similar mindset to you who approaches things in the same way you do. Friendships like these are helpful because these types of friends can be the best to go for advice if you’re an I-can-give-good-advice-but-not-take-my-own type of person, because they’ll be giving you the sort of advice you’d usually give anyone else and agree with, and because it’s coming from your friend you’ll take it in more than you would from yourself. This is the type of friendship where you feel the most comfortable too, being on the same wavelength as someone helps you put your guard down easier and much earlier into the friendship.
the ambitious friend
Friends who work hard, do well, and want to succeed in life push you to be the best version of yourself. Having this sort of support around you is a massive motivator, your friends won’t let you fall behind and you won’t want to fall behind around people like this. They’re like the angel over your shoulder, winning you over against the devil on your other shoulder. They might not outright tell you that you need to do better, but seeing them tell themselves that they need to do better gives you all the #inspo. You can get those friends, especially in high school, that are a bit of a bad influence and you want to keep up with them to seem ~cool~ and it leads to you doing worse because you see them doing worse. This is the opposite of that – you want to keep up with your friends who are working hard and that brings out the ambition in yourself.
the friend you can say anything to
Friends who you can send the most random of texts to out of nowhere with zero judgement. The amount of texts I get from one of my best friends about her sudden new theories on different things about life or her asking questions I can’t quite believe anyone would think to ask is unreal. But I get into them and try to answer them or come up with a way to support the theory or my own take on the theory. This one can also be taken as saying anything to them in a deeper way but I’m gonna cover that in one of the below categories. This is the lighter note version for me. But it’s a lovely feeling to know you can say anything you want, maybe things that others would deem ~weird~ or ~stupid~ knowing you won’t be judged and instead, might get someone on board.
the friend you’ve had forever
You’ve been friends for so long you don’t even remember your life before they were in it, and you know they’ll be around forever. You have a million different inside jokes and memories that date back to before you could write your own name and nobody else understands you when you bring them up or why you’re laughing so hard at something that, to anyone else, really ain’t that funny. This is the friend you planned your life with when you were about eight years old, drawing your wedding dress, planning every room in your mansions that were going to be next door to each other, deciding which Disney Channel star you were going to be with when you were older (mine was Dylan Sprouse. I’d still take it). And as crazy stupid those plans you made when you were younger seem, you know that you were right in thinking that you’d be best friends forever. And yes you probably will still be bridesmaids at each others weddings, just minus the floofy, sparkly, pink dresses, the unicorn-drawn carriages, and Dylan Sprouse as your groom.
the long distance friend
To me, that’s when you know they’re a true friend. If you can maintain your friendship tens or hundreds or thousands of miles apart then you know it can withstand anything. Especially if you can patch things up after an argument, it’s hard to do this and seem genuine when it’s not face-to-face and, as much as we all think hiding behind a screen makes things easier, it just looks less legit. If you can pull this off sincerely via text, call or FaceTime you know it’s a friendship worth investing your time into. When you’re willing to throw time and money at seeing said friend when it’s pretty hard / expensive / out the way / all of the above to do so, that’s when it’s real. You wouldn’t do that for just anyone.
the inconstant friend
The friend that you don’t need to see or speak to every day but, when you do, you can pick right back up where you left off from, and neither of you will will ever value the friendship less than your other friendships just because of your lack of constant communication. Having a friendship like this is a signpost of maturity. It’s easy to maintain friendships in school when you see your besties in the playground every day and pair up with each other for fun class projects, but when you can maintain a strong bond and close friendship without the need to talk every day of your lives it is a representation of you growing up. Friendships like these can seem like the best because there’s no pressure, you can get on with your lives the way you need to, but you know that you always have each other’s backs and can always carry on where you left off without feeling awkward.
the tolerant friend
The friend who makes you feel super comfortable and carries no judgement. I have two fears that most of my insecurities stem from – my fear of rejection and my fear of judgement. And there is nothing I treasure more than someone who doesn’t fuel any of those fears. I love those friends you have where you can mention a sensitive subject area in a conversation, usually as background information to the anecdote you’re telling, and they don’t dismiss it as being meaningless but they also don’t stop you mid-sentence and go ‘omg what why were you like that’ and make a big deal out of it / make you feel uncomfortable about it. I love people who never judge your interests, no matter how obscure they are, and can have a totally normal conversation with you about them, knowing you’re not crazed and just having a chat. To me, this is the ~deep~ version of the friend you can say anything to. You can tell them anything deep and/or dark about you and your life, and they won’t make a huge fuss over it or pass any judgement but will acknowledge that it is a serious issue that holds importance and significance in your life. When you feel like you can tell a friend something that would change most people’s perception of you but you know it won’t change theirs, that’s something special.
the colleague friend
Not just at work, but people studying the same subject(s) as you, people on your course, people at your education institute. But yes, also that friend who has the same job as you where you can relate to each other’s highs and lows, and walk past each other on the shop floor rolling your eyes and saying ‘cba’ – a la that viral tweet. Two of the girls who worked at the same store as me, but were only there for less than half a year compared to my two years, have become close friends of mine with the friendship outlasting any of our time at that store. And I had colleagues for my entire two years there who I never formed friendships with in the same way I did with these girls who were only there for a handful of months. And of course there are the friends in education, whether they go to your institute or you know them from elsewhere but know you’re studying the same thing, or one of you studied it years ago. I started uni in September and the sudden magnitude of independence can be a bit scary, and no matter how independent you were at school or college / sixth form before coming to uni, you can still feel like you’re being thrown in the deep end all on your own. Forming friendships with people who are in the same boat as you means you can help each other out outside of the classroom or the office or the lecture theatre so you never feel like you’ve been left completely to your own devices and you’re constantly reminded that everyone feels the same daunting nervy feeling that you do. It’s also super helpful to have a role model type figure, whether it’s someone who has already studied what you’re studying, is in the same field as you but perhaps more advanced, or someone who has been at your institute or workplace longer than you and knows how things work. They can give you pointers on what they did back when they were in your position and can guide you in the right direction.
the social media friend
The friend who will always like and comment on your pics, and you always do the same for them in return. This one is big in the blogosphere. It’s nice to know that you have your lil ‘gram friendship and will always big each other up and help each other out with that awful algorithm, all whilst making your social media pal feel good about themselves by praising them. Stuff like this can do wonders for self esteem – sometimes you can feel like your friends or just people you know irl have to tell you that you look nice or whatever but if a ~stranger on the internet~ (you get what I mean) says it almost outta nowhere then you feel like it must be true. Just me? Lol hope not.
and the rest
Friends who give great advice, friends who you can chat to about boys, friends who share your interests. There are a whole magnitude of types of friends you could add to this list, all who help you and have an impact on you in different ways.
Female friendships are so important in a patriarchal society that enjoys pitting women against each other. They are the solace in times you don’t feel good enough / pretty enough / successful enough / have enough followers / have enough potential boyfriends. All of the above types of friends are important to have for a number of reasons, and most friends fit some or all of these categories. As women, it’s important that we stick together and support each other in tough times. We all have days where we’re hung up about our fashion sense, our makeup skills, our body shape, how much food we ate on the weekend, our lack of romantic interests right now. As much as we know that we shouldn’t have to be hung up about these things, we can be, so having a strong friendship with another woman who can relate to you, give you advice, cry with you, go ruin a fuckboy’s life for you is something we all need.
So whether you’re single, in a relationship, ‘talking’ to someone, married, divorced, widowed, waiting for someone attractive to you to come along. Have a very happy Valentine’s Day and celebrate your friendships whether or not you’re also celebrating a romantic relationship.
check out some of my other girl-power type blog posts!
- is the current media focus on female empowerment actually worse for feminism?
- it’s 2017, why is sexism still so prevalent in tennis (and in life?)
- fuckboys & how to avoid them