Thank you for being a friend
Travel down the road and back again.
Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant.
And if you threw a party, invited everyone you knew.
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say thank you for being a friend.
The Golden Girl Theme song, I believe it sums it up.
We start to form and build relationships early on in life. From the time kids start daycare or play dates to the day we take our last breath. For many of us our first friends were our family, as they were the first people we could get some lee way with. My first friend was my baby cousin that is like a sister, Monika. We used to spend summer days, most Friday nights together, up all night playing Nintendo, playing pool and air hockey at her house. We may have had our first feuds with cousins (or I know I did), siblings, and friends from our early puberty stages. Friends essentially offer us that out from things we are unsure if family will judge based on. They are there through all the ups and downs of our life. Not all friends will last all four seasons and others will last a lifetime. I have been fortunate to have met many of my Ace’s at the age of 11 and gain some others along the way. Most of mine have been the epitome of ride or die in the sense of no matter what came my way they have never wavered. However, not all have been of that caliber, but I can say I have taken away great lessons from all the people who have gained the title as a friend. After all, a friend is a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection per the dictionary. Join me as I discuss the difference in friendships of men and women.
Women to Women Friendships
Women friendships vary on so many things. I recall being in sixth grade and meeting the first group of girls I became tight with. I had no idea that after 20 plus years we would all still be in touch. We went through first crushes, first kisses, driving, body changes, after high school decisions, and into adulthood. My girls and I have taken the time to truly get to know one another and be there through different situations. Over time we have spent time with one another’s family, trying new things, and new job experiences together. As women some consider friends people that they can share their hopes, dreams, and goals with. Many others consider a friend someone that they can go out with, shop with, and do other things they enjoy. I have had conversations with women that call a friend someone they can have around family, travel with, and can leave their man around. What I have found in most of my friendships is that, as women we lean on one another like sisters in many instances. Although this sounds like sugar and spice and everything nice, this does not come without some bumps along the way. As women go through different situations, there will be a difference of opinions, eyes rolling, and attitudes. I know my group and I have only made it through by being open and attempting to be transparent. In those moments of attempting to be transparent we shared laughs, tear, and eye-opening moments. You have to learn along the way to accept people for who they are and learn how to handle those differences. Women can be the best of friends, but you have to know and understand what is valued by one another and be honest with yourself on where you are in your friendships. What is important to you with your relationships with your girls? Are you and your girls more like Sex in The City or Living Single?
Men to Men Friendships
(this will be off of what I have observed and heard)
Men tend to be a little more relaxed with their friendships. I grew up with a brother that was 6 years older than me and him and his boys were tight from middle school and up as well. They would play sports, double date, and can challenge each other at new things. The male perspective can be different at times as well. It isn’t always a close niche relationship that makes a good friend for them. They definitely may not talk as often as the women do, but their bond once formed generally is hard be broken unless the man codes are broken. I have seen men that consider people friends that they may have grown up with but don’t necessarily know the details of the other person’s life step by step. I have seen men that are there for anything that goes down and those that are complacent. However, I have also seen those friendships amoungst men that will be honest with one another, motivate one another, and advise when the other one is wrong. Can they be vulnerable or share their emotion with one another without having to worry about their man card?
Does a good friend for a man become someone who supports, stands by your side, or is your wing man? What makes a good friend as men? Are you and your boys more like The Wood, Grown Ups, or The Hang Over?
Women and Men Friendships
This one can be great but can also become tricky… I used to love watching Dawson’s Creek and 90210. These sitcoms showed this in so many ways. I think having friends of a different gender brings some great benefits. Men and women do often see things different and it brings in that diversity. I have seen my boys from way back to grow into productive men over time and we have been able to value one another’s opinions and differences. I have had some guy friends that always extend support of my goals and were there like big brothers when certain situations came about. I believe that men can share insight to how a women is viewed by men, what men value, and what concerns a man may see when looking at a women. I say this because in many of these friendships at some point they will discuss their dating lives and should be able to be open with oe another on what can be improved upon. I have found the best guy friends have been those that I can speak to about anything. One that knows me for me and accepts me for that and not in spite of those things. How have you found that men and women friendships have worked for you?
With any friendship you need to decide what it is you are willing to give and what you want to get out of it. I would recommend you to be open and honest with yourself and others when building these friendships.
The words that escape a friend’s mouth are “I’ll be there when you say you need me” but the words that are unheard from a true friend’s heart are “I’ll be there… whether you say you need me or not.”