There’s a certain point in every woman’s life where our female relationships change. Some will drift apart and some will become stronger than ever and the change starts to be more noticeable in your 20s. Having close girlfriends is an amazing feeling. The love that exists between strong female bonds is unbreakable if built and handled right.
Female friendships are no easy task to navigate so if you have particularly strong ones, you’re doing things right. Our emotions and hormones can make for some catastrophic meltdowns but things can always be repaired if you care about each other enough. Here’s how to build and maintain strong female friendships in your 20s and beyond, because let’s face it, guys are great and all but good girlfriends are just fabulous.
Talk about your goals more than men.
It’s easy to get caught up in guy chatter, especially in your 20s when relationships and love is front and centre in everyone’s mind but try and stop yourself. Your 20s aren’t just for building loving relationships that hopefully head towards marriage; they’re also about conquering your own individual life goals and pursuits. If you have travel goals, talk about them with your girls. Talk about your career ambitions. Map out strategies and bucket lists that you can tackle together. It brings you closer together and helps grow you as a person when you have ambition and tenacity among your girl squad.
Support each other in desperate times, even if you don’t always understand.
You won’t always understand what a girlfriend is going through and quite frankly, you might think your friends are bat shit crazy for making some of the choices that they do but the beauty of friendship is that it’s not really your job to understand- it’s only your job to be there if everything falls apart. Even if you have to say “I told you so.”
Be a voice of reason, even if it’s harsh.
Good girlfriends don’t sugar coat anything because they know better than to feed you bullshit just to make you feel at ease. Having strong female bonds means that you can survive any harsh criticisms or advices given. Plus, why would you want a friend who doesn’t truly have your best interests in the first place?
Always be there for emotional support, even if you were right all along.
Sometimes your girlfriends won’t listen to every piece of advice they give you- they’re on their own journey. Even if they go against your better judgement and end up getting burned, no matter what the issue, be there to offer them an emotional support to lean on when they’re down and out. Stating your superiority won’t make your bond any tighter. Instead, let her know that you care to help her pick herself back up again.
Motivate each other positively.
Motivation and encouragement is a key component in making your friendships strong. You need to be there for each other not only during the tough stuff, but through the good things as well. If your girlfriend lands an amazing new job, celebrate it. Herald her successes. Be proud of her. Watching another woman succeed and empowering each other to do so is a fierce bond and a force to be reckoned with.
Never let a crush come between your friendships.
Never, I repeat, NEVER let a guy come between your friendships if you want them to last. This is a common problem in the collapse of female bonds when in reality, it totally shouldn’t be. No guy is ever worth losing a friendship over. The guys your friends are interested in are off limits and it’s a core rule of girl code. At the very least, an honest and thoughtful conversation needs to be had before you go after someone else’s past or present love interests. Don’t be a Regina George.
Get active together.
Ladies who sweat together stay together. Bonding over physical activity with your girlfriends is also a great way to not only get healthy for yourself but releasing those endorphins and feel good hormones together put you both in a happy state of mind which leads to better conversations and bonding.
Don’t be afraid to cry and let your fears out with one another.
Women are emotional creatures and you have free range to cry it out, cuss it out and scream it out with your closest girlfriends. You might need to keep your shit together in every other life situation but when you have strong female relationships; they become your sanctuary to release your emotions in a healthy and safe environment.
Stand up for each other.
If someone tries to take a sister down, it’s your job as a fierce friend to stand up for them when they need it most. Screw being the impartial person and always playing it safe; if you want strong female bonds, you need to support each other completely and this means standing up for one another when an outside source is trying to take one of you down. It’s called Girl Power for a reason.
Never take the good ones for granted.
When you have a gem of a friend that supports you in all the right ways, let them know you value them. Letting your female friends know that you take notice to their efforts in your friendship only reinforces how much you appreciate them in your life and encourages that bond to deepen even further.
Always make time for each other, no matter what’s happening in life.
Last but not least, no matter what is happening in life, whether you have a new boyfriend or are starting a family of your own, always make time for the women in your life who matter most. They’re the ones who are always going to be there for you if shit ever hits the fan so keep those bonds as strong as possible and pay them the attention they deserve. Strong female friendships, when cared for thoughtfully, are forever.