In sixth grade I was the new girl. I wasn’t really sure how I would infiltrate circles of friends who had known each other since grade school, but I was sure that if I smiled a lot and was nice it would help. I wish I could tell you I was right and that the whole “mean girl” concept was just a really great plot for a movie. I spent more days than I would like to admit eating lunch solo, watching popular girls cast judging gazes my way, and then turn to whisper to their inner circle. I was called bitch, stupid, ugly, slut and other colorful names that have thankfully stopped taking up residence in my memory. For me junior high was about surviving, and I never would have made it through if it wasn’t for the three or four girls who taught me how to be a good girlfriend. These friends taught me to trust, and that not all girls are out to get me or my boyfriend. I’m not sure I would be the same woman today without those friendships.
It really frustrates me to hear young women say “I can’t be friends with girls.” Are good girlfriends hard to find? Absolutely, but when you do it is hands down the most rewarding friendship. I believe in the law of attraction, that “like attracts like,” so about 15 years ago I made the decision to attract high quality girlfriends. Today I am surrounded by strong, smart, and inspiring women. I know my network of amazing women has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with who I am. So, who am I as a girlfriend?
You’re not a mind reader, and either am I, so to make it easy on both of us I’m going to tell you exactly what I think. Conversations could range from “do these jeans look good on me?” to “do you want to go to the New Kids on the Block concert with me?” to “do you think this relationship is healthy for me?” I will always tell you the truth. Are you always going to like it? No. Will you always know where I stand? Yes. I will take your feelings into consideration, but that doesn’t mean we will never fight. My BFF said it best: “being best friends means sometimes you’ll hate me. It’s okay.” Know why it is okay? Because good girlfriends don’t hold grudges. We meet for coffee, talk it out, apologize, hug, and move on.
I Won’t Judge You
Good girlfriends are emotionally vulnerable, which can be terrifying if you feel like you are being judged. Everyone has their own path that involves stumbles, failures, and bad judgement when it comes to romantic partners. I’m here to listen, love, and not let you throw an extended pity party. I will keep all your secrets, remind you that we all fall down, and probably create some hilarious inside jokes from our shared experiences.
I Want You to Feel Beautiful
From your big forehead to your small boobs to your wide hips to your cankles. I love all of these things about you. Good girlfriends will compliment your best features and help you feel more confident about the so called flaws. I know you have so much to offer, even beyond your gorgeous exterior, and will remind you to keep your standards high. I love you exactly the way you are, please embrace your awesomeness.
I Will Push You
You don’t grow from remaining stagnant in life. As a good girlfriend I will push you into experiences that are scary. My girlfriends see a version of me I can’t quite see yet, they know my potential and won’t let me settle. I will challenge you any time I hear you say “I can’t” and help you figure out solutions for seemingly impossible problems. I’m here with the champagne for accomplishments and the ice cream for set backs, but I will always pick you up and encourage you to try again. This is what real friends are for, they kick you out of your comfort zone, but are always within arms reach cheering you on.
I Trust You
With my dog, my child, my boyfriend/husband/romantic partner, my car, and my favorite clothing items. I know you will stand up for me when I’m not there and will always have my back, even if that sometimes means just keeping quiet. Passive aggressive is not in your friendship vocabulary and you will always answer the phone if I need you at 2AM. You know everything about me, and love me anyway, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
How are you a good girlfriend?