Because @crossedbeams has injected yet more positivity into this fandom, I thought I’d join in! I’m going to do a more general post than most of the wonderful ones I’ve seen so far.
Basically, until a few years ago, the vast majority of my closest friends were male. I was definitely one of those young women who claimed to “not be like all those other girls” - something I look back on now and cringe at. Throughout university, I only lived with groups of men. My best friend - who I met at uni - is a guy. We have a friendship where we’re close, but there’s a lot of things that we don’t share, and we don’t often talk about emotions or feelings. I was happy with this, it was fine - I didn’t feel comfortable talking about these things anyway. Also, every friendship is different, and what works for us works well, and has done for years now!
But then over the last few years, I’ve become closer with my female friends, and I’ve gained new female friends. And I’ve realised just how much I was missing out on. Suddenly emotions and feelings were a much more acceptable topic of conversation, and being able to share these has made me a much better and more understanding person, as well as positively affecting my overall state as well.
As a very general statement, I’ve found female friendships to be more intense. More loving, more fiercely defensive of each other, more closely-knit, more emotional, more open. The downside is, of course, that this intensity can cause more drama and fall-outs. But shhhhh, we’re going to ignore that today and focus on the beauty of these friendships.
On a hen do with old schoolfriends last year, our night very quickly moved from wildly drunkenly dancing in a nightclub (doing the ugliest dances we possibly could to get the gross men who kept approaching us to leave us alone - we were pretending to ride horses for quite a lot of this and it must have been a truly horrendous sight!) to all having a group cry and hug in the toilets. And somehow, that was the highlight of the hen do - we all spoke about our struggles and were honest about the fact that things aren’t OK all the time. And realised that we hadn’t really admitted that to each other before. (Side note: I’ve been rewatching Desperate Housewives for the first time in over a decade lately and there’s a scene fairly early on where the women all realise that other people struggle too, and it hit me so hard on this rewatch because it took me back to our tearful-hen-party-toilet-hug) …Shortly after this, we started a dancefloor in the ladies toilets, and were quickly joined by other women wanting to escape from the sleazy men lurking on the dancefloor outside.
And because it definitely deserves a mention: over the last 9(?) months or so since I actively joined this fandom rather than lurking on the sidelines, I have also gained several friends who I now count among my nearest and dearest. It’s a really nice escape to have such a female-dominated area of my life, and a total contrast from my teenage years and early-20s. Our daily Whatsapp conversations range from the utterly ridiculous and hilarious to the vulnerable and totally honest, and I love every second of it.
Female friendships are the best, and I wish I’d embraced them earlier on in my life.