Female Friendship: Forever or Fair Weather?

The Fine Nine
The Fine Nine at Amy and Mike’s Wedding Greece 2009

Women, what wonderful, complex creatures we are. I am fascinated by us, so fascinated that my debut novel – The Fire Fox and the Harvest Moon – is, at its very core, about women and their lives, loves, and, perhaps most importantly, friendships. Whilst I wouldn’t say that the book is autobiographical, as with many debut novels I drew extensively from my own personal experience to write it.

With female friendships (as well as romantic relationships) we are fed false expectations by the media, and led to believe that they are a perfect combination of sleep overs, parties, and clothes swapping – all giggles and smiles and fun, fun, fun! But what if your experience of female friendship doesn’t match up in reality? What if for you the idea of BFF is more like BS? If you as a person are anything less than perfect (ie every single bloody one of us) then the chances are your friendships are going to be a little more complicated than the pyjama party trope.

Phoenix Festival 1997 - fashion was very different then
Emma and I Phoenix Festival 1997 – fashion was very different then

I have friendships that have endured twenty years, which is more than double the length of time I have been in a relationship with my husband. If I was to tell you that was twenty years of hearts and flowers I would be lying, but my best friends now are the same people that were my best friends at just seventeen (and I have had the joy of finding a few more on the way) and for that I am truly grateful. There have been times when life has gotten in the way, tears have been shed, and I have wondered if the friendship was lost forever, but the old adage ‘if you love someone set them free’ has never been more appropriate because we always found our way back to one another.

The problem is life is not perfect, and nor are we. Things happen, sometimes catastrophic things, and it is easy to get lost, to forget who we are, to lose sight of what is really important. Occasionally, we come to the sad realisation that we have to let a friendship go because it is toxic, and anyone who has experienced that will know that it is as painful as any break up. Truly heartbreaking. Sometimes, however, you just need a little time and space for reflection. Maybe then you will come to the realisation that you screwed up, maybe she will, but one thing I have learned is it is never too late to reach out and say I’m sorry.

Joski and Ellen Jubilee 2

All good things in life take effort. You can’t make a thriving garden from a bunch of cut flowers, you have to plant seeds and nurture them. It takes time, patience, love, and care, and a shovel full of shit might be just what it needs for it to bloom. Life can be really tough but there is little more valuable and rewarding than having good friends to laugh with you, cry with you, raise you up to achieve your dreams, and keep your feet firmly on the ground. Here’s to strong women in all their perfectly imperfect glory, ‘may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.’

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32 thoughts on “Female Friendship: Forever or Fair Weather?

  1. I think friends are absolutely vital, and there’s something specially wonderful about people you’ve had in your life forever, who know your family and what you were like before (before work, before growing up, just before!). I always feel the most relaxed round my oldest friends. I am so grateful to have them!

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    1. Absolutely, it’s sad but sometimes you have to let them go. That just makes the ones that do stand the test of time all the more special. Thanks for reading and commenting. 😃

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  2. Great post! I think friendships with women are so, so rewarding. I don’t have many people in my life that I instantly “click” with and I have been lucky enough here lately to have a few of those show up! They do still take work though and I think movies make it look easier than it often is.

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    1. Thank you so much! Yeah I totally agree with you, we see movies and we think our lives should be that simple/ perfect/ happy. Reality is so much harder! Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

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  3. The best line ever. ..a shovel of shit. I agree. I have one friend that I have been friends with for 24 years. We are totally there for each other. We have been through weddings, divorces, happy and sad times. I have had some fair weather friends as well.

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    1. Yeah I have never really experienced that but I know a lot of people who have. You should just do whatever feels right for you. Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

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  4. I have let a couple toxic friendships go over the years. It’s just not worth the stress and headache. Friendships take a lot of work anyhow, so I try not to have too many close ones. I just can’t.

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    1. Yeah I think once people start getting married and having kids it’s really difficult to stay in touch and maintain those friendships, but it is so important. Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

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  5. everyone needs a friend. the older I get the more I realize how much I wish I had a good friend to talk to during certain parts of my life. I do have friends, but maybe some of them aren’t as concrete has I wish and some are just budding. My husband is my best friend and the only current friend that I have known for about half my life. My best best friend lives in another country and my I have a handful of church friends, but I feel like they do not get me at all.

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    1. Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that. It can often be the case that we are surrounded by people but don’t really have that proper connection we crave. It’s fantastic that your hubby is your best friend though. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. 🙂

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    1. Yeah I think nowadays it is easy to make shallow connections with people, much harder to make anything of any real substance. That’s why when you find it you have to treasure it! Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

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