[girl] Friends .. How Many of Us Have Them?

Brian and Brandon are all I know as far as siblings go. Our mother made every effort to raise me in a feminine manner. I had every doll I wanted, I wore dresses and I even had an EZ bake oven. I think I was born with sass but I was never the "girly girl" girl. I'd like to believe I got by just fine for having just brothers around.

Sometime around 8th grade I took a step back and realized, aside from Alexis (my best friend at the time) I was much more comfortable with the guys in my circle. It was easier to talk to them and fun to be around them. I was fine with having close to no female friends other than family members.

As a freshman in high schooling developed them infamous “I don't need/ want girlfriends. All of my friends are guys" mentality. It was something I was action ally proud to think and say. By the time I reached college I did not know who my friends were, male or female. There were definitely more males around. I was still not comfortable with girls. I had so many preconceived notions and conspiracy theories. T was just easier to not even begin female friendships.

Time progressed and nothing changed. I had gotten used to having males as close friends. I spoke to females, congregated with the, but I would not get too close to them and I would not allow the, to get too close to me. The "females are too much trouble" attitude was in full effect and I saw nothing wrong with it. In 2005 I enrolled in a class offered through my church called Me Management. Whose grand idea was it for me to take a 12 week course with nothing but women, taught by women? In addition to the class, I had the nerve to join a sorority at the same time. Probably not a good idea for someone who was set on being anti-female friendships. I recognized my thoughts towards females needed to change. I was determined to find change.

During each of those processes I reflected on plenty of things but of course the female friend thing kept coming up. Ugh! Really? Turns out my issues with female friends dated all the way back to elementary school. I can remember always being liked by girls but it seemed like as soon as I settled into the crowd, I was booted out. In the 4th grade (yes I can remember that far back); I was dismissed in the meanest way. The leader of the pack told me I was "too good... The teacher's pet". So there went those "friends". Around that same time my so called best friend trapped me on a three-way call with the girl that was supposed to be our worst enemy. She called, talked trash about the bully. I agreed. Then all of a sudden the chick, OUR enemy, was threatening to “beat my black ass" on the other end. Wait, what?

I definitely carried those experiences with me. I never spoke about them but I know they were the beginning of the "UGH! Girls! Movement" for me. History did not repeat itself verbatim but I did experience the same trickery and booting by girls.

Joining a sorority was supposed to be a means to an end of this no female friend nonsense. It was supposed to convince me that female friends were needed. It didn't. I grew closer to women but I still had walls up, very tall ones. I let a few in, in a few areas but there was not one that had complete access. By this time my male friends were seriously dating. Out of respect for them and their relationships I backed offend created boundaries so there were no questions or side eyes pertaining to our strictly platonic friendships. Still no true female friend. 

I can't remember when but somewhere in my late 20s I discovered that my issue with female friends or the lack thereof was only as big as I made it. The concept of having a female friend was not foolish but the fear of becoming friends with a female was. Eventually I opened up. It bit me in the butt with a few women, at the same time. But I'm not scared anymore. What an accomplishment!

Honestly, even at 30 I still find myself wanting to divert back to male friends only. Y'all chicks are cray. But I now know and realize how important it is for a female to have female camaraderie. Truth is, there are just some things men do not understand about women. Women relate to each other like only women can. Platonic female relationships help nurture femininity and womanhood. Men cannot do that. When women connect to each other it provides support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. While we may think we can find support in our best male friends, there is nothing like being able to drive over to your girlfriend’s place at 11:30 at night just to lie in her lap and cry over a horrible break up.

On the contrary, I still know females who are walking around saying, “I will never be friends with girls". On some days I can't blame them. For some reasons some, ALOT, of women are downright caddy and just plain mean. Some women over step boundaries and others fail to establish boundaries in their friendships. Women can be clingy and territorial in friendships, this I know from experience.

So while I have determined female friendships are important, I have also determined that the right female friendships are just as important. There is no point in having the wrong type of friends around. I've learned that every female that I come across is not my friend; no matter how much they appear to care or how much tissue they hand you while you are crying on their shoulder. Finding the right woman to befriend is pertinent. That means it is going to take work and effort in finding the right ones to call your girlfriend. Now that I have gotten over my fear and my season of let downs and breakdowns over failed friendships, I'm more interested in those who are right for me. There are specific women out there who were intricately designed to be friends with me. Wow! Yes, it's going to take work to find these women and it is going to take even more work to allow these women beyond my walls. Once they are in, it is going to take effort to nurture the friendships. Sounds like a lot, but I'm up for the challenge.

Are you?