It’s been said that friendship is a higher form of love than romantic attachments; in its purest form, platonic friendship is unconditional love, unhampered by the complications of sex or monetary arrangements.
And long-term female friendships, in all their complex glory, can be extremely rewarding and joyful when they work –like the glue that holds you together.
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Conversely, when they fall apart, a best friend break-up can be extremely gutting and heartbreaking – indeed almost as painful as a divorce between opposite sexes (or so I imagine).
Arguably no other TV show before groundbreaking 90s’ hit Sex and the City (pictured) came even close to demonstrating this depth and complexity of female friendships.
Of course, the much-loved TV hit which so beautifully chartered neurotic sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw’s loves, friendships and shoe fetishes in New York, did glorify female friendships. You so related to Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda’s many wondrous highs and lows in love, sex and careers that you felt like you knew them, or indeed that they became a part of you.
But SATC’s genius was also in its ability to reflect the real-life dark side of female friendships as well: the toxic, soul-destroying friendships which crush your spirit.
Like most of us, I’ve experienced both the highs and lows of female friendships, but am happy to say my BFF and I have been firm friends for almost 20 years. Our 20th friendship anniversary in 2015 will no doubt be marked with more than a few wines and much happy reminiscing.
We met at a local newspaper and it was so long ago, I can’t even recall how our friendship first developed, only that we quickly became immersed in each other’s lives and barely ever went a day without speaking.
Jen is six years older than me, but our birth dates are a day apart, and somehow – despite our emotional, fiery Gemini temperaments – we’ve remained loyal, honest and trusted friends through thick and thin; BFFs despite many highs and lows and both lengthy interstate and overseas adventures apart.
Aside from one dark and thankfully short-lived period, years ago, when we were at war over something stupid (I forget what), Jen has always been my best confidante. She lifts my spirits and makes me laugh like no other and I’ve come to rely on her brutal honesty and amazing strength.
She’s at once tough as a CEO and soft as a marshmallow and an amazingly accomplished career woman and mother of three. Just like a sister from another mother, she is the one person whom I’ll really listen to at times, one of the few people I can always rely on for sane advice, wise counsel and tough love, if I need it.
Many men have come and gone in our lives, until we both, purely coincidentally, met and married men both called Marty! And prior to that, when I was single and despairing that I’d never have a baby, let alone fall in love with the right kind of man, Jen was always there saying: “I know you will. Keep the faith, sister,” and so I always did.
When I had also lost faith and confidence in my career at one stage, she was also instrumental in giving me the boost I needed to apply – and get – that shit-hot job in my 20s.
We’ve joyfully danced at each other’s weddings (see below); grieved each other’s losses; ecstatically celebrated each other’s career wins and toasted champagne following each other’s safe and healthy childbirths.
There’s no high or low I haven’t experienced with my BFF and I hope we are fortunate enough to grow old together.
What’s the secret to a great, long-lasting friendship? I’m no expert, but brutal honesty and unconditional love goes a long way, I reckon, as in our case: knowing someone inside out, warts and all, and still wanting to hang out with them all the time anyway.
What do you think? Is your BFF one of the most important people in your life too?
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