Do you have a ‘Girlfriend Group?’ Think about the women in your life who are your family. Be thankful for the female friends who see you through life with hugs, encouragement and sometimes a well-needed, heart-felt laugh.
These are the girlfriends with whom we have ‘Frientimacy’ – an intimate, honest, caring, WONDERFUL relationship.
Why not get the girls who mean so much to you all together? Feel the love in the room and be grateful for the women who are your intimate friends. While they’re all around you, open up the discussion to three things we celebrate about our lives in the last year. Acknowledge the journey you’ve been on and the women with whom you share ‘Frientimacy.’
Frientimacy: The Intimacy of Friends
By Shasta Nelson, founder of GirlfriendCircles.com and author of Friendships Don’t Just Happen: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of GirlFriends
All six of us live in different cities, but every year we fly into a chosen city for our Annual Girlfriend Get-Together Weekend. And I just want to tell you that it’s the highlight of my year.
But I also want to tell you that while that sounds all warm-and-fuzzy that it doesn’t means it’s easy. We need to get better, as women, at acknowledging that friendship isn’t always easy smiles. If you’re going to get intimate with each other then it’s impossible to do so without some friction.
Intimacy. It’s is a word that just brings up too much romance, so I call it “Frientimacy.”
Frientimacy Is Authentic
We listened as one shared that’s she not sure she wants to stay married. Another, found out her husband cheated. And another just broke up with the man she wanted. One is trying to decide if she wants kids. Another is due next month. Another just found out her baby isn’t developing on schedule. Another isn’t sure she’ll find someone to marry before she has that choice. Another is struggling with weight and another with financial security and still another with contentment.
We also listened as we went around the room sharing three things we celebrate about our lives in the last year. It was spectacular: The risks. The wins. The accomplishments. The completions. The new beginnings. The Ph.D, the new baby, the new business, the new office, the new love. The big anniversary.
It was beautiful to be among friends who have history sharing both. These are six beautiful, amazing, professional, intelligent women who live life fully and are committed to truthful friendships.
Frientimacy is Awkward
And while it sounds so good, I’d be remiss if I didn’t own the truth that even with people we love and respect, there is no way to be friends without bringing our personal insecurities, fears and our own baggage to the relationship. It’s hard to celebrate each others joys even when we’re jealous; and to hold their pain without projecting our story into it. There were awkward moments.
We are far from being a homogeneous group: some married, some single, some divorced, some with kids, some with step-kids, some with none. But we keep coming and learning from each other. And through the years many us have traded those roles – the married one becomes single and the single finds her love.
Often at the same time and we have to celebrate one and grieve the other. It is hard being the first or only in the group to have kids, and equally hard to be the last or only to not be in a relationship. We forge on. There will be lots of awkward moments we will witness and hold.
Frientimacy is Worth It
But we’ve practiced. And we’re still practicing. We’ve made commitments to be generous with each other. Honest. We trust the commitment is bigger than the pain. We trust the history is deeper than the present moment.
I just think that in a world where BFF’s are romanticized that it’s important for us to be reminded that intimacy doesn’t come without some misunderstandings, some disagreements, some jealous and insecurities, some disappointments in each other. I will sing the praises of these women and love them forever, but far be it from me to not be honest with women everywhere that Frientimacy is authentic. Which also means it can be awkward.
But, might I also just add that it is so worth it.
Shasta Nelson, CEO of www.GirlFriendCircles.com and author of Friendships Don’t Just Happen: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of GirlFriends , the only online community of women that matches new friends up to meet in small groups in local areas. She is a life coach, blogger and writes and speaks prolifically on the subject of friendship.
How can you resolve to be a better friend? How can you better find ‘Frientimacy?’
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