Don’t Skip Girls’ Night!
Why Women-Only Time Is Vital
September 13, 2010
By Natasha Burton
Until recently I’d never experienced a true girls’ night out. Sure, I’d skipped over to frat row with my female roommates in college. I went on a ladies-only trip to Mexico with my sorority sisters and even did a girls’ weekend in Las Vegas once. But, truth be told, my heart really wasn’t into the whole "just us gals" thing. I had ulterior (read: male-oriented) motives.
Those designated girls’ nights and trips were often punctuated with "checking in" calls to a boyfriend, along with a nagging wish that the time would pass quickly so I could get back to him. What was I supposed to do with a bunch of women anyway – drink cosmos and complain about cramps? Plus, what was the point of getting all dressed up if there weren’t boys to impress?
Given my guy-centric agenda, it probably comes as little surprise that I’m the type of girl who always has a boyfriend. Over the years I developed a bad habit of prioritizing these romantic relationships over my friendships with women. In college I bailed on my roommate’s 21st birthday dinner to attend a Lakers game with my then-boyfriend. The guy became an ex, and my friendship with my roommate also ended. Although we lived together for three years, I wasn’t invited to her wedding. And rightly so – I was always a better girlfriend than I ever was a friend.
In choosing to miss out on the bonding time that my other female friends habitually enjoyed – thinking I was so smart for focusing on my romantic relationships instead – I lost something rather vital. According to Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., creator of The Friendship Blog and author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving A Break-Up With Your Best Friend, no-guys-allowed time is valuable. "Other women also shape us as people. Our female friends provide virtual mirrors that allow us to see who we are and whom we want to become," she says.
"With girlfriends, women can let it all hang out. Only other women understand your concerns about looking good or looking young [or] your career dreams that are still unrealized," Levine notes. It’s difficult to appreciate these kinds of conversations when you’re checking your phone every three seconds to see if your boyfriend texted you back already…
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