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Why women need a circle of friends

October 13, 2007 | By | 8 Replies Continue Reading

Another reason why the fantasy, Best Friends Forever (BFF),
isn’t all it’s cracked up to be: When the all-consuming, all-fulfilling,
one-and-only female friendship in your life fizzles out or blows up, you’re
left in excruciating pain. And there’s no one to talk to or share your misery
with. Generally, you would call your Bestie—but she’s the problem!

If you ever have unexpectedly lost a friendship that you were
sure would last forever, you must realize that it is always a good idea to
encircle yourself with more than just one best friend…

The idea isn’t a new one. Beginning in the late 1800s, Amish
women formed quilting circles to share expertise and companionship. After they
had finished individual patches for a quilt, they would come together
(sometimes over long distances) to lend a hand in piecing them together. The
quilters socialized as they sewed, developing long-lasting bonds that became
part of the fabric of the Amish culture.

A study published in the American Sociological Review two
years ago (June 2006) reported that the circle of close friends held by
Americans over the past two decades has shrunk markedly. (This landmark
research was the first nationally representative study on this topic over that
time period.) During the same period, the researchers found that the number of
people who said that had no close confidants had doubled.

What can we do to increase the number of female
relationships that nurture and sustain us? Get ready to form a circle: a regular
meeting of a group of women who share meet over a shared interest or activity.
Here are some ideas:

1) Form a knitting or sewing circle, possibly with a
charitable aim.

2) Play canasta, bridge or mah-jongg

3) Take to the links

4) Join a bowling team

5) Create a scrabble club

6) Start a book group

7) Join a cooking club

The options are endless; the chances for starting new
friendships are boundless too.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Irene, what you’ve said is so very true. i’d like to add that it get’s harder as as you get older; throw in a relocation, and find yourself completely starting over. Last year I decided to start a women’s group through Meetup and did not know what to expect. Today, I have close to 470 women members. I am amazed at the response and the need for my group offers. I encourage women everywhere to look at their local meetup groups and even consider starting a group of your own.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There are a fair number of us introverts out here, but because we are introverted, it is not as easy for us to make friends. Plus it seems like the extroverts are hanging out with each other, and haven’t much use for us. Why don’t you put up a disposable email address here and there on this blog and ask for some other introverts to contact you– well, let’s call it introverted, self aware, and thoughtful types. I don’t think the circle of introverted friends you envision would be quiet and lifeless at all. I think us introverts do well with each other. I find myself longing for some depth please when I deal with a lot of the outward turned folks and many introverts seem to me to have a more vibrant inner life of the mind. I get that you attend church, but I am not sure about how old you are, kids?, ages?, married? etc? and what you like to do. Reach out.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I hate being a loner. I try to get involved and always feel left out. I’m not a big talker so I don’t get connected, making me feel more alone. I don’t know how to change this. I try craft nights at church, women’s Bible studies, volunteering in the nursery, attending kid’s sporting events, etc but it seems like at this age, everyone has all the friends they need and I don’t get asked to join their circle of friends. To start up a new “circle of friends” would mean finding women who are as disconnected & introverted as I am – and it would be too quiet and lifeless. I hate thinking I’ll die alone.

    • Lily says:

      Hi, I like the fact that you’re actively involoved. You’re putting yourself out there and it takes a lot. You didn’t mention how long you’ve been volunteering, but you most probably need some time go gain their trust. Keep at it, and soon you’ll see someone smiling at you, or approach you to get to know you.
      Good luck.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Irene, I agree completely. I don’t know what I’d do without my buddies! I’m involved in activities at my church, I play in a bunco group, I find friends through a professional organization for freelance writers — the possibilities are all over the place if you are open to them. Even just going for a walk with a friend is a great way to catch up and stay connected.
    Thanks for your wonderful blog. It is inspiring!
    Kathy Sena

  5. Irene says:

    Yes, Lauren.

    When there isn’t much time, I try to do things with a friend. I’ve even done supermarket shopping with friends.

    Can we think of a catchy name for this?

    By the way, your blogs are excellent!





  6. Anonymous says:

    Good advice, Irene. Thank you!

    You also can invite friends to do the things you would normally do by yourself. For example, the next time you run errands, take a friend along! You cross items off your to-do list, and you spend quality time with a pal.


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