I have lots of great friends, and two simply amazing ones Ali and Lisa. Different in so many ways, yet both 40+, sexy as hell …between them they represent my voice of reason, my karma, my quick phone fix and also my all-night procrastinating about men over a bottle of red friends. I know that I could tell them anything …. even disclosures about four-fingered Kit Kats (another story …maybe).
When we do manage to get time together for girlie chats two things are usually on the menu men and cocktails and OMG! The conversations we have had. I think between the three of us we know of or have friends that have done it all and got the certificates for it.
We have friends that have dated younger men, fallen in and out of bed and love, are happily and unhappily married, been whisked away to exotic countries have trails of admirers, rich, intelligent, young and single. So is there a point to all of this banter you may ask? Well actually yes, the absolute need for girlfriend therapy.
Girlfriend therapy amidst all the chaos, broken hearts and disappointments is something that should be bottled and sold. What are we thinking of pouring our hearts out to men … would a man come to a Swedish House Mafia concert with you in Prague? Would a man offer to come round and clean out the rubbish from your garage? Could you go on an indulgent weekend with a man and forget about your make-up, sit in your PJs and not feel restricted when you are rolling on the floor completely inebriated, from red wine and champagne hmmmmm!
Not sure if I would be the person I am today with my girlfriends, it’s a rare quality to find people that sit, listen and not pass judgement, friends that you can trust with your life or even your man – no secrets.
I think all women need this top-up or injection of girlfriend therapy usually to counter all the crap and negativity that come from men and relationships and also to share the good experiences and joys with. Which brings me nicely to the point of; should you ever put a man above your girlfriend(s)? Well, you can almost guarantee that girlfriends are pretty constant in your life, men you could argue come and go, drift in and out, ebb and flow – although occasionally you do find a rock. A very good friend said to me recently ‘sisters before misters’… you know who you are!
So you have your girlfriends and you have your man, harmonious combination – right! …. actually not always! If you have a man and girlfriends that in itself can cause problems. Men tend to become either very insecure or protective of females together, almost like a pack situation (generalisation again) . From experience they feel that they should to be included in this private members club; be integrated and hopefully accepted with no adversel reactions or allergies. This however could be a big risk; non-acceptance by girlfriends effectively means relegation. The man should bow out gracefully, not try to further impress and remain on the side-line as sub, until the next match opportunity presents itself to score.
Seems a bit harsh I know but introducing any man to your girlfriends is tough in terms of when, where and how. The man has to be initiated slowly, where his name is dropped into occasional conversations where you present all of his positives, discuss things you might have shared together, how good the sex is etc. prior to an actual first meeting. When you do eventually allow your man into this inner sanctum, him versus them you have to really step back and let him defend himself.
At this point there are two options – ‘sink or swim’. Your man could be victorious, charm them over, have them engaged in his wit, intellect and charm. They might come to realise and accept that actually a treaty of declaration outlining territory and conditions of enactment can be drawn up and agreed – success! Or ….the second option – not very pleasant, and it could leave your man retreating to the hills nursing his wounds. If your man cannot withstand the barrage of questions regarding his credentials, intentions and level of commitment and if areas of weakness are displayed he will be torn apart, from limb to limb. Yes they might nod and smile sweetly, but you as a member of the pack will be able to identify with the signs of discontent – the divisive interrogation methods designed to set him up for a fall, the acuteness of the stares, the momentary pauses in between his responses and the noticeable ‘tells’ that form the basis of secret coding for girlfriends.
The period of initiation and acceptance could actually far exceed the life cycle of the actual relationship.
So why do women do this, why do women put men through hell? …..because they can! Girlfriends always have your back; the therapy that they provide is holistic, and tops up your positive energy in mind, body and soul. Anything that encroaches upon girlfriend time is automatically amber benchmarked until such a time when a value judgement can be made about its worthiness of being green. Where does that leave men? Well if they are shrewd enough to play the game, take some initial flack and show that their intentions are indeed more hearts and flowers in oppose to a quickie and a KFC, they might just be tolerated, possibly liked and over a period of time accepted.
Girlfriend therapy – a must, recommended at least once a week, otherwise trust me, you will suffer withdrawal symptoms. No special requirements just you, them, no men, privacy to talk, gossip and/or intimidate. The ability to listen, share and not pass judgement, to laugh, cry and just be yourself – because that’s the good thing about girlfriends, they love you for who you are; good, bad, indifferent and even when you have a man in your life.
Oh one more requirement, silly me! Alcohol of course, in obscenely copious amounts.
Love you Ali and Lisa x
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