Diane Lofgren and Margaret Bhola coauthored Women I Want to Grow Old With. Diane will be the keynote speaker for the inaugural networking breakfast, San Diego Women Connect, on Tuesday, July 26. Join the conversation!
Friendship. It seems so easy. We’ve made them all our lives. But there are times when life throws something our way—be it a move, the loss of a loved one, or a falling out with a close girlfriend—and when we wonder if we will have the friends we need when we need them the most.
That’s why we believe that the best way to make and secure female friendships is to be intentional about it. Like anything we value in our lives—from our families to our jobs to our bank accounts—we must invest to see the return. Yet family, careers, and our perennial to-do lists can make it easy to put off making plans with our girlfriends.
As we interviewed women for our book, Women I Want to Grow Old With, we learned that those who have friends to call when “all hell breaks loose” or like-minded women to spend time with – from getting coffee to shopping to taking a cruise – make friendship a priority.
Yes, that means that someone has to do the initiating. One among us has to send the email or text or make call that gets the wheels turning for that soul-sister time, be it to share news or get sisterly advice or plan the next adventure. The important thing is not to keep score! If you’re the initiator or the planner, lean into your role and then let others know what they can do to help. What’s most important is that life-renewing time with our friends who truly get us. They’re the ones who give us perspective and encouragement when we feel sad, discouraged or lonely. They rooting us on when we reach for the stars.
If you’ve been putting off gathering your best friend or girl tribe, just do it! Research shows that when women spend time with friends, it increases the production of oxytocin, our stress-reduction hormone. Gaining perspective from a trusted girlfriend, helps us see things more clearly. Laughing and sharing fun times with other women we care about provides a sense of renewal.
Finally, if you believe you could benefit from a few more friends, take the initiative to reach out and make a plan. She just may be another woman you want to grow old with!