Female friendships have come to save my life over the years. It’s something wonderful that has matured over the years. And like good wines, good friendships only get better.
It took me quite a while to form really good female friendships. Let’s say I didn’t really get the rules of engagement and I preferred to hang out with boys. They were far less complicated. Until we became teenagers, then nothing is uncomplicated.
Anyway, so what does this has to do with health you ask? I’ll tell you.
Health and Friendships
Most of my emotional and mental strength comes from deep bonds with the strong females in my life. Over time, we become our friends as we mirror their thoughts, beliefs, and actions.
We sit across from each other sharing beautiful food, good wine, laughter, sorrow, tears, anger and support. I try to have them over for dinner as much as I can. Not only because of my love for food but because the meaning our friendships have to us.
Many say that we are the average of the five people we spend most of our time with. Both time and how and whom we spend it with are precious. Choose wisely.
Friendships that matter
In fact, female friendships can even help with breast cancer survival. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, women with early-stage breast cancer were four times more likely to die from cancer if they didn’t have very many friends. Those with a larger group of friends with early-stage breast cancer had a much better survival rate. This was regardless if they lived close by or not.
Dealing with change
I know that when I have made life-altering decisions I have had the guts to make them because I have close female friendships. Such as divorcing twice. They helped me to move out, to get my new flat organized, to sleep in my apartment the first night.
Things get less scary when you know that someone has your back unconditionally. Regardless of what happens, I’m never alone. I have a few close friendships that mean the world to me. They are the backbone of me. And me of them. They help me overcome fears, ugly truths and heartbreak.
Female and male friendships
This is, of course, healthy friendships. A good friendship is mutually beneficial. I have a very good relationship with my man too, but there are things that he will never know that my best friends know.
And no it’s not a trust issue. I simply have another type of friendship with him and with them.
In truth, when we met, it was one of the first things I told him. It’s not just me and my boys. It’s these amazing women too. They are my sisterhood, my emotional ecosystem, my family. They will always have a seat at our table.
Female friendships matter because the women I love matter. My best friends make me into a whole person. We gossip, lean on each other, call out each others bullshit, celebrate each other and love each other. It matters because it is what saves our lives.
If you need some inspiration on what to eat next time you get your female friends together maybe you want to try this Shakshuka recipe, quick, easy and gives you plenty of time to enjoy your company. Or maybe a Massaman curry? Round off with a velvety smooth chocolate cake and keep on laughing.