I used to be the type that when I started a relationship I would leave my friends behind, just like that. I did this for years in my late teens and early 20s and pretty much lost contact with all my friends. I didn’t even feel bad about it. I thought that this is how it should be, once you get a boyfriend your life changes and he is the main focus. Needless to say, none of those romantic relationships lasted. I was too needy, co-dependent, and my world revolved around my boyfriends. Now I know that a girl needs her vinas to lead a better, happier existence.
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW
When I started dating my current husband, I had just moved to a new city and hadn’t met any vinas yet. Once again he was all I had. But this time, my boo suggested that I make friends. That way I could have something more in my life than work and him. I was surprised at first, and didn’t think it was going to be easy to make friends at my age.
Bae suggested I post on Craigslist’s “Strictly Platonic” section. So I did. “Looking for girlfriends to hang out, grab a drink, attend events and explore NYC.” I got couple of responses, made dates, and met some new awesome people. The best part is that I’m still friends with some of them. One new vina became my bestie from day one and another one become a sort of spiritual advisor to me. Craigslist is not what it was 12 years ago and I probably wouldn’t post there anymore. But thank you Universe for bringing us Hey! VINA 🙏!
STRONGER WITH MY VINAS 👯
I believe that the reason why I’m still married 10 years later to the same guy who urged me to reach out is that he understood how important it is that we both have our own social lives. I probably would’ve gone down the same old road not having any life of my own if it wasn’t for him. Having your own friends and hobbies makes you more independent and happier (not to mention it can help you live longer)!
As women we need our girl time. We have a different kind of connection and energy than men in their friendships. There’s a reason there’s something called “girl talk”. Guys generally don’t want to talk about natural beauty products, toxin-free tampons, or those cute new yoga leggings from Sweaty Betty. Women also empathize differently than men.
Something I’ve learned from older women is that you’ll need that supportive safety net and sisterhood even more in the future. When you have children, if you’re faced with serious illness or death in the family, unemployment, divorce or other struggles. That’s when you’ll be grateful that you built a community to support you in bad times, as well as in good times.
Start building your squad now. You will need your vinas now and in the future. Plus, (duh) connecting with other women IRL is fun! Set up weekly or monthly vina-dates where you go for brunch, hike, go to special events, hit the beach, or do a yoga class or bootcamp together. Your future self will thank you for the connections you’ve created in the present.
Do you think it’s important to have friendships outside your relationship? Discuss in the comments!
(Featured image via blog.potterybarn.com)