When I tell other women about my current plight, most nod their heads in agreement. They can usually relate in some capacity. Maybe they too have relocated. Perhaps they’ve been left behind by friends who’ve gotten married and moved to the suburbs. It could be that everyone in their lives has stayed put but friendships are simply changing as people get older and busier. There are few people who simply say “Nope, don’t understand what you’re talking about.”
Few, but not none.
The women who seem most confused by my story are the ones who report not understanding female friendship in the first place. “I’ve never been able to be friends with girls,” they’ll say. “I’m a guy’s gal.”
I’ve never known what to make of this claim. Women who state that they “don’t like other girls” and “can only be friends with men” kind of baffle me.
Yes, I know all about toxic friendships. I’ve been on the receiving end of notes from mean girls, and I’m not ruling out the possibility that someone out there has cast me as the Regina George of her childhood. Girls can be tough on each other. We can be competitive and catty and jealous. Friendships might come with baggage.
But we can also be smart and insightful and funny and empathetic and silly and adventurous, and “I hate girly things like shopping” is not an acceptable reason to write off the entire gender.
I have a friend who once told me that she doesn’t believe any woman who says she can’t be friends with other girls. “It just means that woman is a bitch,” she says. I’m not necessarily endorsing that theory, just reporting. Don’t kill the messenger.
My guess is that any woman who says she can’t be friends with other women is, in fact, friends with other women. She probably has one or two girl friends that she’d describe as “not your typical girls.” Maybe they all think they can’t be friends with women. The three of them are just anomalies who happened to find each other.
Ladies who say “I can’t be friends with women” should probably revise their statements to say “I can’t be friends with that woman or that woman.” And everyone has someone they can’t be friends with. We can’t all be BFFs. Or even FFs. Or Fs. Some people aren’t going to get along—not because one woman hates girls and the other is a girl, but because, maybe, one thinks the other is superficial while the other thinks the one is self-righteous. For example.
Have you ever met a woman who claimed she just didn’t like being friends with women? Do you believe her? Why do you think she makes that claim? And, if you’re a lady who can’t stand female friendships, why? I’d love some insight…