Remember while growing up you thought boys were icky, your best friend was your favorite person in the world, and your favorite saying was “Girls Rule, Boys Drool”? It still applies today! And literally on the boys drool part. March is International Women’s Month and even though Internation Women’s Day has already passed, I feel like it’s better to celebrate your girlfriends late than never. When I was a child, I had some gal pals who I thought were going to be my ride or die in adulthood. Once I got older, those friendships faded away as the pressures of growing up, toxic mentalities, and changes in personalities/interests played a huge role on why those friendships didn’t last. When I got into my 20’s, I reflected on any past mistakes I had made with those old friendships in order to not make them again once I was able, let alone ready to make friends again.
When I turned 22, I had just moved back to Maine and transferred to University of Southern Maine in the middle of my college career. I did not have any established friendships at the time and was incredibly nervous to start fresh at a school where I barely knew anyone. When I got my USM room assignment, I was assigned to a room with people the school thought I would potentially get along with. They freaking nailed it and I had no clue at the time.
When we started classes, I felt more at home with my friend group as time went by and I got to know them more. Fast forward to five years later when we found our first grown up apartments, celebrated college graduations, engagements/marriage, and big job promotions that we were able to all experience together. The older we got, I was afraid that we would lose touch or not be able to maintain our friendships once we all moved out. I was wrong. My connection with my friends have been stronger than ever. Here are some things I have found that have helped me build a strong connection with my gals!
- Start traditions
My girls and I have done Galentine’s Day for three years straight. Our tradition started out with getting dressed up, going out somewhere nice to eat, and ordering dessert. We even passed around our desserts for everyone to try since we were all indecisive on what to get! This year, we decided to expand our Galentine’s Day horizons and did a day trip to Boston! We wanted to find other restaurants that had more vegan options for one of our friends since Portland’s vegan options are very slim/hard to find.
2. Do something fun, like hosting slumber parties!
My girls and I did a slumber party a couple months ago where we drank wine, did face masks, paint nails, and watched cheesy Disney Channel movies on Disney Plus. We let loose our inner junior high selves that night, only this time we could break into the bar cart! We all had such a great time doing it, we’re going to do another slumber party soon!
3. Be yourself with them – celebrate each other and have fun in the moment!
When you know you’ve found your girl gang, you know that acting yourself and having fun will not be an issue. Your personality itself is what made you and that other person connect so be open, don’t pretend to be someone you are not otherwise your friend won’t know the real you! And celebrate the big and small wins between your friends, whether it’s a new job promotion or an engagement! Cheer on each other, positivity makes the world go round.
4. Don’t let your love life affect your friendships
This is probably the most essential part of maintaining your friendships with your gal pals. New relationships means that you are getting to spend a little more time with your significant other cause you want to get to know them more. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a bad thing! However, your new significant other should not be the only focus in your life. Alienating yourself from your friends is 100% not recommended and can most definitely affect your friendships in the long run. Find a good balance between spending time with your significant other and your friends, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Over time, slowly introduce your significant other to your friends and see how they connect. If your friends also have S/O’s, a group date would help with breaking the ice.
Maintaining a strong connection with your gal pals is critical and as time goes by, they become your family. We are currently going through one of life’s most trying times and all we can do right now is be there for each other no matter how close or far apart you are! Hope everyone stays safe and remember: wash your hands, be cautious of your surroundings, and practice social distancing!