As we get older, we grow. We grow into ourselves, we grow accustomed to things not going our way, we grow comfortable in our skin, but we also grow out of things. And sometimes, we grow out of people — certain friendships to be exact. Sometimes we simply grow apart. Other times, we realize the relationship doesn’t serve us the way it should.
Of course, if we are lucky, we will have a few really strong, healthy lifelong friendships with women who have seen all the different versions of us, and still love us, just as we are.
As we move on in life, move to a new place, or simply just want to reach out and make a new friend or two, we realize something: Making friends as an adult is really fucking hard.
It’s not the easiest thing to get to know someone later in life, but when you do, I think we can all agree, these are some ways to tell the friendship is legit.
It doesn’t really matter how much you have in common.
You can have a few things in common, or maybe a ton of things, but you are experienced enough to know that when you have a certain chemistry with another person, that is the most important thing. She makes fun of your CrossFit addiction and you give her shit about her Zen-like state every time she speaks about that damn hot yoga class. And after you both get your fix from your very different forms of exercise, you take your asses to fuel up on your favorite caffeinated beverage.
You can give her a certain look and she knows exactly what you are trying to say.
She not only gets you, she also gets you out of certain situations because she recognizes that look that says, “OMFG, get me away from this person/situation/dessert bar.”
She is not needy.
She knows you have a huge life outside of your friendship. She knows all about the chaotic days of trying to keep up with it all. She knows there will be times you are going to cancel on her, run late, or not respond to a text for days. She understands because she does the same.
You can go a really long time without seeing each other.
And when you do reunite, it’s as if no time has passed. It’s not weird or uncomfortable. In fact, you both talk a mile a minute to try to fit everything in.
You don’t have to explain yourself to her.
And every time you start, she tells you to stop. You don’t need a reason to feel the way you are feeling because you are not wrong. She validates you when you need it. And it feels so good.
When you tell her something dirty about your past, she likes you even more.
She not only doesn’t judge you, she also has a story that makes your story look like Laura Ingalls prancing through a field of flowers in her ankle-length dress and bonnet. This makes you fall in love with her enough that you feel comfortable telling her the real truth about said story.
You can send her a picture of you in a new outfit, and she doesn’t think you are weird.
She will tell you if you look hot, but she also knows how to say it isn’t your best look without being an asshole. You know she is telling you to save you from future embarrassment, not to put you down.
She will tell you if you are being unreasonable.
Which is not very often of course, but we all know it does happen from time to time. You know if it’s coming from her, it must be true.
She doesn’t try to fix you.
She loves you just as you are. You are good enough. She doesn’t always try to make it better for you. She realizes you are not looking for a damn life coach — you are looking for a friend.
She listens to you to listen, not to respond.
She doesn’t feel the need to top your story. She knows you just need someone who can hear you, and when you want advice, you will ask for it.
She doesn’t care if you eat off her plate.
Or drink her drink. You have both experienced horrible things like giving lice treatments and cleaning up vomit and diarrhea. Eating off her plate is nothing, tasting her drink happens on the regular, and fuck, she would even lend you a pair of undies if you needed them — you know, if you laugh too hard at one of her jokes.
So maybe you never held her hair for her while she got rid of that last gin and tonic in your dorm room in college. You weren’t around in 10th grade when she got her heart broken by Chad. You didn’t stand next to her on her wedding day, or hold her first child a few hours after she gave birth.
She arrived after all of that, but somehow it feels like you have always known her anyway, like she has always been there. And you both know you are are going to be those crazy-ass bitches who rip shit up in the nursing home a (very) long time from now.
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