Friendship is a funny thing isn’t it? The act of just finding a person and claiming them in a sense.
I wouldn’t say I’ve struggled with it as such but I’ve always been quite introverted in a way, perfectly happy in my own company and always tending to stick to small friendship groups. I’ve been that way ever since childhood and looking back the majority of those friendships have been with other women which I guess is more or less normal?
Then there’s ‘that’ woman. You know the type. Claims to just not click with ‘the girls’. Men are easier, less drama. We all roll our eyes and make snide comments at such attention seeking because that’s what it is, isn’t it?
However, back in 2015 I started a new job that would change my perspective massively.
Having moved to a completely new area a few years before I didn’t really have many local friends. My job previous to that was a very fast paced retail environment so whilst I had met some lovely people I hadn’t built many lasting relationships of anything more than passing acquaintances.
Working in a much more social setting it was easier to make friends although with it being extremely male dominated it was only a matter of time before I realised I was now ‘that’ woman.
Obviously for me it wasn’t a conscious decision. It was circumstantial but never the less a welcome change. I relished being the only female in my little group. I was well looked after and actually now I can reflect back on that period of my life with honesty, I was spoiled.
My relationship at the time wasn’t a great one to begin with but he definitely wasn’t a fan of my new social life.
This is just my personal experience but I find that I constantly compare myself to my female friends and we all know that comparison is the thief of joy. I now had a newfound confidence because that just didn’t happen to me around these men. In actual fact, they helped me to see myself in a new non critical light. There were never any romantic feelings unrequited or otherwise. Just a really lovely friendship with a group of people who ‘got’ me but happened to be male.
I can also honestly say that in all that time I only ever came across one woman who didn’t immediately welcome my presence in their boyfriends life. We did eventually become friends ourselves though and I put the initial frostiness down to insecurity.
I’m writing this post from a bit of an unusual perspective because whilst I 100% believe that men and women can have a purely platonic relationship I am also the insecure girlfriend who doesn’t understand why another woman would want to be friends with her man. I know that sounds ridiculous. I don’t get it myself.
I completely understand how these types of friendships can come between relationships. As humans we don’t always act in a fair and logical way and a lot of us have deep-seated insecurities that mean we find the presence of a new person an instant threat to our relationship regardless of if we trust our partner or not.
As it stands I now have three friendship groups. Two full of my closest girlfriends and the other where I am the only female. These groups all offer me completely different things, having met them at different times in my life. I would definitely say that I now understand why there are women out there who tend to drift more towards male friendships. They do offer something completely different, a different way of seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes and at that particular time in my life it was exactly what I needed. It hit me through a period where I was broken. It saved me in ways I didn’t realise I needed saving and taught me to love myself in ways I didn’t know I could.
I wouldn’t say I’m now exclusively ‘that’ woman but I certainly get it. It’s not as clear cut as I initially thought.