A New York Times op-ed piece released recently about the dynamics of friendship among women has inspired deeper thought for me about the nature of friendship between women. The author, Rebecca Traister, shares the journey of companionship between her and a long time friend and the several phases of their relationship. Their story was easy to relate to: two women beginning a relationship driven by a shared interest, a strong bond is formed, and then challenged as the complexity of their lives shift and increase with the additions of careers, new boyfriends, old boyfriends/breakups, and moving. In the end, their friendship never regained a spark they once had, and I sensed a sadness from Traister about that.
I walked away wondering why women often struggle in these relationship. What if we did not have to choose between our friends and other relationships and interests, as Taister shares in her story? Over the years I have witnessed and experienced these struggles play out in almost every Jness friendship, yet the practice of showing up for each other and upholding the commitment to meet once a week to grow with one another, consistently strengthens the bond between those women and has beautiful effects on their lives. My wish is for every woman to have such an experience of friendship; the beauty of a bond that is only strengthened by the ever changing seasons of our lives.