For most of my teenage life I have always had a boy I was interested in. Even when I wasn't dating someone, I usually primarily hung out with "the guys." My best friend is a boy. I liked boys because they were not jealous or catty or gossipy - they were interested in having fun and having good conversations about life, not about who was dating who.
However, over the last six months or so I have realized how important it is to have girl friends. Maybe this is kind of a silly thing to think about. But I really am starting to realize how much women need each other and can support each other in ways that relationships with men can't. I have had the opportunity the last couple of semesters to live with women who are very strong and are really good examples to me, and have always been completely supportive, even when they didn't know me very well yet. I have developed some really strong friendships through visiting teaching, and we are still close now, even though that particular calling has ended. I went to an old roommate's wedding on Thursday and had the time of my life not because some guy asked for my number or asked me to dance but because I got to have the first good talk with my former roommate in months. After having lunch with my sister and her best friend today, I feel completely rejuvenated and ready to face all the crazy things that are coming at me this semester.
So my conclusion? Well, I am dating someone who is in my opinion one of the best guys I know. It is a really good relationship. However, no matter how good that relationship is, I still need to spend time with my girls and develop those strong friendships. Balance is everything. :)
During the winter break, I watched a weird movie called The Jane Austen Book Club. I didn't love the movie too much, but it reminded me of a conversation I have had with my roommates. Most girls love Pride and Prejudice (if you don't, I'm sorry for stereotyping you) and I'm sure we are not the only ones who have tried to analyze which Jane Austen character we are most like. Maureen was classified as Jane, Katie was classified as Mr. Darcy (I still don't actually understand that one), but I was having a hard time figuring out who I was, when my friend Logan (a closet Austen fan) told me I was Marianne from Sense and Sensibility. I loved hearing this because Sense and Sensibility is my favorite Austen book and movie, and Marianne is my favorite character. However, I didn't think much beyond that until I was driving home tonight thinking about different relationships I have had. Like Marianne, I used to think the more angst and pain you went through for a relationship, the better. It had to be romantic and crazy, throwing all other aspects of your life out of the picture while you were consumed with this crazy emotion. I had a few relationships like that and they ended in disaster, with our feelings for each other getting burned out pretty quickly while schoolwork and other friendships suffered. However, at the end of Sense and Sensibility, Marianne learns that she doesn't need to be losing her mind to be truly in love. There is a time and season to everything and it is important to be balanced in order to find lasting happiness. I think I am working on learning that lesson right now. Sometimes it would be nice to throw caution to the wind and be irresponsible and crazy, but indulging in that kind of behavior will only cause problems in the end, while being aware of the timing and appropriateness of everything will build a strong and lasting relationship.