Last night over a delicious dinner of Chinese food, with close friends, my girlfriend asked me about another woman. I replied that I liked her. She went on to say she always sees her with “a gang of 60+ year old women.” My friend has a different lifestyle, a fabulous one, I might add and she thinks women, at our age running in cliques, joined at the hip, is puzzling. I don’t, though it is not my style. Oh! Don’t get me wrong. I am joined at the hip to several women. They don’t happen to be in a clique. To be one of my friends, however, they must mirror me. Not the opposite. I do not choose my friends that I have to learn to mirror. So clique or no clique, the point is: our closest friends should mirror us.
Here’s how friendship should feel
You and another woman meet. It’s like dating. Our friends should have “that certain something,” that certain chemistry that draws us to them. I call it the mirror effect. Don’t you agree? Your #1 priority should be about you…they should mirror you, you should not try and mirror them.
I do my best thinking in the shower and or late at night cuddled up to my best friend in the entire world, my husband. In the quiet of the night, my mind backtracked to the conversation with my friend. My first thought: My husband and I mirror one another. We are two peas in a pod. That is why we have a successful marriage. If I was stranded on a desert island there is no one I would rather be with than my ultimate concierge, Sheldon Good. He makes me complete. Of course if I got to add someone else I would take my dog, Orchid, my ‘wise’ friend.
This is what my husband’s and my conversation might sound like, remembering that every relationship, whether it is with a friend or spouse should be a blend of “sugar and spice,” the spice adding to the dimension of the relationships.
This is the sugar.
Him: “Do you want to go to this restaurant, tonight?
Him: “Do you like the color of my new socks?”
Me: “Love them.”
Him: “Would you like to stay at this hotel or that hotel in New York?”
Me: “I love them both. You decide.”
He: “Nice couple we met tonight.”
Me: “I agree. I will make another date.”
The spice is usually over intellectual conversations, favorite books, family decisions and, “Did you absolutely need another dress” otherwise known as spending money. I am smiling.
My thoughts then turned to my friends. They all have qualities that mirror mine. And yet they have ‘that spice,‘ that tickles my fancy and peaks my intellect. They are their own woman. Cliques don’t suit their style. They like to spread their wings. I like that because the spice is the added dimension that provides me with a joie de vivre.
I don’t think women can have ’that added spice’ in cliques because they are so insulated. Cliques remind me of sorority life. I loved my sorority at that stage of my life. Everything was the same. We dressed the same. We thought the same. We acted the same. We insulated one another. The sorority was our security. And, for many older women that is the path they continue to cherish; a perfect lifestyle at 50, 60, 70, 80+. In other words, there is no right or wrong.
THE ONLY WRONG: Do not try to change yourself for a friend. It will not work.
THE ONLY RIGHT: Let women in your life who “mirror” you.
That is how you will lead a rich and happy life with friends. Surround yourself with women who support your intellectual growth, who are positive influences, and who embody your values and your attributes. Choose women to be friends with who laugh and smile and brighten your day.
I am very grateful to my friends. They open up my mind and they open up their hearts. They fulfill me. They are all over the world and yet tucked into my heart. They are creative and lively, bright and they share. They are open, warm, insightful and delightful. I am proud to call them my real friends. You know who you are. I am sending kisses your way.
And to ‘my honey’s’ at Honeygood.com. We mirror one another. When I see your names pop up in a text, an email or hear your voice over the phone I feel lucky you are in my life and by my side.
And to all of my readers: Your comments and my replies have created a bond of friendship, through words. You have enhanced my life and I am so…grateful.
A continued happy holiday season to all.
Making friends afterm50: while resigning in Maryland a few years, I was so what lonely for a friendship, someone to go shopping or coffee, an event. So I attended a few events, involved myself into conversations hoping I would be asked to engage in one of the above at least one time. Attending church, surely someone would like to become acquainted with me on a social level. It never happened. Eventually, I submitted my name and volunteer experience and was selected as a volunteer for President Obama’s second term as President. Surely I would meet an acquaintance , I did it was only conversation at the inaugural meeting and the night if the balls . It’s hard to find a girlfriend when you have met that seasoned age. I am back in Texas and enjoying life and I am happy. Life goes on without any qualms. I have noticed that most women belong to a clique and that’s not me. I am happy with my old friends that I grew up with and new friends (within 12 or more years), none reside in my city but 3 hours away, when I get too lonesome I visit,,once my plate is full, I return home , but I am happy. So I find that people I meet now are only acquaintances ……a lunch or a movie or an event but it keeps me busy when I want to be. Other days I am decorating my new place or finishing my memoir. Again, I am good!
I think the top sentence that hit me, “So I find that people I meet are only acquaintances.” I think you are right unless you meet someone who is ‘a mirror of you.’ If that should happen it is up to you to pursue the new possible friendship. She will probably feel the same and might engage in friendship. I had this happen two times last summer and we have become friends. Happy New Year. Warmly, Honey
Yes I feel the same way. It is hard to find girlfriends that want to shop together or just hang when you are older.
Reach out in 2018. A book club? A movie club? A church group? When you meet a woman and you ‘click’ it takes ‘time to nurture a new friendship but if you mirror one another it is worth it. Happy New Year. Warmly, Honey
I have found that when my kids were small, it was much easier to find and form friendships with other moms. But now that our kids are grown, those women have moved, moved on or even passed away. The people that I work with now are nice and we meet for lunch and chatting during work hours, but after work everyone goes home to their own families and lives. The younger people who have kids or are still single seem to bond and form friendships easier. I live in a very diversified area and many people gravitate towards friendships with people from their own culture. I do agree though,that a true, satisfying and meaningful friendship must mirror each other. Not so easy to find, at least for me as we get older.
Good to read this article, Honey.
Keep trying if you want to. YOur mirrors are out there. In Church? Book or movie club? You will know as soon as you meet.then it will be up to you if you want to continue and grow the friendship. People need people…but…the right people. Happy New Year. Warmly, Honey
….but…the right people……is so true.
because, with time…we all find our path. And, sometimes, their path doesn’t continue to mirror our path. Sad but true.
Finding friends who mirror us is a rare thing. I believe it doesn’t happen often in one’s lifetime. Or at least in mine. I’m the type of person who does not have multiple friends who I do things with, associate with regularly. I suppose I’m somewhat of a lone wolf, and I’d rather do things one on one than in groups. I would also rather do something alone, than think about who I can call to have someone to be with. For me, the friendship I have with my husband comes way before girlfriends. Alone time comes second, with lots of space. Friendship time with a girlfriend comes in 4th after quality time with my kids. I’ve often asked myself over the years if I’m missing out not having more girlfriend time, but honestly I’m sure it’s a no. I don’t feel that I’m missing anything. Friendships can be an enormous responsibility in needing to nurture them to make them last.
Wise words and great values. Husband, alone time, children and then friendships.I applaud you. Happy New Year, Joni, to you and your family.
This REALLY got me thinking and resonates. I am 60 and have really have tried over the years to be a part of different kinds of cliques (because let’s face it, sometimes it feels good to “belong”) but I found in all these cases I have had to give up more than I was willing to give up…time, money, personal opinions contrary to the “group”, and even going against some of my deep set beliefs. It wasn’t worth it to me! It was game playing to be accepted by the group, esp. the leader of the pack (there is always one of those! Always a pecking order. HATE pecking orders!). I felt stifled, limited in personal and spiritual growth. I am not a rule follower if it’s against what I feel God wants for me or breaks my own personal rules (aka boundaries necessary to keep my sanity and marriage in a great place! ha ha!) I think different women have different needs – I have found that a lot of these women “need” this belonging, need to have a standard/direction set for them for whatever reason. It’s just how they roll. I am not saying all groups are bad, but when it gets so tight and part of yourself gets lost, it’s time to abandon ship! .I can’t be me in these groups, I am considered a “pot stirrer”, because I buck the system when I don’t want to do everything they do when they do it! Horrors of horrors, I don’t want to go to a painting party! I have also found that these cliques bring me down…esp. at my age. I do not want to sit and talk about how EVERYTHING is blamed on OLD age! First, at 60 I am NOT old! Second, if you think you are old and give into every perceived sign of it, you WILL be old. Women (and men, aka my husband) who mirror me, know that yes there are things that come along with aging, BUT there is so much you can do to stay young physically, mentally and emotionally!! You don’t have to give up! I want to scream “QUIT talking about how old you are and how it’s time to give up on certain things that are still within your reach!” I am a 4 1/2 year stage 3 colon cancer survivor and I have more zest and energy than when I was in my 30’s. Yes, there are things that remind me that I am not 30…but that doesn’t mean all of sudden I am “old”. Youth is a mindset, and Lord willing I plan to be young at heart until my last breath… the cliques I have seen of 50/60 plus year olds like to wallow in their “oldness”. Misery loves company. I need people who help me soar! And don’t gossip when I do! My husband and 5 grown children allow me to be young! So do my precious TRUE friends. It’s so freeing. Freedom comes at a price and I have lost “friends” over it, but then again, if I lose friiends by not playing by the “rules”, were they even my TRUE friends to start with? I doubt it. It hurts, but it’s far better than living in a cage. Thank you for reminding me to steer clear from cliques. I forget sometimes and get burnt all over again! In the future, I will instead look for solid one on one or couple friendships. I have some of those, but always have room in my heart for a couple more. It’s the beauity of richness and authenticity of friendships that is the true prize, not the size of the group! Too, the bigger the group, more chance for misunderstandings, conformity, gossip, jealousies, and sweeping things under the rug. I have to be genuine. So I will stick to being just me, sans rules! Life is so vibrant and rich that way! Blessings to you and yours! Dianne
I love what you said, Dianne. I have never been a clique person either. I appreciate independence and unique perspectives. I love my alone time too. When there is too much pressure to conform I get squirmy and I am definitely NOT a herd mentality thinker… However I can appreciate the comfort some find in that. I meant that sincerely – it’s just that it’s not me, it’s not the fertilizer (for me to grow) or comfort that I require. I like what you said about SOARING. Yes. Be Who You Are.
Thanks! And thanks, Honey for another wonderful post.
I love your descriptions. And your way of thinking. Happy New Year.
“it’s not the fertilizer (for me to grow) or comfort that I require.” That’s a word picture that I will take with me, as I navigate friendships in 2018. And yes – others do find comfort in being part of a herd, but yes, too “squirmy” for me too! I am too independant of a thinker….I don’t need others to make up my mind for me! ha ha! Still, I feel the need for friendships and get wistful when I see former groups I belonged to gathering (FB pics!), I need to be thankful for the good times with them BUT remember why I left…I wasn’t able to be myself! Now, I am going to be intentional in nurturing one on one friendships. Because even though I enjoy being a “loner” and have great relationships with my husband and grown kids, I do need to more attentive of my friends and not stay “stuck” in the comfort of home. It will always be my first choice to land, but I know I am enriched by friends and one on one gives that “unique” perspective – I just have to resist the “groups”! 🙂 Thank you for your confirmation!
Powerful words and I agree with each and every one of them. I feel, for myself, I found the window to a successful relationship: A fabulous friend ‘HAS TO’ mirror ME. She has to blend with me in values, likes, dislikes, attitudes, etc.. with some spice added. I think you agree. Happy New Year, Survivor. I am a Survivor too. Makes us look at life on a higher plane, doesn’t it?
Thank you Honey for your article and response. Yes, my friends need to mirror me in what I value the most. I don’t always have to agree with them and they with me, but they must respect my values and I theirs. This lost me some friends this fall (I commented on that in another article of yours) and it was essentially over our values and us taking the “high road” (the topic of your other article). They must not have valued us as friends, or in other words mirrored our values. It’s still sad, but I wouldn’t try to change the fact that we took a bold stand, and stood up for beliefs outside their rigid box that they drew up for everyone in their life. I learned a valuable lesson, if others can’t respect our very sincere values, then they don’t deserve a place in our lives. That helps, and time will help heal that. We could no longer be of “herd mentality” and what’s cool about breaking away and making up our own mind, versus the herd telling us what to do and be, is that a good part of the “herd” backed us…and there is no longer a herd, but instead a bunch of individuals interested in solidifying one on one relationships with us and each other, and reaching out to others outside of the herd. I appreciate you sparking and confirming so many of my thoughts as of late. Congratulations on being a survivor! I have read that and can see that is what fuels you in making sure you make a difference and getting the most out of life, because life is VERY precious! Yes, we both look at life on a higher plane now. Moments counts! God Bless You, and thanks for making this world a better place! Happy New Year!
I have always had one on one friendships that have lasted many years. I call them middle of the night friends, true friends who have my back. Plus I have theirs and we are close enough to know each other’s histories. They are family to me and have added greatly to my life. I prefer a day out with only one person. My friends are creative and have depth, they know how to laugh and do not try to impress. Although to me they are all impressive. Years can go by without seeing each other but when we do nothing has changed between us. It is harder now that I am over seventy. Many have relocated to be near children, some have died, others have husbands who can no longer drive. I miss all of those social days out but continue to nurture the ones I have left. It takes time and love but is so worth the effort. Acquaintances are just that, not really close friends.
I enjoyed your thoughts. I especially liked, ‘it takes time and love.’ I agree. Happy New Year. So happy to have you with me on HG. Warmly, Honey
Thank you for a great article. I have different sets of friends for different parts of my life. I have friends that we have history together who are comfortable to be with because we can laugh or cry over something that happened years ago. I don’t have to go into detail and explain because they know. I have a friend that I knew over 40 years ago when we lived in Italy. We also laugh a lot. I have a new group of friends that we do book studies with and in that group is different ages. It is interesting to hear other peoples perspective and even if it isn’t mine that is ok I am still interested. I join groups and if they don’t work out, I don’t continue with them. I am also an introvert and I am comfortable being on my own. I do realize as I get older that it is important to connect with people. I know older people who isolate and it is not always a good thing.
You sound like a wise introvert.I like your thoughts. I am glad you are with me on HG. Happy New Year. Warmly, Honey
I agree it is important to not isolate! And at 60, I can see I might do that! I need more than my four corners, but this is reminding me that what I genuinely need in my life is not more groups…primarily that is not my “niche”, but rather nurturing of friendships that grow and inspire me, and respect where I am coming from is what is really soul filling. I think sometimes groups are safetly nets for not digging deeper…not always, but that is my experience at least. I don’t always have to dig deeper, I enjoy casual fun, but it’s nice to know I can dig deeper when needed with the friends I do have! I do like the idea of a book club, and might seek that out….as long as there is diversity and not a cliche getting together! Been there, done that! My best to you!
I really enjoy your blog and your take on things. You have such a positive outlook. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you, Rickie. So glad to have you. It is my pleasure to share. Happy New Year. Warmly, Honey