Gal Pals: Getting Real With Your Girlfriends

By Lori Verni-Fogarsi

When you think of your close girlfriends, who do you really think of? A new friend you’ve recently met? Or an old friend you’ve had for years? In my novel, Momnesia, one of the secondary storylines involves the main character struggling with new friendships, particularly since she no longer lives in her original hometown.

(Excerpt from pg. 196) It’s funny about friendships: When you’re a kid, or even a teenager, friendships develop far more easily, often evolving to a high level of emotional intimacy quite rapidly. I still have friends today who know me better than anyone, partially by virtue of the fact that we knew each other “back when.”

We’ve stayed friends throughout all the ups and downs of our teens, twenties, and beyond. From fights with our parents to first apartments, through all of the bad boyfriends and insanely stupid nights on the town, our marriages, the births of our children, buying and selling houses—these are the friends with whom we know what really lies beneath.

Not so with making new friends in your thirties. I’ve found that people have a much lower threshold where they draw their line on emotional intimacy. There are women I’ve been friends with for seven years, yet I don’t actually know them—the real, deep-down inside them—any better than I did when I was their acquaintance for a month. (End excerpt.)

In discussing this with women in real life, it seems that many of us feel this way. In fact, I will admit that every time I watch the movie Sex and the City, I get very emotional… not only because Carrie gets jilted, but what affects me far more is how thoroughly her friends are there for her. Naturally, I’ve analyzed this to the ‘enth degree and this is what I’ve come up with: She doesn’t pretendshe’s fine! She is miserable and she doesn’t try to “be strong” in front of her friends. Therefore, they know that she even needs them in the first place, and thus are able to be there for her!

Of course, I realize that this is a movie and that, just like our actual friends are not all wearing $400 shoes, we can’t expect to have that level of closeness with every friend that comes along. But surely there are some? Is it possible that we are all so afraid of anyone “finding out” that we’re “not perfect,” that instead we deprive ourselves and our friends of a level of trust and intimacy that would be cherished by us both? A real friend in a world full of acquaintances?

If you have a friend like this, may I recommend that you drop her a note right this minute and remind her how much you value your friendship? And if not, is it possible that you could think of someone with whom you might be willing to risk the vulnerability of developing a closer friendship?

What do you think? I look forward to reading your comments!

Lori Verni-Fogarsi - Lori has been a freelance writer, journalist, columnist, and seminar speaker for over fifteen years. She is the author of the novel, Momnesia, contemporary women's fiction,  as well as the nonfiction book, Everything You Need to Know About House Training Puppies and Adult Dogs. Lori is a happily married mom of two, step mom of two more, and has two cats, both rotten. Originally a native New Yorker, she now divides her time between Raleigh, NC, and Lake Gaston, VA, where she is hard at work on her next novel. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, boating, traveling with her husband, napping, and attending her children's many activities. Lori invites you to learn more at her website and enjoy her active communities on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!