Woman wanting to strengthen relationships with other women

female friends2I am a woman in her 40s, happily married to a wonderful man for almost 20 years, but beyond that fact I also need to connect more fully with others, especially women.  It’s been quite a long time since I had a close relationship with a woman outside of my immediate family. It’s a fact I want to further examine, and a goal I want to pursue.

The above-mentioned has been one of my therapy goals for years now. I’ve felt alone for too long, and yearn for the fun, closeness, and support of other women. I also want to give more of myself to a face-to-face female friend. I think I have a lot to offer others, especially now.

A large part of my difficulties with female face-to-face friendships in the past has been due to my inability to trust and show myself fully. It has also been because of behavior resulting from my bipolar disorder. My bipolar disorder brought out a self-absorption and distraction that clearly turned women off. It often made me irritable. Sometimes I was even grandiose. Though at times I was larger than life with elation, it was not always well received, especially by other women. When depressed, I am pretty reserved and slow to give much of myself. For these reasons, and my isolation in recent years, I saw even superficial or loose female friendships fade out of the picture.

My psychiatrist has heard me tell numerous stories about my lost female friendships and grief from not having a bff. He has also heard me discuss how much easier it is for me to partially befriend men. Though as a married woman I don’t seek close male friendships, I do tend to warm up to men I meet much easier than women. Ultimately it is a matter of the trust I mentioned, the feeling like there is no “test” involved, and the lack of history of being rejected. I am far less likely to misinterpret body language and statements of men. I guess I’m just a little less paranoid around them.

My psychiatrist is a male, but he has always encouraged me to have a female therapist. Not just because he feels that this therapy goal would be most effectively addressed by a female therapist, but that issues like erotic transference (transference love) would be less likely. I have had several female therapists in the past, and experienced negative transference. Ideally such transference should be worked on, but either the female therapists were ineffective in dealing with this matter, or I quickly quit them to move on to another, something I’ve also done with female friends in the past.

During the past several years, it wasn’t until I found my current female therapist that I’ve made progress forming a trusting normal relationship with a new woman in my life. Initially I even had trust issues with her, and even attempted to quit her once, but stopped myself from doing so. Over the years my trust for her improved because of open conversations, which took courage, and my new tendency not to “run”. I’ve also become more stable and grounded in my bipolar recovery.  These have been good first steps for me. The next is to emerge from my isolation, and practice with other women. Hopefully, my female therapist will continue to assist me along the way. I still really need her help. It’s a little scary.

Note: If there are any men out there that wish to strengthen their relationships/friendships with other men, I’d be happy to hear from you in my post comments.

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34 thoughts on “Woman wanting to strengthen relationships with other women

  1. jacquelineobyikocha July 11, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    I can quite understand wanting to foster closer relationships with other women outside family members. I believe that having mature female friends who are non-judgemental but supportive helps us in more ways than we know. On the other hand, men are more easy-going when it comes to friendships.

    Liked by 3 people

      • jacquelineobyikocha July 11, 2017 / 6:07 pm

        Maybe joining some book clubs or charity organisations around you could lead to positive friendships.

        Liked by 2 people

      • updownflight July 11, 2017 / 6:17 pm

        Thanks, Jacqueline. I should again try to become involved in charity type organizations.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thenonverbalprojekts July 11, 2017 / 7:32 pm

        Yes, I agree! It is great to meet people who have similar goals in mind who would WANT you to succeed. I have had female “friends” where I always felt in competition with them – as if they wanted me to fail. Like you, I have trouble now making friends with females! I think it is just about finding the right friends who will be supportive and like similar things as you do!

        Liked by 2 people

      • updownflight July 11, 2017 / 7:41 pm

        I’ll have to get searching. Thanks for your support on this.

        Like

  2. Nel July 11, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    I see you were also thinking of friendship this morning. I wish I lived closer to you. We’d be such great friends. As always, I’m rooting for you! That female companionship will come along.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight July 11, 2017 / 5:56 pm

      Thank you, Nel. I wish you were closer, too.

      I have to say that I’ve made some good friendships online. It’s good, but a little different than face to face friendships.

      Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight July 11, 2017 / 8:21 pm

      Thank you for the comment, guidinghope. I’m sorry to read that you are experiencing this, too, but I kind of knew I wasn’t the only one out there.

      Like

  3. guidinghope July 11, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    I wonder why the disconnect? I know mine is from my mother but I’m curious about the general population

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight July 11, 2017 / 9:00 pm

      Beyond my issues relating to my bipolar disorder, I could also guess that issues from my teens play a part. I had some issues in my 20s, but they could have also had some to do with my bipolar even then.

      Like

  4. bipolarsojourner July 11, 2017 / 9:05 pm

    I have a hard time making friends with men. then again, i’m a man. first of all, i don’t get out much. i get out to 2 to 3 meetings a week. the ratio in those meetings are cumulatively about 6:1 women. and i’ve always found it easier to make friends with women. i think i’m a pretty rare man to be be in good touch with my emotions. i don’t know of many of them that do and find female who are fine with that. sure, i had father issues growing. then again, i had mother issues, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight July 11, 2017 / 9:17 pm

      Thanks for sharing, bipolarsojourner. I always appreciate. As for now, I’m not getting out at all. Really, just making progress with my female therapist is a start for me. I have a ways to go.

      Like

  5. Jessica Bakkers July 12, 2017 / 9:30 am

    Personally I don’t think it matters if friendships are between males or females as long as they are reciprocal and genuine. My three best friends are male, female, male. I get the same from them all because they are all genuine.

    Liked by 2 people

    • updownflight July 12, 2017 / 10:30 am

      It’s easy for me to be friendly with new males, but there always seems to be a sexual undercurrent. I’m sure that wouldn’t always be the case, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jessica Bakkers July 13, 2017 / 6:30 am

        I kinda feel like that but I’m so comfortable in my marriage I figure that’s his problem (the male friend). If he wants to fantasize about me and let it drive him to the point where he has to move 5 hours away to Perth then that’s his deal… true story 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight July 13, 2017 / 12:18 pm

        It’s a shame you couldn’t maintain the friendship because of it. In the past, sometimes it was me with the major crush and other times the male friend.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Joanna Maguire July 12, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    I find other women a lot less easy to connect with too. Not 100% sure why, think possibly because of seeing so much bitchiness and nastiness from the popular girls at school. Something I have seen repeated in work place after work place. Mind you I don’t have many close friends full stop. Always seems like such an effort. Have some very good online friends but yes that is not quite the same as real life ‘let’s hang out together’ friends. Something I certainly need to work on too – another goal we share.

    Liked by 2 people

    • updownflight July 12, 2017 / 8:48 pm

      Let’s wish each other good luck finding new gal pals in the future. Thanks for sharing, Joanna!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. zlotybaby July 14, 2017 / 1:49 pm

    I’ve been struggling to bond with other females as well. Perhaps part of it is because some females feel threatened by me and some I feel threatened by. There always seems to be some competitiveness involved with women, something I don’t experience when around men. I wonder whether I’m projecting… I usually have a close female friend but I guess I feel the need to have a bit more variety in my social life than just husband, couple stuff, this one friend and some acquaintances. I have OCD which can also make me weird and difficult and my female therapist has been listening about this issue for a while now too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight July 14, 2017 / 2:18 pm

      Thank you for sharing, zlotybaby. I think it goes both way for me, too (feeling threatened by each other). I know I must project something that facilitates new connections. When I’m nervous, though, it’s hard to control how I come across to people. It’s not such an issue online. Mostly just face-to-face.

      I’m glad we’re both working with female therapists.

      Liked by 1 person

      • zlotybaby July 17, 2017 / 7:47 am

        Yes, I get the nervousness. I often want to make a good impression so badly, I end up making a bad one… I think quite a good hack is to attend a group meeting related to your interests and then you see regulars enough to make a good impression, even if not at first sight 😉 I don’t know what to do about the competitiveness that hinders deeper bonding, though…

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight July 17, 2017 / 9:29 am

        Thank you, zlotybaby. I do need to attend some kind of a group again long-term.

        Liked by 1 person

      • zlotybaby July 17, 2017 / 9:35 am

        Good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. superwifeandmummy July 15, 2017 / 9:17 am

    Female friendships are difficult to say the least. Actively seeking them- even more so. If one should start to blossom and eventually flourish then that is a gift. If you over tend to it or force it to grow, it will inevitably wither. There’s no simple solution or quick fix. I really hope you find what you are seeking. 🌺

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight July 15, 2017 / 12:28 pm

      Thank you, superwifeandmummy. I do hope I find such a good friendship soon. I hope you have at least one.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Savannah July 23, 2017 / 4:31 am

    I can really relate to this! Men seem easier for me to be myself around, but I do love having a girl friend. I do have one female friend now, and I really appreciate her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight July 23, 2017 / 11:25 am

      I’m glad you have that close female friend. I hope you remain close forever.

      Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight July 31, 2017 / 3:01 am

      Thank you so much for featuring my post! You’re so kind.

      Like

  10. Sally October 3, 2017 / 1:04 am

    I’ve only just read this post, but can see that this is a big issue for me. I too have bipolar and wonder if this is what scares women off. Sometimes I am full of energy, other times rather sad. This must be so confusing. I have just made friends with a woman (and her male friend) and I went out to lunch with them. I am afraid I got too excited and monopolized the conversation, now I am wondering if she/they will want to invite me again. All so uncertain. I can’t say I have any female friends apart from those on line.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight October 3, 2017 / 11:02 am

      Hi Sally. I can really relate, especially to being overly excited in front of new people. I wonder if that turns women off, too, though in my case I don’t think it is as much of a turn off to men.

      When I’m very depressed, I’m just not around people, but I may be around people during irritable times. I’ve lost more friends then than ever, and certainly can’t make friends then. Even highly anxious times have not been good times for friend making. When I’m very anxious, I feel like I embarrass myself, even though that’s the last thing I want to do.

      Like

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