No matter how much we love men, we would be lost without our girlfriends. They play such an important role in our lives. They pick us up off the floor when things go bust in a relationship, they listen to us when our kids are driving us crazy and they support us through those great and disastrous times in our careers. Some friendships are very close, like sisters, while others never really share deep feelings. Some friendships are nurtured through our hobbies or interests, and some grow from spending time together at important moments of our lives. Many friendships begin in our childhood, high school or college years and many more form through our hours spent in the workplace. Some friendships are based on a shared value system, and feel comfortable because the friends have so much in common, while others are based on chemistry. Two girlfriends may appear to have very little in common on the surface, but they could have an emotional connection that brings them together. The constant in all these different friendships is that they all must grow and some do change over time.

Many years ago, I had an experience where a close friendship suddenly changed. The phone stopped ringing and I realized that I was always the one making the effort. At first I thought it was all my imagination but it soon became more apparent that this friend was trying to “change” the friendship. This situation began to consume a lot of my energy and time— I thought about it endlessly and talked about it way too much. The truth was that I had plenty of other supportive girlfriends in my life, but it still hurt me terribly. It bothered me so much that I discussed it with a close girlfriend /mentor at work, and she told me something that I will never forget.

“Some friendships are not meant to last forever; they serve a purpose at that time in your life. It is quite rare when you find a friendship that lasts throughout your whole life.”

I think about this wise advice often throughout the years. I accept this fact now and it helps me come to peace with the friendships that, for a variety of reasons, are no longer working: they served their purpose. Whether you choose to cool the friendship or your girlfriend pulls the plug, accept the fact that it might be the healthy choice to “move on”. If you are lucky enough to have a friendship that lasts a lifetime, cherish it. These are the kind of friendships where, no matter how long you two have been apart from each other, you can pick up right where you left off.

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