As I anxiously approach the big 3-0, the age where you officially are expected to act like an adult, I am noticing more and more that I can count the girls I can truly turn to on one hand, even more so I don’t even need the whole hand. Friendships with females have always been a tug-of-war for me. By all means I am not a perfect person, or the easiest person to deal with. But the truth is, I actually make an effort to be a good friend and actually think maintaining a circle of friends not only enhances your life but is essential to being a well-balanced person. Still, it never fails that every time I think I’ve got a good thing going and officially want to give a girl the “bestie” title, I end up somewhere in a corner licking my wounds wondering why I even made the effort while I am constantly reminded by the few friends who have remained, “It’s not you, it’s them. Your friends have screwed up priorities.”
As I sit back and take a look at the demise of past friendships, one thing I realize is that the downfall usually came as a result of some violation of the girl code. The code that was most often violated: Thou shall not abandon her besties for a man. I have friends that have literally forgotten my number when they have a boyfriend and even worse, friends that have broken off plans with me all on the hope that they might have an opportunity to see a guy they were interested in. I get it. For some girls, when a whiff of testosterone in the air comes around they lose all common sense. I can excuse that for a while. But if it’s time after time of our friendship being dismissed all so that you can catch a man, that shows me that priorities don’t include maintaining a friendship at all, you were just passing the time until you could get “booed up.”
If they weren’t leaving me in the dust for a dude or going after a guy I was interested in just to prove they still “had it,” my alleged friends were thinking of all the ways they could one up me and violating yet another girl code: Thou shall let her friend have her “moment.” Whether I was revealing the raise I had received at work or the romantic present the boyfriend had surprised me with for my birthday, instead of feeling like my “friends” were truly happy for me all I sensed was resentment as they frantically tried to find a way to outdo me. When you are confident about your own successes in life, you don’t always have to have or share the spotlight because you know your time is coming or that your life is special in its own way.
It appears to me that there’s a thirst that overtakes some women when it comes to wanting a man, the desire to be in love and allowing men to validate their attractiveness. Many men feel like Gucci Mane revealed in Mario’s song, “Break Up”: Girls are like buses. Miss one, next 15 one comin’. It’s not to say all men have their priorities straight, but when it comes to guy code, most men display a loyalty to each other that between many woman is fickle and fragile. Some women have a habit of neglecting everything positive in their own life all on the promise of being able to say, “I got a man,” even if that man isn’t worth the stress and drama a woman allows into her life just to be with him.
So do women really respect the girl code or when worst comes to worst are they out for themselves? When it comes to friendships and honoring the girl code, one thing I noticed is that both are easier to maintain if you’re a woman who is fairly confident and self-assured about the progress of life and relationships. If you feel like every time another set of ovaries is within a five-foot radius of you and your man and you instantly have to go into “competition” mode, you’re probably going to struggle with maintaining a friendship with anyone you feel has one up on you and that’s not a healthy way to live. Practicing solidarity to each other is impossible if we’re still battling issues within ourselves.
Have you and your friends had trouble respecting the girl code?
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog Bullets and Blessings .