All Articles Tagged "friends"

Rekindle Your Relationship: Reasons To Hang Out With Your Married Friends

July 20th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Who says single and married friends don’t mix? After a big lifestyle change, all relationships need a little maintenance. Here are a few reasons to put in the extra effort to keep your friendships alive.

Super Honest Things You Can Only Say To Your BFF

June 2nd, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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We all need a supersized dose of reality sometimes. And there’s no one better at giving it to you than your best friend for life. Here are super honest things you can only get away with saying to your BFF.

Penny For Your Thoughts: Do You Have A “Master Plan” Friend? Here’s Why You Need One In Your Life

March 30th, 2015 - By Penny Wrenn
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

I am nothing without my friends.

Do I love my parents? Of course. Mommy and daddy are my source: the originators, the seed-suppliers. Do I love the rest of my family? You betcha. They are the sun and water, the soil from which I’ve found nourishment. 

But my friends keep me growing healthily, beautifully, and strongly. They are the plant food, weed cutters, insect repellant, and the terra cotta clay pot that adorns me and allows me to sit and sprout comfortably.

If I am deeply rooted, it’s because of my family. If I am wildly blooming, it’s because of my friends.

Now, I could keep waxing horticulturally about friendship, or I could just get to the damn point, which is this: It’s not that my friends trump my family, but I find truth in the theory that friends are the family we choose.

Lately, I’ve been compiling a list of “Friends Every Woman Should Have” based on my own friends and what they bring to my life. My list is up to around 20 or so entries, including #12: The #GirlBye Friend. The #GirlBye Friend will happily and unapologetically (and sometimes, quite literally) put her dirty feet on your white couch. You should try really hard not to flinch when she does this, because it’s good to have a reality check to let you know that your so-called precious stuff isn’t so precious to everybody.

From time to time, I might share other snippets from that list. (Or maybe I won’t. You tell me if you dig the idea or not.)

In the meantime, please allow me to to offer this soaring appraisal for Friend Every Woman Should Have #3: The Master Plan Friend. 

She isn’t necessarily a wizard with a to-do list or a business plan, but she will sit with you and help you develop both of those things, if that’s what you need. She will take notes while you talk out your book idea or brand platform.

She’s the first person to tell you your grand idea is good, and the first person to help you rein in your grand idea so it can be more distinct and effective. (She might say something like, “That’s a chapter, not a whole book.”)

And if you’re the one who usually does the reining in, then she will be play the grand thinker, making sure you’re not selling yourself short or cutting yourself off at the knees. (You say: “I want to post a video to Facebook.” She says: “You should create a YouTube Channel!”)

The Master Plan Friend dreams for you and with you. And when you talk about your dreams with her, you’re not just “I’mma do, I’mma get, I’mma be”-ing all over the place. This is real talk. Focused. Practical yet powerful. When you and The Master Plan Friend get together it’s like a conference call or a boardroom meeting. There are notes taken, phones are silenced, and there’s coffee or tea–but not alcohol. It’s serious business. The two of you are actively thinking through how to plot your dream-to-reality journey. And, lucky you, this friend is just as invested in the journey as you are.

The Master Plan Friend, however, can’t do the work for you. She’s not supposed to. It’s unfair of her to. Keep her tasks very simple, if she has any at all. Actually, I don’t think you should ask her for anything but to show up for your “meetings.” In whatever ways she helps you, let it just be in-person. You will be tempted to give The Master Plan Friend homework and things to do between pow wows. The Master Plan Friend may even volunteer to take on tasks, but don’t let her. Trust me, she doesn’t really have the time. She has her own master plan that she’s working on too. But keep her involved in your plan. The Master Plan friend provides an invaluable glimpse into how your master plan will come together. You need that insight and encouragement.

The Master Plan Friend is not your business partner. She’s not your second-in-command. She’s the person on whom you bounce ideas, and the person who gets neither too impressed nor too unimpressed with the ideas you present. She thinks you’re brilliant, yes, but she’s levelheaded even about that. 

The Master Plan Friend gives you chills. When you get around this friend and the two of you get to dreaming out loud, you get that wonderfully terrifying “Wait! Maybe I can really do this after all” feeling.

And that’s a damn winner of a feeling, right there. That’s the feeling we get before we fly. If you don’t have a friend like this, one who makes you feel like anything really is possible, you need to get one. Trust me. 

Cut Buddies – Can Your Jumpoff Help Heal a Lonely Heart?

February 21st, 2015 - By Brooke Dean
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As a fan of the BET series Being Mary Jane, I was eager for season 2 to begin and see what adventures await MJ in the love department. After all, at the end of season 1 we discovered that her true love was having a baby with someone else. Now, that she has discovered it as well this season, I was curious to see how she’d react knowing that the man she thought would one day be her husband is now off-limits to her. At the end of this past week’s episode, rather than wallow in her sorrows after he was playing with her emotions, she called her cut buddy and let it all out on him. Oh my! Didn’t see that one coming…but hey, when you can’t get with the one you love…

What I found amusing was she actually had him listed in her phone as her “cut buddy.” Urban Dictionary defines a “cut buddy”  as the following:

cut buddy – noun
A person who is not your boyfriend or girlfriend with whom you have sexual relations, on the mutual understanding that you want sex and nothing more. 2. A sex partner to whom you have no special attachment. A person you occasionally have sex with.

Now, you could also call him your “jumpoff” or your “f*&k buddy.” Same thing right? Whatever you call it, there are benefits to having such a person in your life. Whether it’s not wanting to be alone that night, feeling unwanted or unloved, or simply feeling horny, as long as you are two consenting adults then roll with it. As a woman, there are times when our body wants what we know our mind doesn’t. He’s the fine Mandingo with the brain the size of a peanut. He’s hot as hell, a nice guy perhaps and you like him JUST enough to give him some. You think he’s adorable, but maybe intellectually or emotionally lacking. He may be great, but he may be too young…you know, like the intern. You don’t want to date him or bring him around your friends or family…ever. But the chemistry between you is electric. You want the lovin’, but no strings attached. Do you deny yourself? What do you do? That’s up to you, but if you decide to make him your cut buddy…then here are the rules:

Rule #1: Be honest about what you want upfront – with yourself and each other. Negotiating a long-term, friends-with-benefits type situation can be tricky for some ladies. Men are seemingly born knowing how to detach emotions from sex – I think it’s in their DNA. Some can spend a whole night with you, then trip over you the next day and not even recognize you. But women can have a harder time of it. Some women wind up feeling used or like they’re promiscuous. I realize it’s a double standard, but if you’re uncomfortable with it, don’t do it. Man or woman, make sure you BOTH know upfront that it’s all about sex and nothing else. That way neither will feel like they’re being used by the other.

Rule #2: It ain’t about “We.” Avoid using pronouns like “us” or “we,” and all talk of plans further into the future than the hour it takes him to get to your place is not allowed.

Rule #3: No meals together. Acceptable dining situations include maybe a bowl of cereal in the morning before he bounces…or maybe a late-night grilled cheese or some Hot Pockets (3 minutes in the microwave) after the deed is done. Meals to be avoided are breakfast, brunch, dinner, or any other setting where you actually have to talk to each other at length. Speaking of talking…

Rule #4: Limit conversation. In this past week’s episode, MJ’s cut buddy asked her if she was okay and even followed up by saying, “you know I can actually talk.” MJ simply responded with “I’m good.” Good girl. She knows that any questions any more probing than “do you have condoms?” and “how fast can you get here?” can get a little sticky. Your jumpoff shouldn’t want to hear about your day, who pissed you off at work, or how cute your nephew is. Keep it light and keep it moving.

Rule #5: This probably goes without saying, but no socializing outside of the bedroom. He doesn’t meet your friends, you don’t meet his. That goes double for family members. The best thing about having a jumpoff is that he’s your dirty little secret.

Sex with no strings can get tricky if you’re not honest about what you want. It’s easy for one of you to catch feelings, so keeping those rules in mind should help you avoid that. Even if you’re in love with someone else, as in the case of Mary Jane, don’t think that your cut buddy can confuse your emotions even more. While having a jumpoff may help ease the pain of a broken heart, it’s no substitute for true healing, so tread lightly…and be safe.

Question: Can He Have Female Friends?

December 12th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Oxygen

Image Source: Oxygen

Him: Babe, This is my Homegirl,
You: Oh. Hey.

Everybody wants to be the cool girlfriend, but then paranoia sets in. No matter how secure or “cool with it” we pretend to be, these are the overreactions we’ve all had when we finally meet the man of our dreams… and his female BFF.

Celebrities Taken Down By Frenemies

October 28th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Are there any bad apples hiding out in your group? These celebrities found out they were suffering from a serious case of frenemies when their former friends nearly ended their careers.

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Image Source:

Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes gave her friend Katherine Heigl fame when she cast her in the hit show Grey’s Anatomy. Katherine Heigl returned the favor by withdrawing her 2008 Emmy nomination for the show and telling the Acadamey that Shonda’s writing wasn’t worthy of it (even though she won an Emmy for Grey’s Anatomy the year before).

Shonda Rhimes responded by moving on to the next hit show. Katherine’s career has struggled ever since.

The Types Of Instagram Friends Every Black Woman Has

October 28th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Scroll down your feed for 30 seconds and you’ll find most of these Instagram friends filling up you’re page. They get on our nerves, make us laugh and they’re the reason we check our feed even before we get out of bed.

A photo posted by Oreal Flores (@ore0319) on

Your Single-est Friend

Who gives daily hints to her single male followers helpful lessons on “how to be a good woman.” Because apparently she’s an expert.

Surprisng Celebrity BFFS

October 27th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Celebrity life isn’t all make-ups and break-ups. These celebrity best friends are some of Hollywood’s longest-lasting couples. But what we want to know is, which BFF pair are you?

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Image Source:

Beyonce Knowles And Gwyneth Paltrow

The Unexpected Twosome: We don’t know that we would have paired the 33-year-old chart-topper and 42-year-old A-list actress to be celebrity besties for life. But sometimes the best friendships form just when you’re not expecting them.

What Do You Do When You Outgrow Your Friends?

October 5th, 2014 - By Rich
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There are two things in life that every girl needs: a good friend and a good pair of jeans. Both are hard to come by, but when you find them, you hold onto them, because only they can give you the support and the comfort you need whenever you need it.

But what happens when you outgrow your friends…or your jeans?

I found my jeans early in life. Even at such a young age, I knew that they were something I wanted to wear forever. I loved the way they made me look; how confident I was wearing them. And even though they were brand new, they felt as though I had had them for years. They were perfectly worn; like they were custom made just for me.

As time went by, I came to appreciate them more and more; how their durability could withstand the wear and tear of life; and that despite any fads or trends, I could always count on them. They were always in style.

Every rip, fade, and fray was a reminder of all of the things we had been through. Preschool, puberty, graduations, marriages, motherhood, and divorce, those jeans and I had gone through everything, and I had expected us to go through so much more, until we were both tattered and worn.

But somewhere along the way something happened to those jeans. Something happened to us. It was as if they had shrunk and I had grown. It was something that I didn’t want to admit to myself, because on their own, they still looked like the same jeans, and for the most part, I still looked like the same person (plus a few pounds). Together though, together we just looked wrong. We looked uncomfortable. And as much as I wanted them to stretch to the size that I needed, as much as I tried to squeeze into them and make them work, they just didn’t fit anymore. We didn’t fit, and I had to accept that.

They were no longer right for me, but I still kept them, and every day as I looked through my closet for something to wear, I still thought of them. I still wanted to slip them on, but then I would remember the struggle that it now took. So every time, I’d push them to the side and try to find something else that would make me feel as confident and comfortable as those jeans did.

As the days and weeks went by, they got pushed further and further back into my closet, until I almost forgot that they were there. I forgot how it felt to have that support; to have something of such great quality that fit so well.

Lately, I’ve been taking inventory of my closet– my life. One day, I came across those jeans. I looked at every fringe, each one reminding me of the moments we went through; big or small. I knew that they hadn’t fit for some time now, but I decided to try them on anyway. Sadly, they still looked wrong. They still didn’t fit. We still didn’t fit.

Part of me knows that there’s a chance that they may never fit again, but they’re just too special for me to ever let them go. Even if I find another pair, they will never be able to duplicate those same rips, fades, and frays. But no matter how far to the back of the closet those jeans go, or how deep in the drawer, I’ll always know that they’re there when I need them, and I’ll still hold out hope that one day they’ll fit again.

The Moment I Realized How Much Money Matters In Friendship

August 10th, 2014 - By Toya Sharee
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finances can affect friendships


When it comes to friendship, most of us would like to believe we’ve built bonds with our closest buddies based on respect, loyalty and compatibility that run way deeper than something as fluid as finances. But this summer I learned, just like relationships, money and spending styles can make or break friendships. It’s only one of the sad realities behind why your late twenties are often filled with letting go of relationships that you discover are past their prime.

More than money, it’s about lifestyle choices. And I realized how much a friend resented mine when he hit me with a, “Money just seems to fall into your lap.” Harmless, right? Maybe even complimentary, only coming from him I knew that what he was actually doing was discrediting all of my hard work. He was justifying some of his own bad financial decisions by saying somehow God bypassed him and made it rain on me. It was hurtful, but more than that confusing as he had a front row seat to me working 2 internships my senior year, the job rejection pile I couldn’t bring myself to throw away and working 2 jobs for most adult life just to get by. If anyone could attest to the fact that my post-graduate struggle was real, it was him.

I am by no means balling, but luckily by 30 I’ve been able to steadily climb in my career to a point where I can afford to have the basics plus take a decent vacation every year. And it isn’t without a whole lot of work and sacrifice. But with that, I have friends that have definitely caught some bad breaks after undergrad who haven’t made quite as much progress or who just have yet to find that same place of financial stability. As a result there’s often a lack of meeting of the minds when it comes to everything from picking a restaurant to eat at to who’s filling up the tank to drive there.

In the past few years I’ve found myself really altering my behavior to accommodate my friends. What’s the point of a vacation or karaoke night at a sushi bar if you have no one to enjoy it with? When someone is low on funds, I’ll pick up the dinner tab. Can’t afford the flight? Just pay me back. I find myself biting my tongue when I refer to what I think is expensive or inexpensive. And I do all of this trying my best to not appear arrogant or pretentious.  In the process when it comes to job leads, saving money, paying down debt and building credit I try to give advice when asked on what’s worked for me because as cheesy as it may sound, I have a dream that one day my friends and family will be able to live the good life together.

As much as we’d like to pretend it doesn’t, money makes a difference. And whether you’re the friend who’s always pulling out their Visa at Olive Garden or the one ordering breadsticks because you don’t want to be a burden, it can create tension between all involved. What I started to notice after I realized my wallet was getting work is that I started to attack my friends’ lifestyle choices. I got tired of always footing the bill for our fun and it became hard to tell if my friends were even trying to contribute anymore. Also, it seemed like the one with the money was making all the decisions so our friendship revolved entirely around what I wanted to do all the time which got pretty boring.

I turned from a person who thought it best to stay out my friends’ pockets to a judgmental financial planner who criticized every purchase they made I considered frivolous. I was someone I didn’t want to be: Dangerously close to being a plaintiff on People’s Court because I was turning from a BFF to a snarky loan shark.

What I learned though is that good people can be bad with money, and no one is immune to a bad break, even myself. Who knows? In a few years I might be in financial ruin and find myself declining a happy hour or two because my wallet decided that gas money was more important than a margarita. The key to money not being so big of a deal is to admit that it does matter. Be honest with your friends about your budget, and if you’ve got a good set they’ll find a way to have fun with what you’re working with. If you are always the one reaching for the bill, do it because you can and want to, not because you think you can’t have fun (or friendship) without it. Don’t harbor resentment or assume being broke is always the result of bad decision making.

Whether you’re balling or riding the bench on Team Brokeback, remember this: You shouldn’t have to front for your friends. It’s like Oprah once said, “Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” And luckily I have friends that will (and have) walk with me long after the bus stops running. And when you can get past who’s picking up the tab, that’s what makes the difference.

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.