As women, we are conditioned to seek out that fairytale relationship. To find our life partner, our everything. Achieve success, raise a family, and live what we believe is a desirable and perfectly cultivated life. I was recently challenged by a friend to answer the question, “Who are you?” without saying anything about being a mom, a wife, or your career. Think about that for a moment – it’s probably challenging. We tend to lead with “I’m a mom of 2, married for 15 years, work at XYZ…” It’s so important that we can not only answer this question but also have an identity outside of our marriage and all that it entails. I’ve long believed that maintaining my friendships has been the key to this, surrounding myself with the women who lift me up. It leads me to think, maybe our best friend and our soulmate aren’t always in the form of a spouse, but in the form of our girlfriends.
Soulmates come in different forms
I am grateful to have multiple long-term friendships, some from childhood and others I made as an adult. Maintaining and putting work into these friendships is important to me, and some know me better than my own family. We’ve been there for each other through the highs and lows, showing up when we couldn’t even express what we needed. We’ve experienced marriage, divorce, sickness, the passing of parents, and even the passing of a child. We pick each other up at our lowest and celebrated at our best. These are the people who can truly empathize and understand. We cheer each other on through the mundane and the momentous and hold each other’s hand through the sulking and sadness. Life is beautiful and hard, and sometimes you need someone other than your partner to share it with. Someone who is in the same shoes as you, a mother, a wife, and a career woman. Someone who can tell you if you need a swift kick in the butt. Someone who can cry with you when it all feels like it’s too much. Someone who can amp you up when you succeed.
Love your partner, give them your time and your space. Work on that relationship. But remember that they are not, and should not, be your everything. You were an individual before marriage and kids and so were they. You both need your own individuality, which I find is healthier for your relationship with your partner. What if we romanticized platonic love in the same way? Let’s encourage the next generation to stand on their own, find their voice, and seek out their true village. Your soulmate may be your partner, and that’s great! And if they aren’t, know that’s ok also. We can share our life with our friends, too. “One of those forever type of friends where anything can happen and nothing will change. They just always are and forever will be.”
Share this with your girls!
My best friend recently shared the song “If you go down, I’m going down too” by Kelsea Ballerini. It’s an amazing tribute to the power of girlfriends and how we’re always there for each other.
‘Cause dirt on you is dirt on meAnd we both know our hands ain’t clean If it all blows up and we end up on the news If you go down, I’m goin’ down too