I spent years looking for the perfect boyfriend, only to realize after hitting rock bottom that what I was really missing was female friendship. Here’s why I needed more girlfriends and not a boyfriend.
I was lonely all the time.
Loneliness became a constant fact of life. I assumed I was missing having a romantic partner, and it’s no wonder. Movies and tv shows and pop culture are always telling us that single women can’t be happy, and I totally believed it. I doubled down on my dating apps, trying to find a person I wanted to date, but it never took the edge off the loneliness.
The men I tried to date were never enough.
Even when I did manage to find guys worth dating for awhile, I wasn’t satisfied. I enjoyed spending time with them, but never felt like it fulfilled my need for connection. I was always moving from one guy to the next, which took up a lot of time and energy I just didn’t have. And it never made me happy.
I thought friends were what you looked for when you weren’t romantically attached.
I’d always thought friends were a last resort. I had friends, obviously, but never invested a lot of time into them. We hung out after work or texted about mundane things, but I never tried to form close bonds with anyone because I was always busy investing everything into a romantic relationship. But when I found myself feeling lonely even with a boyfriend, I started to question my relationship priorities.
I’ve always loved my alone time, but started dreading it.
I knew something was wrong when I started to avoid being alone. As someone who’s always been happy to spend a Saturday night with a good book, the experience of wanting to run from solitude as hard as I could was a new one. I wasn’t happy on my own, and I was happy when I was dating someone. Even I could tell that there was something seriously missing from my life.
I was way too dependent on the guys I was dating.
I invested a lot of time into the men I was trying to date, but I expected them to be everything, and when they inevitably failed because they’re, you know, human, I was devastated. I put so much pressure on my romantic relationships that when they fell apart, it felt like my world was crumbling. Without friends to remind me of what really mattered, I found myself disappointed and unhappy all the time.
I went on Tinder just to talk to people.
It got to the point where I was too discouraged to attempt to date anyone, but too lonely to not talk to anyone, so I became that person everyone hates who only matches with people on Tinder for the conversation. I had no intention of meeting anyone, and found guys who were open to having deep conversations about things before mentioning meeting up, at which point I would move on to the next match.
I always thought I preferred being friends with men.
I’ve always prided myself in how well I get along with guys. I’ve had many meaningful male friendships where I’ve felt like “one of the boys.” But none of those platonic relationships offered much depth or support. The guys were fun to hang out with and go on adventures with, but they never satisfied my need for a closer kind of friendship.
When I started learning what it was like to rely on my female friends, my life changed.
It wasn’t until I started reaching out to the women I’d only been casual friends with that I realized how much I’d been missing. I was amazed at how easy it was to become close to them. They became irreplaceable almost right away. We talked about all the stuff I hadn’t been able to talk to my male friends or boyfriends about. And they were just generally fun to be with.
Having strong friendships is so much more important than having a romantic partner.
As soon as I began invested time into my female friendships, it became so clear to me that the men I was dating were utterly unimportant to me. I wasn’t lonely anymore, and I hardly noticed that I was single. Being on my own became a joy because it opened up all this time for me to spend with my female friends.
Being a good friend has made me a better person, and much, much happier.
The most important part of this whole experience has been my evolution as a friend. I used to invest minimal effort and never felt particularly fulfilled. Now, I make sure to be the best, most supportive friend I can be, and it’s made me more content and happy than I could ever be as a romantic partner. My friends are my number one priority now, and any guys who find their way into my life will have to take a backseat.
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