Sexuality Love + Sex Love

I can’t believe it took me this long to talk to my friends about masturbation

The first time I masturbated I didn’t know whether I had orgasmed or not. I come from a conservative family in a conservative society. I did not grow up hearing about masturbation or sex at all. What I knew about orgasms was only what I had read in romance novels. And honestly, mine was kind of underwhelming compared to what I had read. “Is that it?” I wondered. I wanted to know how an orgasm is supposed to feel, how it feels for other people. Do they also take ages to reach climax? Is it kind of disappointing for them too?

(This piece is going to be littered liberally with rhetorical questions, much like life.)

But I didn’t feel like I could ask anyone. I knew a couple of my college friends would be willing to tell me, but for some reason I was hesitant. It was a combination of a deep hesitance to bring up the topic at all and the slight shame of being so inexperienced that I didn’t know what an orgasm should feel like.

I had a vague conversation with one of my school friends (who was also my roommate in college) once, on a rooftop bar two drinks in. Let us call her Rhea*.

Rhea is a part of my school friend group. We have known each other for 10 years, some of us even longer than that. Rhea and I discussed how it took me a long time to reach orgasm while it took her only a few minutes. This was my only point of reference – I wondered if there was something wrong with me.

And somehow even in that open and trusting environment, with one of my best friends in the world, I could not ask about her orgasm.

As I write this article, I am a little surprised at myself. I know she would not have judged me. We knew everything else about each other’s lives. I also considered myself to be a liberal, well-read, and worldly person, someone who understood the restrictions placed upon me by the conservative society I lived in.

I thought I had moved past these restrictions in my head, but now I know that that was not true. Even when we were already on the topic, I hesitated.

A couple of years later, I was drinking tea with another friend from the same group. Let’s call her Luna. I don’t remember how but the topic turned to masturbation. Maybe it was because I was older, or that Luna and I had been getting closer over those few months, but I mentioned something about not knowing whether what I feel are “proper” orgasms or not.

She matter-of-factly told me what it feels like and I felt a rush of affection for her. It was literally that easy. (And yes, my orgasms were fine, I was worried for no reason)

“How come we haven’t talked about this before?” Luna asked me, amazed. She told me that masturbation has a way of stimulating her and making her feel more alert after climax.

I told her that it’s the exact opposite for me – I just feel pleasantly tired and ready for bed. If you had asked me before that conversation I would have told you that of course orgasms are different for different people! But it was more theoretical in my head rather than from any actual knowledge.

The conversation was pretty fun and we decided we should talk to our other friends too, to find out how it was for them. On our next video call with the whole group, Luna brought the topic up again. There was a moment of surprise, followed by a very fun and open conversation. Everyone expressed the same surprise that this was the first time we were talking so openly about masturbation. One of them pointed out that it was probably because we had known each other when we were children – it is difficult to change the tone of conversation when you’ve known each other for so long.

Whatever the reason was, I am glad we had that talk. It was funny and supportive and made me feel closer to these girls that I already felt incredibly close to. Talking about masturbation not only helped me learn more but also helped reduce the taboo and shame I felt about it. It was a healthy conversation to have with friends and I could not recommend it enough!

*Names are changed for anonymity.

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Internalized misogyny often gets in the way of female friendships

For women, navigating or maintaining female friendships can be difficult, especially in adulthood. This challenge of sustaining platonic relationships between women can be attributed to an underlying competitive nature within them. Notably, it’s not healthy competition either. Women may compete with each other for the attention of men. We’ll compete with each other for feelings of superiority; additionally, we also aren’t as understanding towards our female friends or as supportive of their endeavors. 

There’s a famous quote, featured in Beyoncé’s song “Flawless,” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that states, “Women are taught to see each other as competitors, not for jobs or accomplishments, but for the attention of men.” Oppressive, patriarchal standards influence all aspects of our lives and psyche, and w|w relationships aren’t excluded from being negatively impacted. To combat the urge to see your female friends as competitors rather than companions, we must examine why we value the opinion or approval of men more than the allyship from fellow women.

I’ve known women who say things like, “I don’t get along with other women. They’re too much drama. I get along better with men.” I get it. However, I also feel women who rally behind the sentiment that male friendships are inherently more valuable than female friendships may be doing themselves a disservice. Women can offer other women a level of empathy that men simply cannot. For example, women know exactly what it’s like to experience sexism in the workplace or classroom; women know what it’s like to not feel safe walking alone to our car at night; women know the frustrations of our humanity and body being a constant political debate. 

In adulthood, I think it’s time we collectively let the Mean Girls narrative of female friendships go. Sure, female friendships can be messy. But whoever said men can’t be just as messy as friends lied. Women can provide great and necessary friendship to each other. It’s even been shown that female friendships help women combat potentially life threatening diseases like breast cancer. However, w|w friendships may get clouded by unrealistic expectations. 

In an article for Refinery 29, Poorna Bell examined female friendships between cis, straight women. She found that the reason w|w friendships fail is perhaps because women place burdening expectations on relationships with each other. Bell suspects “the increasingly pervasive narrative that women’s relationships with one another can be all-sustaining love stories” is partly to blame.

To remove the competitive nature within female friendships, we need to view friendships as they are: mutual companionship built on an interpersonal bond. Which sounds simple enough but it can sometimes be difficult to preserve those boundaries. To view friendships as anything more, might be allowing room for competition. Anything further, we’ll then begin to view friends as replacements for romantic soulmates or as extensions of ourselves. Bell further concludes in her analysis, “Perhaps the hardest thing to acknowledge with any friendship is that sometimes relationships end, and friendships are no exception.”

It’s true, sometimes friendships end; however the end of a friendship doesn’t have to be messy or vindictive. In an article written for The Atlantic titled, “Why Women’s Friendships Are So Complicated,” former staff writer Alia Wong ultimately concludes the reason is because, “Women are simply competitive in a way that’s less obvious [compared to men]—they’re competitive about connection.” Our need to put down or not fully support women we claim as friends (or former friends) may stem from a place to view other women either from a patriarchal lens, as a replacement for a male companion, or as we view ourselves. Correspondingly, all these projections breed unnecessary comparisons, which in turn fuels unwarranted competition.

That male approval, that I mentioned earlier, that drives women to see each other as competitors, sometimes manifests itself as internalized misogyny. As women, we too often perpetuate oppressive, patriarchal standards onto other women. In addition, we place an over value on male approval, which in some cases reflects our standards of approval. This need to feel superior over your female friends may come from a personal insecurity you’re projecting onto someone you view as an extension of yourself.

Maybe you don’t view yourself highly. So, your way of having those confident feelings you desire, come at the expense of your friend’s feelings. Therefore causing you to not support her or hold her to impossible standards of perfection. Whatever the case, it’s important to remember that our female friends are just that: friends. The real way to combat uninvited patriarchy within female friendships is to find security within ourselves as well as comfort (not competition) in the supportive, empathetic shoulder us women can effectively provide each other.

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Advice Life

A Galentine’s day guide: how to tell your friends you love them, today and every day

Valentine’s Day is coming up – lovebirds and palentines – follow along with our Vday series right here.

Happy Galentine’s Day! The brainchild of future American president Leslie Knope of the TV show Parks and Recreation, Galentine’s is the more introverted, less mass-capitalized cousin of Valentine’s Day. It’s a day dedicated to one of my most favorite things: female friendships.

Female friendships basically sustain me, which is why I am 100% on board with a whole day of celebrating them. I could do it on Valentine’s Day, but while Valentine’s Day has long been associated with gestures and emotions that are big and intense and theatrical, friendships are usually the opposite. They’re a thousand quiet, consistent words and gestures practiced for months and years, all layered over one another until they form the safest of safe spaces, the most comfortable place to rest. And the people who create that space for you deserve a day (or several) all to themselves.

So here I present to you a 2019 Galentine’s Guide, a list of all the things you can do today and forevermore to show your friends you love them. Welcome to the antithesis to Grand Romantic Gestures: Everyday Platonic Gestures.

1. Proofread an email/CV/essay (and apply relevant edits)

A cartoon middle-aged man (Peter Griffin from the TV show Family Guy is seated at a desk. He has long, red acrylic nails on and is typing at a computer.
[Image description: A cartoon middle-aged man (Peter Griffin from the TV show Family Guy) is seated at a desk. He has long, red acrylic nails on and is typing at a computer.] Via Giphy.

Nothing says ‘I love you and care about your professional growth and success’ like some dedicated proofreading. When you take time out of your day to look over an essay or a cover letter, make some edits, and send back some supportive feedback, you’re telling your friends that you’re invested in their success and betterment. Giving someone your time and brainpower when both are in high demand is the ultimate gesture of friendship.

2. Send pet pictures.

A white, fluffy cat is laying on the floor with its paws stretched out over its head. It is opening up and closing each paw alternatively.
[Image description: A white, fluffy cat is laying on the floor with its paws stretched out over its head. It is opening up and closing each paw alternatively.] Via Giphy.

Speaking from experience, the worst thing about leaving home to go to university is missing your pets. A lot of my friends are still away at university, far from their fur-babies, so I often take it upon myself to send them pictures of mine as a little pick-me-up. Science says pets can reduce stress and anxiety, citing a close-up of photo of my cat’s paws as proof (not really, but they should).

3. Tag them in a meme.

A man with dark hair and tan skin faces the camera and mimes drawing a heart with his two index fingers while mouthing the words "I love you."
[Image description: A man with dark hair and tan skin faces the camera and mimes drawing a heart with his two index fingers while mouthing the words “I love you.”] Via Giphy.

Meme-tags are the modern-day love-letter. They say, ‘hi I saw this video of a raccoon sitting in the kid’s seat of a grocery cart and it reminded me of you’, which is a lot more heartwarming than it sounds.

4. Ask for their opinion.

A woman with long blonde hair screams frustratedly into the camera, "THAT'S MY OPINION!"
[Image description: A woman with long blonde hair screams frustratedly into the camera, “THAT’S MY OPINION!”]

In any friend group, each person has a niche specialty: The Horoscope Friend, the DIY-Face-Mask Friend, the How-To-Wear-Crop-Tops-As-Formalwear Friend. Know your friends’ respective skillsets and tap into them often. It’s always nice to feel needed and wanted, especially if you’re able to contribute something unique to your knowledge and experience. Not sure if its too soon in your relationship to use the eggplant emoji? Ask your Emoji-Ettiquette Friend!

5. Tell them you’re proud of them

A man grabs another man by his neck and pecks him on the lips repeatedly while saying, 'So proud!'. A blonde woman in a collared shirt and pink cardigan watches them fondly.
[Image description: A man grabs another man by his neck and pecks him on the lips repeatedly while exclaiming, ‘So proud!’. A blonde woman in a collared shirt and pink cardigan watches them fondly.] Via Giphy.

‘I love you’ is nice, but I like to reserve it specifically for birthday cards and random girls in club bathrooms. Someone telling you they’re proud of you is the nicest feeling in the world, because it means they’ve been paying attention to where you were then, where you are now and everything in-between. Recognizing someone’s personal or professional progress is both validating and encouraging, so do it as often as you can.

6. Say nice things behind their backs

A woman with short brown hair in pigtails looks directly at the camera and says enthusiastically, 'Regina George is flawless.'
[Image description: A woman with short brown hair in pigtails looks directly at the camera and says enthusiastically, ‘Regina George is flawless.’] Via Giphy.

Please kindly don’t ask me about my friends unless you would like to listen to me speak uninterrupted for many minutes, pausing only to show you a photo slideshow of the highlights of our 8-year friendship. Boast about their achievements and show everyone that one meme they made that you thought was really funny. They deserve the publicity.

I hope you had a great Galentine’s Day, one and all! And feel free to send this article to the group chat as a subtle hint if you need to.

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LGBTQIA+ Love + Sex Love

How queer friendships redefine the lines between platonic and romantic

Long before I ever came to an understanding of my own sexuality, I always found connection and fulfillment in my close friendships. In high school and college, dating never made a lot of sense to me. Looking back, this was probably because while I was physically attracted to men, my romantic interest in them was small to nonexistent. My female friends, however, meant the world to me.

When I was 21, I finally put two and two together and started dating women. Being raised in a conservative Mormon family meant that figuring out my bisexuality was a bit complicated. By the time I came out, however, I was ready to embrace that identity. I found solace in that label. I strongly believe that labels can be empowering in some situations and for some people and limiting in others. Over the years, I started to build a strong, diverse friend group, mostly made up of other queer women.

I found a lot of contentment and connection among these women. Whenever I needed to talk about a problem, they were there. Talking regularly with these friends got me through my struggles with mental illness.

Depending on the friend, the physical connection would often play a role as well. From hand holding to cuddling, in many ways these queer friendships fulfilled a need for physical touch in my life. While dating has always been hard for me, these relationships, while not always perfect and sometimes difficult, always brought deep love and happiness to my life.

Many straight women often have close relationships with other women, too. But, the component of queer identity makes a big difference here. The undercurrent of attraction and the possibility of relationships makes connections between queer women more nuanced at times. From my anecdotal experience, many queer women have found themselves in similar situations. Sometimes these undefined relationships can be maddening and lead to jealousy or frustration. Questions like, “What are we?” and, “What does this mean?” can nag. But, on the other hand, these relationships can also take pressure off and allow for intimacy in open-ended, freeing ways.  

In general, we live in a culture that values the romantic/sexual relationship above all others. This is easy to see. Most popular songs and movies center the romantic relationship as the most important one in a person’s life. The monogamous romantic bond is shown as a shining example of connection and what we all should strive for in life. All other relationships, be they platonic, familial, or something more nebulous, are made to seem secondary to traditional romance. A heterosexual pairing is held up as the golden ideal, but these same ideas about pairing off and romance superseding all else can sometimes translate to the queer community, too.

As I struggled to come to terms with why I wasn’t dating and what to label these close friendships I had, I came across an article about romantic friendships. In the article, writer Maria Popova addresses romance and friendship and the history of the ‘neverland between the two and the inevitable discombobulation of our neatly organized relationship structures that happens when romantic love and friendship converge”. Relationships are never as simple or cut and dried as a definition. These convergences can cause confusion but also lead to joy and beauty.

Another term I came across is queerplatonic. This phrase was coined by asexual and aromantic people, and it’s often used in the asexual and aromantic communities. It’s defined by AVENwiki as, “a relationship that is not romantic but involves a close emotional connection (platonic) beyond what most people consider friendship. The commitment level in a queerplatonic relationship is often considered to be similar to that of a romantic relationship.” This definition is one I relate to on many levels, even if it’s still not a label I have used often. These new terms can help us gain insight into ourselves and our relationships, and these concepts allow people to broaden their perceptions of relationships and love.

Understanding the importance of these types of relationships throughout history has helped me realize something about friendship. Friendships of all kinds – platonic, romantic, sexual and otherwise – can be life-saving, even when their parameters aren’t so clear-cut. I’ve learned to embrace the ambiguity and enjoy the queer friendships that provide me with a constant source of intimacy in my life.

Love Advice

Society teaches us to never trust other women from the moment we’re born

Growing up, I was warned not to blindly trust my friends. I was advised against the free sharing of dirty secrets because girls can’t keep secrets, not for too long anyway. When I was older, subtle warnings become blatant counsel against letting single girlfriends too close to your partner when and if you got married.

Stories about the best friend who became the co-wife were shared in juicy detail. It was almost like a horror story in its deliverance. There were even stories of blood sisters stealing husbands!

[bctt tweet=”There were even stories of sisters stealing husbands. I mean blood sisters. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

These stories were not tied to the domestic. They had a professional aspect as well as an academic one. There was the evil female boss who always got in your way. The female gynecologist who was downright mean… didn’t you hear how male doctors are just gentler and nicer?

All these warnings set women up for a life of mistrust. We learned from society and family that women are not to be trusted, so then who is to be blamed if our female friendships are characterized by suspicion?

If we are told over and over again throughout our formative years, that a woman is not the type of human being you can trust…can we really be blamed for being defensive around each other?

[bctt tweet=”If we are told over and over again throughout our formative years, by family, society, friends, strangers and media, that a woman is not the type of human being for trust… can we really be blamed for being defensive around each other? ” username=”wearethetempest”]

Our cattiness is so universal, so obvious and so strange that we inspired an entire saying,  women are their own worst enemies. But why? Why do women feel the need to put each other down?

[bctt tweet=”Our cattiness is so universal, so obvious and so strange that we inspired an entire saying… women are their own worst enemies. But why?” username=”wearethetempest”]

I believe that the answer is in the mind. We believe that there aren’t enough resources to go around. Not enough brag-worthy jobs, not enough responsible men, not enough money, love…you name it and we believe it to be a resource worth fighting over.

[bctt tweet=”We believe that there aren’t enough resources to go around. Not enough brag-worthy jobs, not enough responsible men, not enough money, love… you name it and we believe it to be a resource worth fighting over. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

Women have had to fight for everything, for their right to work, to choose a partner, to not undergo female genital mutilation, and even to live. Female infanticide is still a thing in today’s world. This puts women in a mental mindset in which all these rights are still privileges and as long as that is the issue, women will always view each other as competition first and whatever else second.

[bctt tweet=”Women have had to fight for everything, for their right to work, to choose a partner, to not undergo female genital mutilation and even to live. Female infanticide still a thing in today’s world” username=”wearethetempest”]

This mindset has to be shifted and we have to truly believe that there is more than enough for everyone. Only then can the sisterhood begin to heal. Only then can we be true friends and helpers to each other.

Best Friends Forever Love Life Stories

10 signs that you’ve DEFINITELY found your non-romantic soulmate for life

I’ve lost my fair share of friends. It hurts like all hell, and you promise yourself you won’t ever fall into that sort of thing again. Friendships, particularly with other women, are what keep you going from day to day. Of course, not all friendships are created equal. There are certain friends who get you better than anyone and often become closer than family. Those are the losses that hurt the worst.

So when you find yourself feeling the same things you’ve felt before for other girlfriends, it’s a thrilling yet terrifying ride. This new girlfriend is everything you’ve been missing, but you can’t be sure if it’s the real thing. After all, you’ve made plenty of new friends but never really found that special someone again. How do you know they’re the real deal?

Well, here are some tell-tale signs that you’ve found your platonic soulmate.

1. You smile just seeing their name on your phone screen.


It might not even be that you know they’re probably about to say something funny. Just seeing the reminder of them light up your phone is enough to make you feel happy.

Plus, you can’t help but feel warm and fuzzy about the fact that they were thinking of you.

2. You constantly want to hang out, but you don’t want to come off too desperate.


You honestly can’t get enough of your hours-long conversations with your new friend. But you’re worried that they might.

So you wait, sitting with your phone in hand, hoping they’ll hit you up for a mall trip or a night out at a hookah bar.

3. When you make plans with them, you look forward to it all week.


The days start to move slower when you know you’re going to be seeing your new friend later in the week.

Sometimes you’re so excited you even mark it on the calendar.

4. You find yourself trying to look good just for them.


It’s true that women try to look good for each other rather than for men.

When it’s a friend whom you subconsciously really want to like you, you might find yourself wearing your favorite outfit, putting more effort into your contour, and breaking out that statement necklace.

5. You start missing them after just one day.


That one hang out wasn’t enough! When you’re seriously falling hard in friendship, you go into withdrawal almost immediately after saying goodbye.

6. When you see something funny on social media, your first thought is to tag them.


Sometimes you hold back because you don’t want it to be obvious how much you think about them.

Sometimes you just say ‘screw it,’ because you love making them laugh and there’s no way they wouldn’t find it hysterical.

7. You pay extra attention to their social media posts.


You spend so much time focused on your new friend’s feed that you forgot you’re even still following your ex. You’re totally tuned into what they might be thinking or up to…

But not in a stalker way, I swear!

8. You’re devastated when you see them hanging out with someone else on Snapchat.


Logically, you know that they’re going to have a life outside of you and other friends to hang out with. With someone that amazing, there’s no way you’re the only one who wants them around.

But you low-key hate the other girl and hope your new friend realizes how much better you are for her.

9. You constantly wonder if they feel the same way about you.


Self-doubt due to your past broken friendships inevitably starts to creep in. You try to tell yourself that it’s no big deal, that they at least seem to like you as a person, and that’s more than enough.

10. You’re ecstatic when you find out that they do.


Nope, never mind. It wasn’t enough. They love you, they really, really love you! You’re not a total creep! Or at least, if you are, you can creep together.

I have plenty of guy friends, but there’s something magical about female friendships. Finding a new girl to talk to about your deepest desires and darkest impulses with no judgment, someone who gets how much guys just don’t, someone who hates on the same things and people as you do brings so much happiness. That kind of validation and support is so hard to find.

As with all relationships, there’s definitely a risk… But even after losing the friends that I have, I can say that it’s a risk worth taking every time.

Love Life Stories

My patience with my flaky friends has officially run out, so here’s a message

My dearest, flakiest friend,

I’m getting kind of sick of you. Or rather, I’m getting sick of your shit.

I get it. I really, honestly do. Life is hectic, and between work or school, familial obligations, errands, and much needed Netflix binges, it’s hard to find time to socialize. But it’s not impossible. Our other friends manage to show up, despite having full-time jobs or graduate school classes or even freaking residencies.

Plus, I see you on Snapchat. You’re not that busy.

It’s not that I’m jealous of the people you don’t seem to flake on. (Okay, maybe a little.) But I’m upset because of the disrespect. It really is not just hurtful, but also disrespectful, when you get my hopes up like that and waste my time. When we meet, you act like you actually care, like you enjoy my company too. But that’s just it—we hardly ever meet, because you’re so flaky.

I’m not saying you should never, under any circumstances, flake on our plans. Things pop up all the time, and sometimes you just need to take time for yourself. Self-care is important. But while I understand that life is hectic, I need you to understand that relationships require work—including friendships. You have to show up some time. We can’t really share our current woes, our recent triumphs, and other matters of the heart over Messenger or text. At least, not in the same way. If all we do is talk over social media, what’s differentiates you from any other acquaintance or sort-of friend? How can we seriously bond?

The actual physical presence and eye contact are so essential to truly connecting with others. And with you, I feel so disconnected.

So don’t be surprised when you stop getting texts to come hang out. You can’t expect us to keep waiting and keep trying, hoping you’ll eventually come through.

It’s not just the fact that you RSVP ‘yes’ and then flake last minute either. It’s so hard to even get that RSVP from you in the first place.

You’re not being as tactful as you think.

For the longest time, I didn’t understand this phenomenon. I didn’t understand why it was so hard for you to ever commit until I learned that people often give a ‘maybe’ because they’re waiting to see if something better will come along.

It’s a fear of missing out.

And that hurts. I didn’t understand it because I’ve never felt that way. I don’t have fear of missing out on anything when I’m with you, because what could I possibly be missing out on when I’m with friends?

Clearly, you don’t feel the same.

The one-sidedness of our friendship is draining. I have enough on my plate, enough cluttering up my mind without having to deal with your flakiness and wondering why we never seem to be good enough for you.

If you don’t want to be friends, please stop acting like you do. If you don’t think we’re worthy of your time, then please stop wasting ours. We deserve at least that much respect.

I do love you, my dear flaky friend.

It’s the only reason I haven’t given up already. I want nothing but the best for you. I hope that one day you can get over whatever hangups you have and realize the importance of taking the time to nurture your relationships.

Just don’t expect me to still be around when you do.

Love Life Stories

When my friends moved away, I found out just how hard it was to stay friends

As someone who has always been extremely social since basically forever, I’ve always had friends.

My oldest friendship has lasted me about a good 16 years now.

Talking to people, striking up conversations with strangers; their stories always fascinate me a lot. I’ve always had great friends, with the exception of a few.

When I moved schools after spending years in my previous school, I was afraid of people for the first time. I was worried about how all these new people would perceive me. Luckily for me, an old friend had already made things easier for me. She told her friends at school about me, so once I moved there, these people already knew about me.

I didn’t expect the kind of welcome I got, but it was just so heartwarming to see people being so friendly. Those friends are the ones that I’ve still maintained my friendship with. These friends became like family to me, and I just assumed they were always going to be around me. I was wrong.

The concept of these friends moving away was something I never thought of. It was something I only read in books, and even then, they remained pen pals. So, you can imagine my surprise when all my closest friends moved away for university.

When they moved away, for the longest time I felt utterly depressed. I thought I no longer had anybody to talk to, and I thought because they weren’t with me physically, our friendship wouldn’t be the same.

For the first few months, we did our best to stay in touch, talk as much as we could. And to be fair, it was easy at that point, because they were just settling in.

I desperately clung on to this little bit of communication, convinced that without these friends, I wouldn’t be able to go on.

I had some difficulties making new friends at university, as I was the only expat. I didn’t speak a word of Arabic, and they preferred to speak only in their mother tongue. So, you can imagine why this long-distance communication was so important to me.

The time difference between my friends and I also made it really tough for us to communicate. When I was feeling lonely or having a panic attack between classes, they were either tucked up in bed, asleep, or they would be rushing through their own classes.

It became more difficult to talk much as time went on. They had their lives to live, and I had mine. I couldn’t really blame them; I couldn’t expect them to stop living their lives for me. Soon enough we all became too busy, and eventually, the contact was slashed down to a WhatsApp text once every month.

These things weren’t what stung me.

It was when I would see their social media accounts, filled with pictures of them hanging out with their new friends; that’s when I felt the loneliest. I didn’t envy them, I just felt lonely and pity for myself.

These were the people I saw every day for years, but now I was watching their lives unfold from the other side of the glass. I just didn’t feel like I belonged with them, like I was a part of their lives.

That’s not to say that I cut off completely from them. I just no longer believed that I couldn’t function without them. Gradually, I understood that friendships aren’t always based on how much two people communicate. My best friend and I are still best friends; it’s just that now our interaction isn’t always that frequent.

Over time, of course, I made friends of my own within my class. I found the most wonderful friend, and we are still friends till this day. With her, I didn’t feel like an outsider. I felt like I belonged, simply because we had an understanding of each other.

In the end, it’s all a part of growing up. I am still friends with my old friends, even if we’re not as close as we used to be. That’s okay with me. I do still cherish them, but over time I’ve learned to know when to stop pushing a friendship that’s changed.

I love these friends, but I stopped being dependent on them. I understood that even if they’re not there, I can still go on with my life as normal.

And I think that’s one of the most important lessons I’ve learned.

Love Life Stories

I can live through losing my boyfriend. I could never live through losing my best friend.

Growing up, I always wanted to find the perfect guy.

I was a Disney fanatic so obviously, I was all about meeting “Prince Charming” and falling desperately in love. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of luck with my love life and it always left me wondering what was wrong with me. I spent a lot of time thinking that no-one wanted me and trying to understand why. It wasn’t very good for my self-esteem.

Thankfully I grew out of that boy-obsessed phase. It took me some time, but I realized that someone did choose me. About a decade ago, someone chose to befriend a shy, weird, teenage girl, and she has stuck with me ever since.

My best friend chose me.

When someone sees you through your awkward teenage phase with those bad haircuts and even worse fashion choices and chooses to stick around – they’re a keeper.  Together we are idiots, we make each other laugh until we cry. We share the same interests: reading, binge-watching TV shows and eating way too much. Our friendship spans years of days out, unspeakable crushes, heartbreaks, and laughter.

What’s most important to me is that my best friend has stayed by my side even when I was in the wrong. She always called me out on it but she never left me. We created a safe, non-judgmental space to discuss things but never let our friendship excuse bad behavior. We have had a few disagreements over the years but at the end of the day, we can’t stay mad at one another.

About a year ago, I was diagnosed with severe depression.

She hadn’t realized that I wasn’t doing so well because when I was with her, I was genuinely pretty happy. But once she learned about my diagnosis, she put in so much effort to make sure I was getting out and not locking myself away. She didn’t always understand my mental health problems, but she tried as best as she could to help me work through them.

In the past years, I have watched her grow from an awkward, bubbly teen into a beautiful woman. We build each other up. I’m so proud of her accomplishments and she has always been my no.1 cheerleader. She always believed in me, especially when I didn’t have faith in myself.

Everyone has their one person right?

The one they can go rant to after a crappy day and magically everything is much better. The one you can have an entire conversation with, without saying a word. I think friendship is too broad of a term to describe the sisterhood between us. Simply put she is my favorite person.

text greys anatomy sister christina best friend GIF

These are emotions we feel but never really need to discuss because we know what we mean to each other. I’m pretty sure I will never live down the incessant bragging when she reads this.

See you grow up thinking you need a guy to save you. That your soul mate will be the person you end up marrying – fuck that. My best friend is my soulmate. The one who knows my darkest secrets and still chooses to love me, the one who has seen me ugly crying and hysterical and didn’t run away. The person who I know will always be in my corner.

I can survive losing a guy, hell, I can live through losing a thousand guys. But losing my best friend?

That’s unimaginable.

Whether I find someone on a romantic level or not, I’ve already found the person that I’m going to spend the rest of my life with.