Relationships

The Joy of All-Female Gatherings

The Joy of All-Female Gatherings

I’ve always had co-ed groups of friends — guys and girls hanging out, watching movies, driving to Taco Bell. But, recently, I’ve found myself drawn to women-only hang outs. Do you feel the same?

In the newsletter Dolly Mail, London-based writer Violet Hudson made the case for lady-only gatherings. “There are covens all over this city,” she says. “The libations we make are spilled red wine. The spells we cast are conversation. And the potions we brew are pasta or roast chicken. The Wiccan religion that we all practice is simple: girls-only hang outs.”

“Let me be clear,” writes Hudson. “I’m not talking about a small group of, say, school or university friends meeting for a catch-up… What’s new is that women are choosing to exclude men when previously we would have been scrabbling to invite them” — say, at dinner parties or weekends away.

This year, for me, I’ve really loved hanging with just ladies: My beloved articles club has female friends only. I’ve been to all-ladies potluck dinners. Recently, I was itching to meet more women in my neighborhood, so I invited over mothers from school that I didn’t know well, and it was really fun.

One of the nicest parts of hanging out with women is that you can talk about everything and feel understood. “You probably wouldn’t start discussing your menstrual cycle or childbirth with a group of men,” writes Hudson. At articles club, for example, we talk about books, politics, children, career ups and downs, irrational fears, marriage, sex, aging parents, fake eyelashes — whatever pops into our minds is fair game and well received.

And the concept of female groups isn’t only behind closed doors. The beauty brand Glossier bases their company on the idea of a “girl gang.” The Wing is a new work and social space for women-only in New York City. Instagram has hilarious posts about female friendship, and group texts were basically invented for funny conversations among women.

Linsey Laidlaw

A recent evening with friends.

Do you gravitate toward all-female hangs, or do you have more co-ed gatherings? What kinds of things do you usually do with friends — movies, dinners, walks? I’d love to hear… (Another post coming this month: Introvert Stella on making friends as an adult. Let us know if there are other friendship topics you’d like to see covered!)

P.S. The secret to female friendship, Mindy Kaling on friendship and how to start an articles club.

(Top wallpaper by Elizabeth Graeber.)

  1. I went to an all girls school and then studied textile design at uni so I’ve been surrounded by groups of girls all my life! Most of my gatherings are all-female. Usually we go for dinner or drinks but I’d like to do more walks – they’re free and as an introvert, I feel less pressure talking when walking, it’s more relaxed when talking side-by-side.

    On the other hand I love the banter that males bring to a mixed group. It’s fun hanging out with my fiance and friends because I see another side of him that I love when it’s not just him and me!

  2. Brittany says...

    I have always had mostly guy friends, but as I have gotten older I seem to gravitate more towards all-women gatherings.

  3. Lizzie says...

    On Friday night I had a “ladies retreat” with 5 of my girlfriends from high school who recently moved back to the area we call home. All it consisted of was kicking out one of my friend’s boyfriend for the evening, going to her house and bringing over wine and lots of trader joe’s goodies, and staying up until 3 AM talking about everything! I thought back on this post as I was there since our conversations covered sex, relationships, periods, peeing in front of our partners, jobs, school, random people from high school and everything in between. We all spent the night and went out to brunch the next morning!

    It was the most rejuvenating evening I have had in a long time :)

  4. Alexa says...

    When I was a senior in college, I wanted to celebrate my all-female friendships with a brunch around the holiday season. When asked what we were celebrating, I jokingly said: “Our beauty.” The 16th Annual Women of Beauty Brunch takes place this Saturday at 10:30. No matter who is getting married, divorced, pregnant, up all night with a newborn, going through fertility, etc. etc., we all cherish this opportunity to catch up and laugh. ALL GIRLS, ONLY GIRLS.

  5. Anna says...

    just moved cross country after loosing our home in the Baton Rouge area flood this summer. I am an introvert too and wasn’t sure that I wanted to make friends at this stage in life (toddler and newborn) but after talking to my massage therapist (the only woman here that I “know” at this point) I do feel open to trying to make new friends. I actually flat out asked her if she thought I should try to make friends. It felt like shaking the magic black bowling ball for an answer. She said that I should try to make friends and suggested getting involved in a mommy group at or to make an effort to meet the neighbors. To me being willing to make a new friend is being willing to eventually open your heart to that person and share life. It is intimidating. Looking forward to the article.

  6. And meant to add that I feel like most of my gatherings (outside of making plans with other couples) are all-female ones. Book club, mahj-jongg, birthday dinners, etc. Even on Saturday nights when we tend to go out with other couples, the women tend to congregate on one side of the table and the men on the other. (I wish that didn’t happen, but it does.)

  7. Dinah says...

    Before we moved to other towns my best friend and I used to get together and have coffee once a week and then would attend an women’s bible study. It was a large but still intimate group of women sitting at little tables or on the floor on poofs, the teacher was so gifted and I look back on those days with great longing. I miss my best friend and that special time we had, but I also just really miss being in all-female company and what that facilitated. I think one of the best things about a group like that is that there is a much great age range than in typical gatherings and I always found that so valuable.
    I also have 3 sisters. I enjoy being in any group where I can freely talk about my period and how it’s effecting me.

  8. Kristian says...

    Growing up and in college, I have always gravitated more towards all female-friend settings. There is something about it that I think fosters more a freedom to talk about subjects you might not discuss in mixed company and it is a such a supportive environment (not that men are not supportive but other women too know what the experience of being a woman and having to “lean in” is).

    Today, it is perhaps less so, but that could also be the struggle of finding friends as an adult in a small town….. I’ll be interested to see Stella’s post on making friends.

  9. Unfortunately, I’ve always been let down by female friends, and I’ve had only female friends for my entire life until two years ago. Then I decided to explore the male friendship and at first it seemed a great revolution. No secret judgments, no envies, no competition, a different kind of sparkly humour that sometimes switches to a pleasing flirting. Paradoxically I felt more free and at ease with male friends (it was strange and new to me), because they were less judgemental and honestly less complicated and insecure. Apart from the fun, I also could go to them for advice, for sharing secrets or personal stuff, knowing that they weren’t hypocrite but really honest and direct. Then, however, all these male friendships turn into something else, or at least we would expect that: I’d like a love relationship, they’d like a “friends with benefits” relationship. And since I was not willing to do that, the “friendship” ends. So at the end I got the idea that male friendships are hypocrite as well, but in a different way. Guys are able to behave wonderfully if they see a chance to have sex with you in the near future, and then, if this chance vanishes, they vanish too. I know that not anyone is the same, sorry for the generalisation, but right now I feel really disappointed and disheartened. I just finished reading “Women who love too much” by Robin Norwood; that book and this post make me desire to join a group of female friends again. Silvia

    • Sarah says...

      I’m thankful that whilst I have guy friends, who I know would like ‘friends with benefits’ we can call it what it is – they have that hope, and they know I’m not offering, but they remain friends. And that truly is wonderful.

  10. Nanne says...

    Time spent with my girlfriends is just about better than a vacation. I always leave refreshed, relaxed, funny bone exhausted from extreme usage, happy that we have solved all of the problems in the world :), optimistic & invincible.

  11. Gillian says...

    Growing up and into early adulthood I had many male friends and two or three close girlfriends. I’ve always considered myself like Jess in “New Girl”.

    I ended up marrying a guy in the militaryand have been amazed at the awesome, meaningful female friendships that have come out of the woodwork. Because of the time and frequency our spouses are away, we gather frequently and have become eachother’s support network.

    I am SO thankful for the amazing women of all ages and backgrounds that I now consider family.

    • L. W. says...

      This gives me some peace. I’m seriously dating a guy in the military, and one thing that keeps coming up as a fear when thinking of making the big leap to marriage with him is the fact that I will be without my very best lady friends. Glad to hear your experience!

    • Gillian says...

      LW-

      They’ll always be your best lady friends. I talk to mine everyday, girls trips are even a little more fun, and when I am home the time we spend together is so precious and meaningful.

      You’ll also meet many amazing women (and men) when you fully immerse yourself in a military community. You’ll even leave and say goodbye to a few who will remain your closest friends. I never thought of myself as being a military spouse, putting my career path on hold and augmenting it completely because of my husband’s. I also never imagined kissing him goodbye for better halves of years. And you won’t be alone in any of it. You’ll also learn a lot about strength and grace…and when you’ve had too much wine and your husband is gone and you find yourself crying sitting in the bathtub- any of your girlfriends- new or old, will happily pick up the phone if you call.

      You CAN do it!

  12. Cecile says...

    Being mom to 4 young kids and living in NYC has limited the time I have to go out and meet up with friends, men or women. But I was really craving adult time and recently joined an all-women drum line. It has been amazing!! I love playing the drums but being in the company of such strong and kind women has been transformative. There are all ages & all backgrounds which makes it even more interesting. It has been exactly what I needed without even knowing it! Hurray for making a new group of women friends while doing something I love!

    • Anna says...

      This is so awesome!

  13. Abby says...

    I was *that* girl in college who only had male friends — my sophomore year, I lived in a house off-campus with eight housemates, all guys (it was a house full of gross-but-fun brothers). I (hopefully!) wasn’t too insufferable with any “girls just don’t like me” crap, but you know, I’m sure there was some of that, yeesh. Which is insane, because college is when I first really got into feminism.

    But gradually, post-college, I started picking up good female friends here and there, and then this amazing thing happened a few years back: I joined an online moms’ group when I was pregnant with my second daughter (my first time around with pregnancy/infancy was fairly isolating, and I was craving connection). I LOVED IT, and then the core members of that big moms’ group broke off into our own group of about 50 ladies, and for the last two years, they’ve been my best, sweetest, closest friends and support group. Beyond how much they’ve helped me through pregnancy and motherhood, they’ve just been my community that’s sustained me through SO much of life. At this point, I can’t imagine not having them in my life basically forever (isn’t that weird?!?).

    I think that the internet has been such a haven for creating community — for good and for bad — which you can see here on CoJ, but also, it gave me my lady-tribe, most of whom don’t live by me, many of whom have very different lives and lifestyles from me… but they’re all family now. It’s breathtaking.

    PS I think my unofficial role in the group is to bring in fun and/or thought-provoking links, many of which I get from CoJ, so thanks for helping me seem cool to my ladies. ;)

    • My experience is extremely close to this! Grew up playing with my brother and mostly boy friends, kind of always felt like girls just didn’t like me/didn’t connect with the things other girls liked to do and talk about, and then after college found an amazing group of women I connected with when I moved to a small town. We were all at the exact same stage in life. We all got pregnant at the same time and had our babies within weeks of each other. As wonderful as my husband is and as much of a “best friend” he is to me, I can’t imagine going through the profound and immense changes and challenges of pregnancy, birth and motherhood without my ladies by my side. So thankful to finally be privy to the beautiful sisterhood that can exist between women.

  14. Amanda says...

    OMG I’m so excited to read your post about making friends as an adult. My husband and I just bought a house in the city where he grew up, to be closer to his aging parents, and neither of us know anyone who still lives there. I’m SO nervous.

  15. Sam says...

    I’ve always related to Harper Lee’s Scout when she noted that, “Ladies in bunches always filled me with a vague sense of apprehension and a firm desire to be elsewhere.” As the sole daughter in our family of seven, I was naturally more at ease when a group contained a few guys. As I’ve grown older, I find myself drawn to women but only in small, seemingly manageable clusters. The thought of an all-women’s gathering puts me instantly ill-at-ease.

    • heather says...

      I find the dynamic of an all-female gathering changes markedly when the number of women goes above 4. This is just my personal experience, but I’m an introvert, and I feel like with more than 4 people, it’s harder to have a meaningful, deep, honest conversation; five or more people and the conversation naturally becomes more superficial, which feels like work to me.

  16. Yes!!! I relate so much! Admittedly, I’ve always had way more female friends than male friends, but I’ve come to appreciate my dear women friends even more as I grow older (just entered my late 20s – eek!). There’s a unique sense of safety, freedom, empathy and humor with all lady gatherings. I also LOVE seeing my different friends meet one another and start building connections — especially as an independent individual, rather than as a part of duo, which is a role I think many of us are inclined to play when our partners are present too.

  17. There’s a “Ladies Adventure Club” in Southern California, and I finally went to one of their events a couple of weeks ago. It was the loveliest time, and I”m so glad to have found a group like this – especially because I’m married and have always had more guy than girl friends. This is exactly what I needed. I wrote about it here if you’d like to check it out. :)
    https://wonderlandsam.com/2016/11/21/ladies-adventure-club/

  18. Kim says...

    For the past year, my daughter and I have been knitting with a group of ladies at a local tea shop. The group ranges in age from my daughter who’s 12 to an older lady we all affectionately call “Mother” who is in her 80’s. We just sip tea and have an old-fashioned “stitch and b–ch.” I love the female company.

  19. All through childhood, high school and then college, I had mostly male friends. I just didn’t relate as easily to other girls…they talked about things I didn’t find interesting (TV shows, boys, clothes and hair) and did things I didn’t enjoy doing (shopping, watching Seventh Heaven and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, doing hair). Meanwhile, the boys I made friends with were building forts, snowboarding, playing instruments, etc. and talking about how to do things, about music, and about philosophy. What the heck, ladies? It seems like I always started a new female friendship all hopeful and excited, just to be disappointed by the shallowness of it and eventually losing interest.

    In college I would beg the girls in my dorm to go camping with me on the weekends, or to go snowboarding or rock-climbing….all they ever wanted to do was go out dancing at clubs. I know not *all* girls are like this. I think I was just unlucky with the particular school I went to and the particular girls who were accessible to be friends with at the time.

    BUT! Fast forward to now: I’m in my 30s and live in a small college town. I have an incredible, small, tight-knit circle of female friends for the first time in my life. I admire each of them deeply. It’s still sometimes a little awkward for me to relate to and interact naturally with other women, but they never make me feel bad for being a little awkward. It’s a powerful thing, to have a sisterhood like this with people of your own gender. I get it now– what I was missing out on for not really giving the girls in my life a fair chance at a deeper connection.

    I also now have three incredible sisters-in-law who are truly like sisters to me. I feel like these relationships are pay-back for the crappy time I had making good friends in school. ;) It sure was worth the wait. Also…Making sure to raise my daughter to build forts, play an instrument and think philosophically, as well as be able to do her hair. ;)

  20. i was dumped on my 29th birthday and a month after that i decided that i needed more female friends. i went on meetup and found a female only group called the Baltimore Broads and i met the most extraordinary group of women. my friendships have ebbed and flowed, as par the course as we grow older, but that act of getting out while being heartbroken and being lifted up by women was pivotal and a revelation to me, at that point in my life.

  21. heather says...

    I love my all-women meet ups, most of which happen on group texts. I’m over being sad about this: my pre-mom/school friends live all over the world, and it’s just hard to be in the same place. And even my neighbor/mom friends are all just busy all the time. But on a group text, we can all be together almost every day. Even for a few minutes. I don’t know what I’d do without technology. God bless WhatsApp.

  22. Growing up, my mom had these two strong women best friends. (They’re still best friends, despite being separated by 2 states.) Oddly, I always enjoyed hanging out with them over my junior high, then high school girlfriends. This must have rubbed off on me…

    Over the years, I’ve collected my own small circle of amazing, strong, outspoken, powerful lady friends, and one thing is for certain: Whether I spend time with one of them, or a group, I ALWAYS leave feeling refreshed, loved, and grateful. And probably a little buzzed (booze-wise, and spiritually!) :) My best friend assured me when she met her now-husband that *I* am her best friend, hands down. <3 I love my boy, but ladies are the best!

  23. Oh yeah it’s going to be real fun. I miss my gals now!! Being living abroad for years it is still hard for me to find friends in here. I bet women only clubs are so much crazier than the boring dinner parties.

  24. Chris says...

    My friends and I have a thing call an “affirming dinner” – it started when one of our friends had a horrible breakup – because she was so sad we all went out and then we spent all dinner telling each other all the things we liked about each other and how awesome we are. Now we say to each other when we are feeling sad “let’s catch up for an affirming dinner!” Only girls, and we go to a nice restaurant where we have the feed me/banquet option and lots of wine! 💃

    • I just love the idea of having “affirming dinners”!! I am definitely going to establish this in my group of girlfriends… Thank you for the inspiration!

  25. Claire says...

    I went to all-girls’ schools for 10 years of my life (from when I was 7 to when I was 16!), so being in all-female groups/ settings is most comfortable for me. I actually have to make an effort to socialise with the male species – both getting to know more guys and knowing how to communicate with them!

  26. I’m definitely more of an all girls kind of girl (haha, does that even make sense?) when it comes to my friends. For some reason, I just don’t really get along with guys well! When I do, it’s either because I like him, or he likes me – one way or another. It’s been like this my whole life.
    – Charmaine
    http://charmainenyw.com

  27. Lisa says...

    I have 99% female friends that I regularly hang out with – and pretty much all my male friends are either gay or one of my girlfriends boyfriend/husband. I mov d to another country (by myself) at 21 and found a lot of people in similar position. We became our family away from our families, and no matter what happened, the others were there supporting (Like the show Friends, but we didn’t live next doors to each other). This also meant that everyone, male or female, got to hear about everything (including menstruation and sex) I naturally make friends with mostly women, and I love being part of a female community that support each other and are happy for each other.

  28. This is nothing new – women have always loved to hang out with other women since the beginning of time! :)

    At my old job most of the women were friends with each other, or at least got along. We started doing “Girlfriend Getaways” (sorry the name is so cheesy!) once a month. We went to Atlantic City (to shop and go to the beach!) for a day, made a sugar scrub at one of the women’s homes, got together to watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It was so fun!

  29. I have a friend. She is the Queen of direct sales. She constantly has gatherings to support those around her. She is amazing. I always feel at ease in her house. 5 minutes in we are talking about everything personal. I love it. I get this.

  30. Erin says...

    Especially right after this election, I really felt the need to circle the wagons and hang out with people who felt as devalued as I did after this horrifying result. It’s been very therapeutic and I didn’t realize how much I missed hanging out with girls. I love a porch night with wine with my husband, but girls night have saved me this past month!

  31. A wonderful woman I know hosts a monthly gathering of women. Everyone brings food, and after some eating and settling in, one woman tells her story (whatever “her story” may be). It’s a bit like The Moth, I suppose, and it creates a wonderful sense of community around storytelling and listening. It’s intimate, hilarious at times, and refreshingly judgement-free.

    • Maggie Ray says...

      wow i love this! feels so beautifully tribal.

  32. Emily says...

    I prefer all girl hang outs. It’s amazing I’ve married a boy because I’ve never had guy friends! I would really love a post on making mom friends. I don’t have any friends in my town with a baby my age…..I feel like my son needs some interaction with other little babes but I’m am an introvert with anxiety and find it sooo hard to strike up a friendship with other moms .

    • Sundus says...

      I was in a similar situation. One thing that helped me was taking my son to storytime and other toddler events.

  33. Alice says...

    So excited to see you reference Dolly Mail! I read it religiously and that is blogging worlds colliding! Very excited for Stella’s post which is very timely for me as I recently moved post-university from Canada to Hong Kong and am navigating the minefield of cultivating friendships outside of a school context! Looking forward to her insights!

  34. Ange says...

    Any advice on what to do if you want to have women over but you live with a man and children in a small house! Do you kick them out for the evening? (Hard with young kids) I prefer having people over rather than public space as its more relaxed and I find more intimate (people let their guards down more, including me!)

    • sara says...

      My guy takes our kids to see his parents for dinner. That way they’re all out of the house for a couple of hours so I can have girl time & then all my girls get to see the kids when they get home to put on PJs. It’s a win-win!

  35. Rachael says...

    I find myself in the complete opposite situation. From birth until I met my husband, I’ve always belonged to women dominated friend circles, with very few exceptions. My husband went to an all boys boarding school and has been serving in the military for the last 12 years, so he belongs to mostly men only friend groups. Since we got married last year, we’ve really been craving gatherings where the activities and the conversations are co-ed friendly and don’t exclude one of us.

  36. Angela says...

    Our supper club is coed, but we always end up split wth girls at one end of the table and guys at the other, so we can each talk about whatever we want.

  37. Gabriela says...

    I am so excited for Stella’s post – since moving to a new coast, knowing no one, I’ve fond a few close friends at work but I’ve found it almost impossible to meet new girlfriends outside of my day-to-day interactions. It’s so hard!

  38. Sarah says...

    Yes! My girl friendships mean the world to me and I love when I’m in a gathering of all women. I’m a graphic designer and I’ve attended a retreat for female designers for the past two years and it’s wonderful the conversations, encouragement and support that develops from simply connecting as women in the same industry. I’m currently enjoying the distracting delight of a new love in my life, but even though I feel like I could spend every second with him, I’ve still made the effort to make time for the dear supportive women I’m so lucky to have in my life—in person—not just on our (epic) group texts!

  39. tiffany says...

    i would love to see a post about (close) girlfriends who don’t reciprocate. when you have an honest open talk with a girlfriend – calm and non-judgemental – and say maybe we are in two different places and her not having the time to text back (ever) or call once a year or …. fill in the blank might mean that we don’t want the same things or we don’t feel the same about the friendship/each other and that i’d rather say so and be good with it than let it be left dangling. to which the friend pleads that they love you and they are terrible and have been caught up (for months and months) and PLEASE! let’s keep in touch.. yada. yada. only to repeat the exact same scenario instantly.. can you post about this? is this rare? is it typical? when the only communication seems to be the i NEED to variety versus the i WANT to variety – despite what the friend says when asked, it seems like either a bad friend or a once good friend that has moved on. thoughts???

    • Sarah says...

      Oh this is very interesting. I’m the sort who has lots of friends all over the country from different points in my life and even though many I don’t talk to regularly, I still consider them close friends. I’ve had friends that once were close that have then grown in different directions, but I would never desire to call off the friendship. I have a view that even close friends can cycle in and out at different points in our lives. My sister on the other hand prefers to have only a very few very close friends and so to her, that continual contact is probably more significant to her, perhaps that is more like you?

    • tiffany says...

      sarah – i like your point of view on friends cycling in and out, i think that is a good point for me to remember -for me to let go of feeling sad when i don’t hear anything from her. it’s different than our past friendship but i should envision her as a friend – just not one i hear from – thanks for your comment!

    • Jeanne says...

      Relationships are so complex, aren’t they? One first thing you might ask yourself, is this friend an introvert? Often times introverts need lots and lots of time alone. For some extreme introverts, communication in general is stressful. That being said they value their close friends, even though they may only communicate what seems like a little bit. Not introverted? I have had friends that are just plain flaky and I’ve chosen to slowly limit my contact, lower my expectations and accept it for what it is. And yes, like Sarah mentioned, there are just some people that are only meant to be in your life for limited period of time. I enjoy their relationship and understand that there is a time where things just move on. Good luck to you.

    • Mandy says...

      I can relate to this observation. I’ve been both the communicator and the absent friend. What I’ve found is that the friends I go through this cycle with are the friends who I will keep forever. And even though we don’t necessarily speak often, we’re always immediately on the same page. We always understand each other. When I’m the communicator, I enjoy knowing that the text or voicemail I leave will brighten her day as much as her messages brighten mine when I’m the absent friend. I’be decided that 2017 will be the year that I bring email back! I love texting and FaceTime, but we used to be so witty! Longform email was such fun! Plus, it’s an unmatched way to catch up when you can’t catch each other in real time :)

    • tiffany says...

      jeanne – so complex! you said it! thank you for your comment – this is so helpful.. i think she is indeed a bit more self-focused/flaky – no follow up on very important issues, that sort of thing – like a close friend would normally be. you and sarah nail it – she can hold a place in my heart — if not in everyday life. and i can lower my expectations as you said – so that *any* communication at all will be an unexpected bonus, allowing for the long long stretches of nothing to not be difficult. more than anything this brief interaction helps me remember that others go thru the same or very similar things! thank you.

      mandy – you are so right, when thinking thru people there is always some instance where i was on both sides (particularly with difficult family haha!) and no matter how much time passes – being on the same page is huge! i feel that connection always with my absent friend – i think that is what makes the severe lack of communication so difficult because of the fun commonalities! good luck on your longhand in 2017! i am a big fan of snail mail (: so i know your friends will greatly appreciate your new goal!

    • Yes!! I’ve had several cases of lost friendships that were really hard to deal with because the emotional ties were so deep. It’s very hard when your closest girlfriends go MIA due to a new life stage!

  40. Danielle says...

    So difficult! I am originally from Cleveland where all of my friends came from very different backgrounds and seemed excited to have new friends. When I moved to San Francisco to be with my now husband I assumed that of a large group of his friends I’d hit it off with at least a couple of the ladies in the group. It wasn’t necessarily that we didn’t “hit it off” but that no one was interested in adding someone to their circle. Of all the women most were college friends who had attended one of two colleges. I was really hurt by obvious exclusion for a while but I eventually got over it.I’ve lived here for 4 years and I can honestly say I have no female friends. Everyone here is so busy and it’s hard to get past small talk. I make do by trying to stay in touch with friends that are 2,000 miles away.

    • Brianna says...

      Danielle, I’m not far from you (about four hours away in Reno), but I totally understand where you’re coming from. I don’t have any female friends either. I know a lot of women (heck, my office is full of them), but I don’t really consider any of them friends. If you ever want to chat, feel free to email me (briannasoloski@gmail.com).

    • Abby says...

      I’m from Cleveland but have lived on the West Coast for the last 18 years… the cities here vary in how friendly they are on the whole, but I’ve found not one of them is as uniformly friendly as Cleveland is.

      Whenever I go back home to visit my parents, I just tell one friend I’m coming back and my social calendar fills so quickly with fun get-togethers that my mom complains that she never gets to see me! I firmly believe that it’s just an extremely fun and friendly place, and I’m sorry that you have to try to get used to somewhere else after that!

      Here’s hoping things improve soon!!

    • Christina says...

      Danielle, I lived it the Bay Area during and a bit after college. It is one of those places where it is really hard to get to know other women. I think the key to making new friends there is to find a group/join a group based on your interests i.e. hiking, book club, etc. I think that could work, but you’ll have to give it time and show up. I found a lot of people in the Bay Area tend to define themselves by what they do, but also who they are, so being part of a “who you are” group if you’re into yoga or another activity like visiting museums or a writing group through MeetUp might a good way to establish new friendships. Good luck!

  41. i love this. i’ve always had mostly girl friends. for some reason, i just never had a large contingency of dudes in my life, despite having grown up with two older brothers. girl gangs are the best, and they definitely are my sisters i never had. they have my back like i never really thought imaginable, and i appreciate that.

  42. Danielle says...

    this makes me tear up a little bit! I WISH i had female friends- it’s so hard meeting good people when you’re an adult! harder than finding a partner in my experience.

    i moved from New York to London and mostly spend time with my husband’s friends and their girlfriends. i would love my own group of friends and the support that comes with female friendships. i work in an office of 32 and 25 are women (!!!), but i spend so much time at work the thought of being friends with them outside is a bit daunting! plus the conversation is always work based- it’s probably the only real connection we have. add to that my super long commute and odd working patterns and I don’t know how I’ll make any friends at all!

    • Kat says...

      Hi Danielle! I’ve been in the same position, I moved to London from Austria and know/knew no one but my boyfriend and his family and friends. But I started going to all-girls events on meetup.com and that has really helped with getting to meet people outside of work. You should give it a go! Or there are loads of girls groups on Facebook for girls living in London, so if there are any events you’d like to check out or even if you just want to go for brunch you’ll be able to find some lovely girls to join you. Also feel free to message me, I’m always happy to find girls to hang out with :)

  43. Leighton says...

    Love this :) I’m lucky to still be in the best best friend days of college, which Mindy Kaling describes so well: we “meet each other in the common area of our off-campus housing, excited about our evening ahead, which consisted of someone making an enormous tureen of pasta and drinking wine from a box while we took turns regaling each other with details of our terrible love lives.” One of those nights my roommates and I invited all the younger girls in our scholarship program over for movies and ice cream, but also for an candid conversation about mental health in our perfectionist environment. We excluded the guys, not because they don’t also struggle with imposter syndrome, but because there is just something about sisterhood that invites fearless vulnerability + honesty. My college newspaper also has a lady journo sleepover once a semester :)

    I’m also in a few women-only Facebook groups that predate the wonderful Pantsuit Nation phenomenon — one for alumnae of the college newspaper, which began as an 11-person Lean In circle, one for lady journalists everywhere, and one for women in the city where I live. Despite personally knowing only a few people in the latter two, because of our common experiences as women I feel as though I’m talking with a close friend every time I read or write a post. Another example of this is Pay Up, a Slack group that two of my friends at the Washington Post created to foster conversations about the gender wage gap. And come to think of it, that’s how I feel about the Cup of Jo community! Maybe that’s a potential post — internet sisterhoods :)

  44. Courtenay M says...

    Two years ago my girlfriend started up a Random Acts of Kindness club. She invites a bunch of women over once a month and we all bring $10. One person’s name is drawn and they get all the money to spend on a random act that month. I look so forward to these monthly gatherings with the ladies!

    • I love this! Thanks for the idea.

  45. Lauren says...

    I’ve always had a lot of girlfriends, but I never started noticing my desire to be in women-only groups until recently, and I think it’s because of the election. So much has been brought to light about the daily experience of women; not only was it validating, but it gave a name to things I’ve always experienced but hadn’t necessarily noticed or defined before. When I first heard the term “mansplain,” it felt like an epiphany. Knowing that it’s a “thing” and not just something personal to me (because I was so often gaslighted into thinking it was), I was able to identify it going forward and assert myself. During and since the election, I’ve craved time with women-only groups. I have wonderful men in my life, but it has felt especially important to be able to just “be” with a group of women who just get it. Even the best male allies need to have things explained to them. And frankly, I haven’t had the energy in the last month. Even in the professional context, I’ve recently picked up on the atmospheric difference between women-only meetings and co-ed meetings. Sometimes it feels like ideas flow a lot more freely when there isn’t one or more men in the room to make us second guess ourselves. I’ve noticed that it feels like men talk over women freely (yes, the debates likely brought that to the forefront), and I’ve noticed that men command silence when they begin speaking in a way that isn’t afforded to women when they speak in co-ed meetings. So, yes, lately more than ever I have appreciated the value of women-only gatherings.

    • Jeanne says...

      I too, have been seeking more female groups since the election. It was a new thing for me as I grew up preferring the company of males. Your comment regarding meetings made me remember a study I read yesterday. I can’t find it online (I’ll reference it if I can find it again). But essentially it stated that from the perspective of men, if a woman in a meeting spoke about 10%-20% of the time, it was perceived as equal participation. If she spoke 20%-50% of the time, she was perceived as dominating the meeting. Thought you might find this interesting.

  46. Kate says...

    My friend and I heard about The Wing and were obsessed with the idea. We especially loved the cool events they offer for members like book clubs, panel discussions, election-watch parties, etc. – but we were bummed when we discovered that it’s $$$ to join. So we decided to host our own monthly “wannabe Wing” events at our apartment. Our first meeting was Halloween-themed – we watched The Craft, drank wine, ate pizza, and stayed up way too late for a Sunday. It was a really nice way to bring women from different parts of our lives into the same room, and now that you-know-who has been elected, I feel like I’m craving all-female space more than ever. The Wing once Instagrammed a quote that I want to print and frame: “Female friendship is a site of resistance.”

    • Emily says...

      I love this! I also followed the wing around the web obsessively until i figured out the cost, then it kind of ruined it for me. It seemed like a replica of an old man’s club that is primarily about exclusion and keeping money and power concentrated with the “elite”, which as a gender studies major seems so anti-feminist. Sure I am SUPER glad places like the Wing exists, but is it feminist just because it is all women?

      I went to an all girls high school and have very strong female friendships, I didn’t realize this wasn’t true for everyone until I was adult. It has always been a part of my life to be in women only spaces, including almost all of my work spaces, which I have always felt very lucky about.

  47. I feel like younger, the goal was to figure out how to include guys in the mix, no matter what we we’re doing. It was fun and intoxicating. Now, I find nothing more intoxicating than sitting and talking in groups of females about so many of the thoughts and feelings that may have otherwise collected a bit of dust in our everyday lives. The genuine fits of laughter and relatable sharing that ensue are unbelievably gratifying (on a soul-deep level). I can’t believe I ever thought I was more of a guys’ girl :)

  48. Nectar says...

    Gah The Wing looks amazing!

    I’m moving to NYC in a month, any advice on other organizations on how to meet awesome ladies?

  49. I never truly valued this sort of thing until I became a mother. Now I cherish time with my mom friends. The conversations get so raunchy and intimate because we’ve all been through childbirth, breastfeeding, diapers…nothing is taboo. And give me a glass of wine and conversation where nothing is taboo….and I’m in heaven.

  50. Liz Finch says...

    A thousand times yes! Female community is sacred and more powerful and uplifting than anything else I know. My mom recently emailed me this quote from Mama Gena: “A woman can locate herself most profoundly in the depth of her community.” I couldn’t agree more.

  51. Oh, that looks like so much fun! I moved to the US 5 years ago with my boyfriend, now husband, and i still cant find a group of friends. My hubby is very antisocial (only child) and we own our own bussiness (mom and pop shop) so we dont have much contact with many people, mainly tourists.

    We dont have any family here either since we started fresh in a new place, so sometimes it gets quite lonely..
    I just started meeting other women thru my 2 year old music classes, im hoping to make friends soon…

  52. Alex says...

    Making other female friends as an adult is such a struggle. Bumble now has a ‘Make Friends’ section and it’s totally overwhelming. Can we talk about online etiquette? As someone who never internet date, what pickup line do I use?

  53. Yes! This school year has opened up several new friendships with moms whose kids are in class with my kids. We laugh, talk, confide. We are all similar yet come from different walks of life and we never tire of things to discuss.

  54. Sherry says...

    This is great and I’ve enjoyed reading the comments too! Thank you! I think it would be fun to dissect the different ways of proposing a hangout. Some work and some fall flat! “Hey! Wanna get some coffee after drop off on Friday?” versus “We should get together sometime”…”Yeah, we should…(never happens)”

    • Ange says...

      So true! I’ve been saying this to other mothers I’ve met through the my daughters school to try and make new friends, and wondered why nothing eventuates. reach out with a “we should go for coffee sometime” and they say “yeah sounds good” and it never happens as I assume that because I did the reaching out they would then contact me to organise. And when they don’t I assume they never really meant to say yes, they were just responding as one does in that situation. But maybe I need to be more forthcoming and set a date?? I feel awkward just writing this lol.

    • Zywie says...

      When I meet other school moms who feel like my type (lol), I exchange numbers right away by saying “we should go for coffee sometime.Let me take your number”. I key it in right in front of them and give them a missed call saying “now u have mine”.
      After a couple of days, I text saying “remember we met at school blah blah. You free this Thursday?”. If they don’t respond I don’t bother after that.
      Most do and usually after 1 or 2 outings, things fizzle out. *But* I have made 1 good mom-friend this way and she introduced me to another mom she met at the library and now we three actually make a good trio lol.
      We’ve since met couple of times as families too.. But this is 1 out of the 4 or 5 I’ve tried.

    • That’s good! And how to deal with making plans, only to have those plans postponed another few weeks – soo hard when you’re lacking for friendships to have to wait even longer for an interaction!

  55. Madison says...

    I am a sophomore at a historically women’s college (which is more politically correct than “all-women’s” because not everyone identifies as female or within the binary) but all of my good friends are female. We have all taken tough classes together (like organic chemistry!) and having a network of friends for study groups, lab partners and to meet with for meals is wonderful.
    I spent four years of high school as the only girl in a group of guys (my boyfriend and his friends) and while I enjoyed their company, I applied to women’s colleges because I wanted to form female friendships at college. With the guys in high school, the conversations were always “academic,” discussing the school/local/national/world news and certain topics from the classroom or extracurriculars. With my female friends, we discuss “academic” stuff but we also talk about our futures, our emotions, our families, our friends, our moods, everything about being female, etc.
    So I have either hung out with groups of all guys or all girls, never coed! I’m wondering how this dynamic will be when I experience during study abroad next fall in the UK and when I graduate and work in a coed environment.

    • Andrea says...

      I went to Barnard and having to use all these words to describe my college would tire me out: “at a historically women’s college (which is more politically correct than “all-women’s” because not everyone identifies as female or within the binary). How about, “I am a sophomore in college and all of my good friends are female.”

      FWIW, I had the exact opposite experience. An all women environment made me run for the hills to where the men were. Women are fine, but all women can quickly set your teeth on edge.

  56. Katie says...

    Hmm… having spent most of my working life as an expat, I learned to dread semi-forced “ladies’ nights” when I had to drink pink drinks and pretend to bond with women I didn’t have much in common with. Turns out, just speaking English/being American was not enough. So I learned to avoid these events… maybe now that I am back in the U.S. closer to more friends it would be a fun thing!

  57. Abigail says...

    My best girlfriends and I are scattered across the country, and two years ago we decided to commit to a yearly get-together. The first year we rented a beach house in North Carolina, and last year we gathered for one of the girls’ weddings in Minnesota. The idea is “come if you can, for as long as you can,” and our girl time is so treasured. There’s nothing else like it. One of the ladies recently moved to Denver, so we may have a 2017 mountain getaway!

  58. Chelsea says...

    I attended an all-girls school from first grade to twelfth grade, and I will never be able to repay my parents for all that my schooling did for me. The 43 girls in my class became sisters to me, and we acted and spoke uninhibited by the lack of male presence. We rolled into school without giving any thought to our appearance, we learned without the distraction of boys and crushes, we asked loudly for tampons from classmates, and we created intensely close bonds to one other. These girls are still my closest friends in the world, and to this day, I prefer to interact socially with females only. I would much prefer to hang out with my girlfriends than to go on group dates with my husband and other couples. I roll my eyes when my girlfriends want to bring along their boyfriends and husbands. I want to REALLY know what’s new with my friends – I don’t want the edited / censored version of things we tend to say in the presence of the opposite sex!

    • Mya says...

      I had the same upbringing and could not agree more with your comment!!!

      Loved my school, and my friends are my sisters :)

    • Yvonne says...

      Attended an all girl high school where one the first day of school I met my dearest and closest friend. Last summer we celebrated 50 years of friendship and reminisced about the joys and benefits of no boys allowed!!!

  59. Ashley says...

    Tips for staying in touch with friends! All my best friends live all over the country and it’s hard to keep up. Everyone has a different K.I.T. style and it’s hard for me (a lover of long phone calls and 1000-word emails) to feel connected to some of my friends (who prefer social media or texting).

    The Wing is a dream. I hope they #bringthewing to other cities!

    • Yes! I would love some tips on this! My closest group of friends starting moving around the country a couple of years after university finished and now none of us live in the same city! I really miss casual coffee dates and long walks around the city! And I’m definitely in the ‘1000’ word emails group :) Almost nothing bothers me more than a one sentence response to my carefully worded novella.

      One idea we had was getting together once a year in a different location but it’s tough trying to get everyone’s schedules to match up. Any other ideas would be welcome!

  60. Hannah says...

    Love this idea!! I think a great idea for a post would be about how to make friends after moving to a new city where you don’t know anyone. I moved to a new city on my own about 5 months ago, and I’m still having a hard time clicking with anyone! Any advice?

    • Molly says...

      I second this! It’s so tough!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes for sure! stella is working on a post about this right now! coming up soon…. xo

    • L says...

      Agree! I’m plannng a move to a new part of the country and I’d love to see this!

    • escondista says...

      A friend invited me to a knitting Meetup and i am a terrible knitter but i went because i had nothing else going on that night and no friends in Austin other than my husband. There was a girl there with a dark sense of humor like me! I found her profile on Meetup, messaged her, and we get together every month! I just had my first baby girl on Nov 22 and she was due to have her first baby girl yesterday – any day now! We get to learn mom stuff together.

      It’s like advice i’d give for dating – go to ANYTHING that interests you remotely (on meetups or any group invites) and be brave and say, “I like you!” when you find someone neat!

  61. rach says...

    I have always loved and appreciated all girls hang outs!! One of my biggest dreams for my future is a girls weekend in some big chic city, lots of cocktails, manicures, fancy dinners, shopping, massages, etc. There’s something so important about women meeting together that is so powerful!

  62. B says...

    This is so timely, because I’ve been doing this with a group of my local friends for the past two years. Most of us are in our late twenties, and usually saw each other at larger party situations–but there are a few smaller pockets within the group that are very tight friends. I realized I had so many amazing women in my life who I wasn’t getting to talk to at the big parties because they usually involved “the guys”, whether our partners or platonic guy friends who are part of the social circle–and the guy conversation became THE conversation. We decided to start a monthly dinner club to talk to each other and celebrate being women. It’s one of the best things in my life, to be honest. It also helps that a lot of us are in human service professions–although we don’t talk about work much, it’s just a totally self-care focused night.

  63. Kali says...

    I’m sure someone has already spoke to this but I dig an all-vaginas gathering as much as the next person, but they have to be kindred spirits. Or at least that’s when I get the most enjoyment out of said gathering. They have to be devoid of helium, have a realistic perspective of life and child-rearing, like to laugh and drink and most importantly, they have to be void of judgement. Taking meds is a plus and talking about them is the ultimate win. :) Because we talk about everything. And that is glorious.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes to this!!!

  64. Jessica says...

    I think when I was younger I was much more interested in having the guys around, but now that we’re older (33) we make sure to schedule “ladies only” hang-outs more often. It’s not that we’re uncomfortable talking about certain things around the guys, it’s just nice to have our own time together to really catch up. Especially since we’ve been friends since childhood, before the guys came around. We’ve all decided that we don’t want kids, so we have very similar lifestyles and interests which makes it fairly easy to schedule time to hang out. We usually go on a long hike and follow up with lunch and a beer or two. I feel very lucky to have them in my life.

  65. I’m 34, never married, no kids. And I’m the only one in the group of people I know to be this way. So for me, women only gatherings can be uncomfortable these days as the conversations gravitate towards marriage, in-laws and children… and I happen to connect with none. I enjoy every bit of my single life (I’m not against marriage or having children, it just that, those things haven’t happened yet for whatever reasons) but while trying to hold a conversation with wives and mothers, I feel oddly left out, and in worst cases, under the scrutiny of judgemental eyes. For the most part all of this is ignorable as I work in a male dominated field and feel more at ease in this male dominated, co-ed environment. But occasionally I yearn for female understanding and I receive none. I’m not saying this to have anyone pity me… on the contrary, I’m happy moat days. But every now and then I wish I could have a two way conversation with my friends where I’m not judged as someone without “real” problems simply because I am minus a man and pooping babies.

    • Nikki says...

      Do you live in Boston? I too had this problem (all my girlfriends from college got married/became mother very young) . At first it was hard but I now keep a “single ladies group.” We don’t try to go “look”for men, but it nice to have girls to chat/lament about dating with. JOIN US! ;)

    • Hi Nikki
      Unfortunately I’m in Denver! Your singles only group sounds fantastic. Wish there was something similar here…

    • Brianna says...

      Maliha, this is me exactly. I work with all women, though. Only one of my coworkers isn’t married, but she has a boyfriend. I feel like I don’t really have a girlfriend I can connect with on any level.

    • Joanie says...

      Oh my, I feel exactly the same way. I have even had women ask me the typical husband/kids questions, and when they found out I didn’t have either, they turned and talked to the woman behind them.

      I love all girls things, but I also feel that I spend so much time with women (the men I know are married now, and their wives aren’t too keen to have their husbands out without them – understandably), that I crave some time with testosterone!

  66. Zywie says...

    To give some background: I’m a married mom in my mid 30’s. We have a group of 5-6 heterosexual couples, going strong for 10+ years. Most of us went to college together and later spouses joined the group.

    This year the women started going out for girls-only dinners/outings etc. once a month. I definitely enjoy these outings & conversations. However, over time, I find the topics tend to keep circling around the same areas – kids, jobs, husbands etc. (I am an introvert, so that could be a cause of my fatigue too, as a smaller group means I have to speak more).

    When we meet as the whole group, guys included, I find the topics are more varied and hence slightly more interesting. And dare I say, I find the guy friends more funny..

    • Angeleno says...

      I agree with you. It can be tedious…the same conversation topics. When the guys are around, I do find we laugh more. Interesting!

  67. Kathleen says...

    I attend a very prestigious university, and my friends and I are currently studying for finals. 3 of my close female friends live together, and I and some other (female) friends went to their apartment yesterday so we could all study together. Obviously we’re all super stressed at the moment, but it’s SO nice knowing that your girlfriends have got your back. I was honestly so in awe, sitting at their dining room table, and realizing that we women were studying such a diversity of subjects as Japanese, Microbiology, Economics, Comparative Race studies, Statistics, Sociology, and more!! I always feel so empowered in those instances, surrounded by women who just GET it.

    Of course, our more relaxed hang outs are amazing too! Sometimes we talk about the men in our lives, but more often we just put on good music and eat good food and dance and talk and have fun. Being in college makes this kind of thing very spontaneous, since none of us are limited by kids or distance. I wouldn’t trade my group of female friends for the world!

  68. Katie says...

    YES! Looking forward to Stella’s article on making friends as an adult. As an introvert that has to move a lot, this has been difficult for me.

  69. This is something I’d like to get a lot better at! I don’t belong to any all-female groups or anything, but I think it would be nice. One thing I have focused on as a new-entrepreneur is to connect with other women who are entrepreneurs for guidance and advice. I also moderated a conference last year on Women in the Legal Profession (I’m an attorney-turned-entrepreneur) in which one of the panelists suggested that women try to refer and lift up other women business owners. I thought that was a such a simple, yet brilliant idea! Ever since, I’ve focused on referring clients to other women and giving other women as much business as possible.

    http://hyggewellness.com/blog

  70. I think I might have read this on Cup of Jo a few years ago— the joy of integrating friends into mundane tasks. In college, Lynn and I would go grocery shopping together. I’ve gone to the laundromat with friends. Maria and I spend a few mornings each month sitting in her living room with her 1-year-old daughter while she folds laundry. Integrating daily chores with friendships helps make friendship more accessible, makes these tasks more fun and truly adds a level of intimacy to my friendships. Sometimes, you can say even more in the relaxed atmosphere these kinds of tasks offer. Conversations can feel even more meandering. It’s a wonderful treat.

    • Ange says...

      This is brilliant! I agree totally. I want to try and do this. I always feel more at home In people’s homes if it feels like life is going on as normal around us and the conversations.

  71. Lauren E. says...

    I really don’t have any guy friends anymore. I don’t know how that happened! So I guess by default all of my hang outs are ladies hang outs :)

    Since the election I’ve really come to depend on my little pockets of girlfriends. We all felt it so directly and it’s been really great to just send a text to a like-minded group of women and get a supportive discussion going. Even my husband didn’t really understand why it affected me so much.

  72. Katie_B says...

    I have some good women friends but wish we could find more time to do things as a group – maybe a new year’s resolution! My gold standard is my mom. When she was a young mother, she got together other mothers in the neighbourhood for what started as a book club, evolved into a “we didn’t read the book anyway, let’s choose a play or go to a class this month” club, and this summer is going to a villa in Spain for what might be their 25 anniversary. They call themselves the Goddesses, and they all came to my bridal shower and sent cards when my first baby arrived.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, your mom is living the dream!

    • Leni says...

      My mum is also part of a group of six women who met as young mothers. They call themselves “the breakfadt-women” (sounds better in German “Frühstücksfrauen”) because they used to meet for breakfast when they all had babies and were on maternity leave. Nowadays they get together for dinner and go away for a weekend every year, two ladies of the group are in charge of planning the trip and the destination is only revealed to the others when they are already on the way. They sent me a card when I had my baby two months ago. I hope I will also meet a group of nice young mums to hang out with for years to come. I have a group of girlfriends from university, but I was the first one to have a baby and getting together with other mums is just different :-)

  73. This is all so true. This past spring I quit my job as an editor and founded my own greeting card line. Working from home, alone, every day, was even a little lonely for an introvert like me. So imagine my delight when I found an organization here in my city (Columbus, OH) called Creative Babes, all about bringing together women who create. Their motto is Fuck Competition, Build Community.
    *insert raised hands emoji*
    I’ve met so many cool women and made important business connections and fledgling friendships and I just have FUN going to their events because it’s casual, it’s friendly, it’s inclusive.
    This weekend they’re having a craft fair where *all* of the vendors are women-owned businesses — I can’t wait to meet more ‘babes’ and do some Christmas shopping that supports our local economy and women entrepreneurs!!

  74. Ruth says...

    I went to a women’s college – the ULTIMATE girl gang – and loved it. Women are smart, powerful, and connect in ways that coed dynamics just can’t touch. I don’t really have a large group of female friends that live near me but love your idea of inviting other moms for a get together (my daughter is 1 and in daycare and I’m slowly getting to know the other parents). Love this!

  75. Hattie says...

    I always assumed it was super easy for moms to find new mom friends. I supposed they had an instant bond over the joys/frustrations of parenting. It’s so hard for the late 20s/early 30s w/ no kids crowd to find new friends! Like…where do you find friends??

    • Sally says...

      Hattie,
      For me, making friends as a new mom is not easy. Yes, there are a lot of shared joys/frustrations, but there can also be lots of judgement (I generally don’t talk much about feeding or sleeping of the baby because you are likely to find someone who has completely different opinions) and there is also no time to meet up. So, I have no suggestions but do know that making friends can always be hard. Hugs.

  76. Madeleine says...

    I don’t know…I have quite a lot of women friends but I really struggle being in just women gatherings. Often I find that women don’t listen to you, they just wait for their turn to speak. Unless that’s just my friends. I find men pay more attention and are less self-centered

  77. Lesley says...

    Yes! The older I’ve become, the more important it feels to carve out time for my lady friends. We have a book club that started years ago and has morphed into “short form media club” due to everyone’s hectic schedules and lack of reading time. Similar idea to book club, but someone picks a documentary, podcast, article, or short story for the group to discuss. The idea stemmed from your articles club post!

    We’ve seen members come and go, but it’s been amazing to have a group of women who started out as acquaintances help each other through break-ups, births, marriages, deaths of loved ones, career changes and all the other ups and downs of life. Members periodically will bring in new people, and it’s been such an amazing way to incorporate women from all walks of life and to get their perspective.

    Since the election, we are also forming an off-shoot meet up group to discuss politics, news, and ways to stay active and engaged. (Working name: Subversive Ladies Group) I think we will also incorporate some volunteerism and potentially political action (block walking, phone calls, letter writing, etc.).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that working name, Subversive Ladies Group! :)

  78. In the last couple years, I’ve started doing “lady dates” with friends where it’s one-on-one for a good meal, a play, or a museum visit. I think that may be easier for introverts than big-group planning.
    I’d love to hear how you handle scheduling logistics for big groups. (I hate group texts for that!)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      my biggest advice for planning a large gathering: JUST PICK A DATE. some people won’t be able to make it, but that’s fine! once you start asking people for their best dates/times, it becomes a scheduling nightmare!

      for smaller groups (like 5 people) where you want most people to come, try this: http://doodle.com/

      hope that helps! xoxo

    • MA says...

      I second Joanna’s advice on this. My “book” club (we stopped reading the books years ago :) meets on a scheduled day each month (first Wednesday). If you can make it, great! If you can’t, see you next time! I think it takes the pressure off of “making it happen”.
      Love this article, and love meeting with my ladies-only book club for 12 years now.

  79. Natalie S. says...

    I had an aversion to all female gatherings for awhile. I’m sure it stemmed from my middle / high school days where I was regularly bullied by mean girls and the target of nasty rumors. In college, my closest friends were guys and I rarely hung out with other girls. Now that I’m married and a stay at home mom, it feels awkward and challenging to maintain my male friendships- there is almost no common ground anymore. I am starting to really appreciate my female friends and am glad that the “mean girl” phase is behind me. I still am trying to adjust to girls’ nights and activities of that nature because it feels like my interests really don’t always align with theirs although I do appreciate their company (I love sports, reading, current events and a lot of the women I’ve met are more interested in beauty, their kids, home decor, etc.). I’m hopeful it will get easier and the time investment will be worth it in the long run!

  80. Amy says...

    This is a great post. I don’t know how I feel about it! I have a very close group of friends, guys and girls. We don’t really censor anything around one another. For instance, I’ll talk about my period right in front of the dudes, no problem. We discuss sex, tampons, babies, all of it. I think the guys have actually learned a lot from hearing our conversations. If anything, they are great feminists because of it.

    That being said, do I want to hang out with the girls without the guys? I think I’d feel like something was missing, if it were just us girls. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’ll toss the idea out there.

    I’m 32 and am in a 5-year, heterosexual relationship, in case that provides some context to my post. My boyfriend is always a part of the group hangouts. We have the same friend group, for the most part.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      your guy friends sound awesome, amy!

      it’s interesting because, without making any broad generalizations, in my group of male/female friends, most of the guys definitely talk loudly and interrupt often and want to get their points heard first, whereas the women are much more low-key about taking turns, asking questions, hearing everyone out, etc. this is true of my experience, maybe not of others — but for me, it’s refreshing to be in an all-female group and know that i won’t have to make an effort to be heard :)

    • Laura says...

      This may be an unpopular opinion, but I feel there’s more of a need to prove myself within the company of guys that I don’t know too well.

      To add to Joanna’s point, I also see what she expressed within my work meetings.

  81. I prefer groups of girl friends. When I hang with my guy friends, its usually just one or two and I’d rather not have other women there. Mostly because it seems to become this competition to get their attention and I just couldn’t be bothered. Plus I like my son, since I am a single parent, hang around guys and see how to interact differently than I can teach him. But it might also be because I’m single and don’t have a male partner to bring along. And most of my friends’ male partners are not people I would talk to without them there…but if they bring them I feel like I have to be nice and include them when really, I don’t like them! ha. I’m planning on moving soon. I need to find more friends and I’m stifled here. it IS hard to make friends as an adult, if you don’t at work, where most of your life is spent, as an adult. I think one of the other factors, for me, is I grew up with 4 sisters (I have brothers but wasn’t raised with them) and so I’m most comfortable hanging out with women.

  82. Elizabeth says...

    I deplore hanging out with groups of women, with a few exceptions. I think there’s some good reasons for this: 1. I’ve always worked with a lot of men; 2. I don’t have kids; 3. I’m tall. I think this last quality is important — when I ‘m in a group of short people (and most women are shorter than I) the conversation swirls below me, making it hard to join in. I have individual close female friendships, but as a pack I find the competition that creeps in between women to be mystifying. Men are comparatively easy. Their friendships seem to work along defined faultlines: you make more money, your wife is better looking, we’ve established who’s on top — now let’s play golf.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so fascinating about how being tall affects the ease of conversations. thank you for sharing, elizabeth!

    • Sarah says...

      I am 5’10” and feel very comfortable in the company of women. Sometimes, I get the impression that men (shorter ones especially) don’t feel very comfortable in my company though. Haha.

    • jen says...

      Funny you mention being tall a barrier to women conversations. I am 5’11” and never really thought about that before you mentioned it. I now realize it almost always gets mentioned when the men are removed from the group. I’ll get, “Wow. I never noticed how tall you were!”

    • Allie says...

      Amen to that! I’m 6’1 and automatically find myself talking to those that I can converse easily with, particularly in a crowded or loud setting. I don’t want to be constantly bent in half just to hear what’s being said. And maybe that is partly why I have always had a relatively easy time being friends with guys.

    • Katie says...

      As a fellow tall woman, I can totally relate to this. I feel like it’s hard to bond in quite the same way when we’re awkwardly looking at each other from very different heights. You can’t just easily look over at someone in the eye. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who has felt this way!

  83. riye says...

    One thing about hanging out with all women is that they usually understand that when you’re complaining about something, most of the time you just need to be heard–and maybe mocked/”poor babied” a little to make you feel better so that you know its not just you out there fighting the good fight. I love my men friends and my bf but they still haven’t managed to stop trying to fix any problems I want to air. I keep telling them relax, I just need you to listen. I can fix it. :-)

    Sometimes it sucks to have to plan really far in advance to get together with everyone but that’s the reality of life these days. I’d rather make the effort and see them. I try to do more listening at get togethers–if everybody is at a different place in their lives and right now you don’t intersect, people still appreciate your interest. I’m unmarried and don’t have kids but tell me about yours! I’m your friend and I’m here!

  84. C says...

    I love that you are talking about female friendships. I recently had to have an adult text conversation with a friend who had shared something I had mentioned in private to her. It went mostly as follows.
    Me: Hey, that was uncool what you did the other day, telling Xyz about a remark I made in private to you. I like you as a friend but that was not appreciated.
    Friend: I am so so sorry, I thought it was a joke.
    Me: Thank you, I understand, I won’t stop asking about your life or sharing information though.
    And that was that, we have moved on. It feels good to have had that conversation instead of letting it stew for weeks on end. As a friend, I still wish her well and want to participate in banter with her. I feel like it was good adulting.

    Since that exchange last week, I’ve thought it would be cool if you guys addressed female friendships on the blog. And now you have!

  85. Marie says...

    I agree to some extent. For example, I am blessed to have number of female cousins that I grew up with, and I love to hang out with them. There is a lot of affection and goodwill, and I always feel uplifted after seeing them. And, yes, no topic is off limits.

    But….I hate the PTA meetings at my son’s school! These are all female meetings and they are just the worst meetings I’ve ever attended in my life! Frankly, there is just a bitchy, clicque-y vibe. Can anyone relate? Sigh.

    • yes! I’m a single, FT working, mom. I tried to get into the PTA and just couldn’t. 1st all those women are married 2nd they all stay home with their 3 uncontrolled children. I have ONE well-behaved child. KEEP YOUR CHILDREN IN LINE PEOPLE! last year I worked 4/10s and volunteered weekly at the school, signed up for the PTA and went once. tried to get more involved and it was awful. at the beginning of the year its such a big push but really they just want everyone to pay dues and let the same people be in charge every year. at least at my son’s school.

  86. Cynthia says...

    It is ..simply the best..I have been lucky enough to have had over 20 years of dinners with the same group of women..the second wednesday night of the month..we are so different and yet there is this inviolable place..the worries of preschool the angst of teenagers..the amazing choices we have all made..or had thrust upon us..the deaths of parents..and this week the unspeakable death of a new grand child.. there is family..if one is lucky..but then there is also this..and the power of the comfort given is remarkable.

  87. Laura says...

    Have you seen Beyonce’s Life Is But A Dream special? Like with everything she does, I think she said it best (quote found online so could be wrong):

    “It’s difficult being a woman, it’s so much pressure. We need that support. We all have the same insecurities. I have been around the world, I love my husband, but it’s nothing like having a conversation with a woman. I need my sisters.”

  88. Dylan says...

    My friendships with women are sacred to me. For as long as I can remember I was never friends with boys (I have several amazing male friends now tho!), always girls. Women just understand each other on this intrinsic level. I treasure time I get to spend with my girlfriends. I think it’s important to nurture these relationships like you would with your partner- I dedicate equal time each week to spending time girlfriends as I do my boyfriend!

  89. Sarah says...

    Well I just went to the most embarrassing women-only dinner that made me want to never do it again. Mostly this group talked about what kind of tea they’re into right now and how their running routines are going. It felt weirdly earnest and vapid like a bad parody video of mid-thirties moms laughing in soft lighting over a glass of chardonnay.

    I know that’s less a statement about women-only groups in general than this particular one; I probably just need to find the other moms who are more down with sarcasm and bourbon.

    But I also think the experience of growing up where that gender divide was such an expected norm, where it cemented a feeling of exclusion from what men were doing/saying, has made me assiduously avoid any single-gender groups in a (possibly unhealthy) contrarian way. As an adult I can see how *choosing* to gather with all women is different and more powerful from being *forced* to do so, but it’s hard to shake that feeling of it being a consolation prize from not being allowed into the boys’ club.

    • Meg says...

      Sarah, I laughed out loud at your comment about feeling like you’re in a bad parody of female friendship. I’ve had this experience too!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      your last paragraph is so interesting! i totally agree with this.

      also, it’s interesting how all-female groups in the media are portrayed so differently now — much more dynamic, wide ranging, independent from men. think about sex and the city — the group of four women ONLY talked about men, and in that scene (in a diner i think?) when they challenged each other not to talk about men, they couldn’t do it. whereas now, female friends in media talk about anything and everything and are so funny and empowered.

      i love abbi and ilana’s relationship in Broad City — here’s a great quote from the Atlantic: “[Abbi and Ilana] aren’t simply keeping each other company until their respective dudes carry them along to their Happily Ever After. They are each other’s Happily Ever After. The pair, as Ann Friedman put it, are “more obsessed with each other than they are with men.” They are very probably the loves of each other’s lives.”
      http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/02/the-triumph-of-the-platonic-rom-com/463200/

    • Sarah says...

      Joanna, replying to your point: YES! this is what I LOVE about Broad City, and what I feel so lucky to have with a very small number of close friends. But maybe because women of my age (35) didn’t grow up with that image of raunchy, funny, thoughtful girls ingrained as normal, I sometimes feel like in a group there can weirdly be a turn to a kind of performance of adult womanhood that’s left over from another era. Again, NOT ALL WOMEN (ha ha) but just a certain type of gathering I’ve been to that makes me roll my eyes. But I love the idea of there being groups of more badass and hilarious women like this getting together and taking over!

    • Katie says...

      “it’s hard to shake that feeling of it being a consolation prize from not being allowed into the boys’ club” – THIS! Sometimes I feel like I’m the sidekick in my husband’s feature film, and this is one of those things that makes me feel that way.

  90. Anna says...

    I’ve been a part of a women’s group for almost 13 years (!!!) now. We called ourselves the Lovely Coven for the first few years, when there were (at least) 13 of us and we were young, unmarried, childless and free! We met monthly and talked/shared for hours and hours. Like, 10-12 hours. We look back and laugh and laugh about those days.

    Our lives have evolved, women have been straight and gay, single and married and divorced, we all have kids (lots of stories there — infertility, adoption, IVF, miscarriage, etc), dealt with illness and death of close family members, people have moved away and moved on. We are now 5 women living in the Bay Area and have taken all the structure out of our gatherings. We are just good friends (with a lot of history) who get together whenever we can, usually every couple months.

    It has been one of the richest experiences of my life to have these relationships and just writing about it makes me so happy and grateful! I encourage all women to foster this in your life in whatever way you can! Especially now when so many of us are feeling uncertain and fearful. We need all kinds of support and women can do so much for other women. Do it!

  91. Suzanna says...

    AH! Yes. I was just thinking about how much I treasure the safe space that all-women hangs create. From sharing the gritty details of menstruation and childbirth to not having to tolerate sexist jokes from dudes.

  92. Love this! I have always leaned more towards co-ed hangouts, but have found myself yearning for more girls-only time.

  93. yael steren says...

    I guess it’s funny bc I usually only hang out with girls. The one time I had regular co-ed hang outs was when the show Lost was on TV and then a group of us that all worked together (as attorneys at the time) would meet late in the evening and watch together. Aside from that I love hanging out with the girls!!! It could also be though that I’m not married and so I don’t really hang out with couples as much, might be the reason! xx yael

    http://www.yaelsteren.com/blog/

  94. Love this! The older I get the more I find comfort in all female groups. While I adore men, there are some things they just don’t get. :)

  95. I love being with girl friends and there are rare groups with whom the conversation is transcendent; but as more and more of my female friends leave the workforce, I also find connecting with male friends more enjoyable as they exhibit a more keen interest in discussing work, politics, and more substantive issues in a group setting. When female friends get together, out of consideration we tend to focus the conversation on whatever doesn’t exclude any one person in the group, which can often result in lowest common denominator topics like vacations, children or common friends. And which bore me to tears more often than not.

  96. Kari says...

    Yaaaaaaaasssss. We have a strong cohort of “couple friends”, but occasionally we split it up for ladies night (and the men inevitably hang out together, too). Our men our wonderful, but sometimes you just need to do your nails, eat tater tots, and watch a terrible movie together. One of my favorite weekends in recent memory was when all the guys left for my now-husband’s bachelor party, and we turned it into a full weekend complete with a movie night and a day trip to the FDR museum upstate. There is nothing more uplifting than exploring Eleanor Roosevelt’s home together with your favorite women.

  97. Dee says...

    I’d be interested to discuss how marriage (and other forms of long term partnerships) affect friendships. Four years into my marriage I find I no longer have any male friends, other than my husbands friends and the partners of my girlfriends. Why is that?? My husband still has many girlfriends. And also, when your in a happy marriage (and free time is limited) how do you motivate yourself to spend time with friends when it means less of that precious time with your beau?

  98. Tracy says...

    LOVE my girl gang. I love my guy friends, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t want to hear about my ingrown hair or answer questions about “is your period also a bit weird like this”? We are all the same age, spread out across countries now, and are constantly on our gchat group, as well as hanging out online! We love video games, shopping, travelling, and eachother. We’ve seen eachother through breakups, marriages, deaths in the family, career changes. Now we are all hitting 30 and are having the baby talk a lot. I can’t imagine not having them in my life. Everywhere I go in life I make a different little girl gang, and as much as I enjoy my dude friends too, my girl gang is very special>

    I’m actually inspired by this post to get four girl gang pins for Christmas, one for each of us!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg you should! pins would be awesome!

  99. Shannon says...

    A New-at-the-time girlfriend invited me to a wine club almost 4 years ago, no one in the club was best friends to start, and that is the best part. I found it hard to make new intentional adult friendships until this point. There are 9 girls that make it a point to get together once a month (!), the host picks the food and wine theme and the date, and everyone does there best to show up with a great dish and/or a bottle of wine. The most important part is not apologize for being late/forgetting to bring the dish you cooked/what you are wearing/complaining about your husband/children/boss or anything else for that matter. Showing up is the most important part. This has become therapy for all of us and just like your articles club, the conversation goes from internet dating to marriage counseling to life goals and nail salons.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is AWESOME. i love the repetition of clubs (articles club, book club, documentaries club, wine club, whatever) because you really deepen your friendships every time you meet, and it’s so nice to have that ritual in place.

  100. Kay says...

    I’d love to read more about the death of adult friendships. As progress, I seem to be losing friends faster than I make them. I’d like to think I’m a pretty good friend, but adulting (work, friends who get married, kids) keep getting in the way and I seem to be the only one actively maintaining the friendship.

    Or better yet.. could you write about maintenance?

    • Jessica says...

      My friend pool has definitely gotten smaller the older I have gotten. But it has also gotten deeper. My friendships are much deeper and more meaningful now. I would say if you are the only one trying to maintain a friendship, it isn’t a true friendship. Friendships are like relationships and most definitely a two way street. Sure, there will be times that you give more than you receive. But there should be times that you also receive more than you give. Have you tried being honest to your close friends about how you feel?

  101. E says...

    This is amazing timing! I just went to an event yesterday at LMHQ about the rise of Women’s Clubs and Audrey Gellman from The Wing was a panelist! She had a great trove of historical context to the women’s club movement. It really struck me to hear about their importance 100 years ago and how there were over 5,000 (something like that?) in NYC at that time. The other panelists deserve amazing credit as well – the Mater Mea blog to bring power to the voices of black women in the media and New Women Space in Williamsburg currently building a women’s community with events and workshops.

    As someone who grew up influenced almost solely by my single mom and one sister, all of my friends were women as a child. In college, I performed in the Vagina Monologues every year and considered Eve Ensler to be one of my biggest admirations for her ability to creatively push the status quo. This is the kind of energy and affirmation I seek (and typically find) from all-women’s clubs.

    To this day, I really don’t have a true male friend. I’ve often felt bad about myself for my seeming lack of ability to build platonic relationships. Articles and initiatives like this finally make me feel “at home” in the world and like I don’t have to feel bad for lacking in male friends and rather, can realize the empowerment that comes from surrounding myself by all-female circles.

    I’ve definitely considered starting a club of some sort, but like many in NYC, don’t have the space to host. Anyone else in Brooklyn want to get together to start something?!

  102. beth says...

    I love hanging out with women, but find myself even more fulfilled spending time with my friends one-on-one. One on one with men is fun and interesting, but I don’t usually feel the same connection or safety.

    A topic I’ve wondered about- I have a lot of friends that I talk to when dropping my kids off at kindergarten and preschool, a lot of acquaintances, etc… How do I know when to cross the line of school friends into lets actually hang out outside of school. One woman and I have made that leap and go walking together and I absolutely love my time with her. She is a friend outside of my normal circles, but lives nearby, has children of a similar age, but also has a completely different background from me. She is a stay at home mom married to someone who teaches seminary. I am a successful musician who is a Jewish atheist. We get along great. How can I bridge the gap more easily between school friends and real friends?

    • Candice says...

      I recently mused to a friend, “I’m so sick of ‘dating’ moms!” I think it starts with extending an invitation to do something, like walks or coffee/tea. This is essentially “asking someone out” and it can be really intimidating, but it will also show you who is actually up for being more social. And then the key here is to repeat repeat repeat. You might end up with a close group of friends, or maybe one or two close friends that you might only spend individual time with. Some people are not interested in making new friends and some people are very interested and will come to anything you invite them to do. Some people will always be up for coffee but never open up on a personal level. Searching for new friends is not any easier than asking someone to go on a romantic date, except you can ask a group of people to get coffee all at once!

  103. Ellen H. says...

    YES! I think girls-only groups are so important. I would highly recommend checking out “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” by Adrienne Rich. It’s very approachable feminist theory and made me pause and think back to my behavior around men and women. (The whole idea behind compulsory heterosexuality is that women, from a very young age, are taught to prioritize the company of men over the company of fellow women). Very thought-provoking read!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh i love this, thank you for the recommendation!

  104. Klara says...

    Yes! Conversations seem to be more meaningful between women… Maybe there’s also still an element left in our genes/brains/culture from 10 000 years ago, when men went on a hunt for days and all women and children stayed behind in the camp and cared for each other… and that’s why it feels familiar in an all female group?

  105. Miriam says...

    Perhaps this is something that Megan is dealing with and could write about, but I would LOVE to see a post related to navigating female friendship in the context of the wedding industry insanity. As a late twenty something, I am swamped with destination bachelorettes/bridal showers for friends’ weddings. I find the whole thing overwhelming. I’d love to have a thoughtful post on how to support friends who are getting married, while still maintaining emotional and financial sanity.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s a great idea!

  106. Brianna says...

    I’m looking forward to Stella’s post. I’m almost in my mid-30s and find myself struggling to maintain any kind of friendship, male or female. I have zero friends in my current city and I talk to my childhood friends maybe once a year. I have cousins, male and female, my age, but my relationship with them is non-existent due to family drama. I have a tiny stack of Christmas cards waiting to be mailed and I’m curious to see how many I get in return (so far I’ve received a card from my accountant, which I won’t display because it’s depressing to know that my only holiday cheer comes from my accountant).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we’ll send you a card, brianna! :) :) :)

      where do you live? we should have a cup of jo meet-up in different cities.

    • Shelby says...

      Yes, Joanna! That would be amazing!

    • Jennie says...

      If you do a Cup of Jo meet up in Chicago – count me in!

    • E says...

      JOANNA YES! I have been waiting patiently for the day that Cup of Jo goes offline.

    • Laura says...

      yes to the meet up! – from LA.

    • Abbie says...

      YES!!!! CoJ meet ups for everyone!!

    • Anu says...

      Yes, let’s please have a Cup of Jo meetup in different cities! I’m in the Boston area. The quality of the comments here are matched by very few other places online.

    • Amy says...

      OMG. Cup of Joe meetup. YES.

      PS – I love when I suddenly discover a friend also reads Cup of Joe. I’ll be talking about something I read on here, and suddenly they say, “Wait. Do you read Cup of Joe too?” It’s the best.

    • Grace says...

      I would love a Cup of Jo meetup. Indianapolis, please!

    • Em says...

      Brianna-last year I moved to a new city where I didn’t know anyone, and I have had great success making new friends two different ways: The Bumble app, and MeetUp. Bumble is a dating app that has a separate section for women trying to meet other women for (platonic) friendship. It felt weird at first but it’s actually been fantastic and I’ve met a few great friends! MeetUp is a website that organized strangers into meeting up over various interests (sports, religions/ethnicity, careers, hobbies, etc). These things feel awkward at first and it requires a surprising amount of work but I think you just have to pull the trigger and do it.

    • Katherine says...

      Would love a Cup Of Jo meetup in the UK too-though am guessing we may be more spread out…

    • Brianna says...

      I live in Reno, Nevada. I’m in a book club, but it’s all women my mom’s age (so it’s already awkward). I’m in Junior League, but I don’t have a rock the size of Mt. Vesuvius on my left ring finger and I don’t have a tiny hipster baby or a giant house in the snooty ‘hood so I don’t really fit in with those women either.

    • Lillian says...

      JENNIE!!!! A friend and I in Chicago want to organize a COJ meetup.

    • Katy says...

      Yes! And like, Amy said, it’s so fun when you’re talking to someone and you mention something amazing and insightful that you read (obviously), and they are like, wait, was that from COJ. YES, YES! You, too?!

    • Caitlin says...

      Jennie! What Lillian said! I am that friend and we are super into this. COJ Chicago has me so excited right now. :)

    • COJ meetups!

    • Leah says...

      Cup of Jo Boston, woohoo!

    • COJ Philadelphia for the win haha! This is the BEST idea!!! We should start a COJ Membership directory :)

      In college I was in women’s glee club (at times up to 100 women singing together!) and a women’s Bible study of eight, plus I had four female roommates. It was the best. The intimacy level is insanely deeper and easier in an all-female group, at least for me. I definitely long for a posse of women (maybe 5-8) now and hope to build/find one after we move and get settled in Philly next month!

      And, I was one of the readers asking for some friendship-centered posts, so I’m thrilled to see this! Looking forward to Stella’s post too!

    • Yaaaaaas! Philly meet up, anyone? :) My sister and I love CoJ and always talk about you guys like we know you personally. “My friend, Jo recommended…”

    • Jess says...

      Yes! Third to a Boson meet up! Maybe we could arrange it?? I would love to meet more women in the city–I’ve been here for five years and still the only people I know are from my graduate program!

    • Megan says...

      Please do! A few years ago you wrote about female friendships and I mentioned it’d be fun to have a CoJ meet-up (in particular in San Francisco, where I had just moved) and someone very sweet responded and we met up and actually became friends!! It works!

    • I’m a frequent commenter. My shyness translates online too I guess, but count me in for a COJ meetup in Chicago!

    • whoops, not a frequent commenter.

    • Bronwyn says...

      Yes to a Boston meetup! Trying to find my post-college girl gang is exhausting!

    • Abby says...

      Laura, I’m in LA too! Meetup, meetup! :)

    • Jenna says...

      Yes!! More support for Cup of Jo meetups! Would love to meet other readers in the Bay Area!

  107. Natalie Brennan says...

    We have a nickname for my group of girlfriends. The Avocado Club. I don’t know how it started , maybe our shared love for avoado toast ! They save my life on the regular and I couldn’t live with out them.

    • Natalie Brennan says...

      Now that I think about it the funny part of it is, we don’t even get a chance to hang out that much in person, with work and children and all of life’s little responsibilities. But we text and email all the time so that it FEELS like we see one another all the time!

  108. Ali says...

    This is an interesting post…I have missed my girlfriends, especially over the past two years. I moved out of state, and many (with the exception of 1) of my girlfriends had children. I am still in touch with my friend without children, and despite many different attempts (visits, emails, texts, letters) I have lost touch of most of the others. It’s sad for me. As a woman without children, it’s hard to relate and have things to talk about. It is especially hard to find female friends in your early 30s due to this phenomenon. Despite my best efforts, it’s hard to keep and maker female friends.

  109. Jennie says...

    As an introvert, I am really looking forward to Stella’s post. I have also given a considerable amount of time pondering what it is like to be an introverted parent of an only child, being that parents are so entwined with their children’s social activities nowadays! I’d love to see Cup of Jo explore this topic.

    • Jessica says...

      I too would love to see something about this! We plan on only having one child (our babe is 5 months old) but I’m very introverted and the thought of my little girl going to school and making friends and me having to socialize with their parents is extremely anxiety inducing! I try to remind myself that I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to, and neither does she…but I’m curious to know how other parents handle this.

    • hmm, I’m an introvert and my son is an extrovert. but being an introvert doesn’t mean I don’t like social situations nor that I’m not social its just that I don’t have the energy people do to do it everyday NOR do I like surprise situations. so if I know he is going to have a social thing, I am fine. but if he says “let’s go do x right now.” the chances are the answer is no. sounds more like social anxiety than introvertism. there are tons of books right now. my son is 9. he knows that I have limited energy for going out and about so he doesn’t ask to do something everyday. but I know he loves that and lives for it, so I plan at least 2-3 social outings beyond school for him every week. we both win! :) but I also told myself before he was ever born – now you are going to have another person around you 24/7 for at least 18 plus years, suck it up buttercup. that was my choice.

  110. Sonja says...

    Love this. How about friendships that span circumstance? Meaning, generational differences, marital status, economic differences (it’s hard to be the poorest of the group…), parents and non-parents.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, i love this idea!

  111. Jenny says...

    Not to be a downer on this lovely post which i LOVE…but I would also love to hear your take on women maintaining friendships that maybe they should let die. Example – I have an old friend from high school and we are now in our early thirties. She’s very very particular & all her nit pickin real grinds on me. When I get home from say drinks with this friend, and my husband asked how dinner was I said “Fine … but … this, this and this was SO annoying…and WHY does she do that”. My husband didn’t understand why, if I feel I can’t get over the way she is, I continue to hang out with her. I DONT KNOW WHY EITHER? I don’t think men do the same….but ending a friendship? Phasing someone out? Cringe!! Part of me thinks maybe one day we will evolve to be great friends again so that feels 100% worth the wait…but spending time with each other should be fun now! We dont enjoy each other!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good question!!! i think it’s fine to let some friendships run their course. would be a great post, we’ll brainstorm that! thank you so much, jenny.

    • Anu says...

      This is interesting to me because I actually tend more to your husband’s style of maintaining friendships, while my husband tends more towards your style. He has the attitude that once you’re really good friends with him, you’re friends for life and he puts a lot of effort into maintaining those relationships – cards for birthdays and holidays, frequent phone calls and Skype sessions for those far away, presents at least every other year. I’ve always thought I could learn a lot from him, but your response also talks about the flipside.

  112. Erin says...

    Talking with women is one of the greatest joys of my life. Women are so insightful, so empathic and willing to share. I love the way we connect with each other. The love between women friends is so special and important. Women lift each other up. :)

  113. I have been more drawn to women only gatherings too. I know so many wonderful, feminist men who I love to be around and converse with, but really only other women “get it.” There’s something really comforting about spending time with people who share your worldview, and who you can really relax and be yourself with. I’ve found having a supportive community of women to be more important as I get older and my life becomes more complicated. It has especially been true since I became a mother. In my 20s my life was pretty much going to my job, going to the gym, and drinking with my friends. Now that my life is about my career, my marriage, my children, etc I really need that support that only other women can provide.

  114. Katie says...

    While I enjoy a good co-ed hangout (all our couple friends together laughing, eating, and enjoying wine and beer), there is just *something* about time with just your girlfriends. The conversations are different and I tend walk away having more life-affirming moments — moments where you realize you’re living some sort of shared experience — perhaps pertaining to something in your professional life…or navigating marriage and/or raising children…or dealing with a personal struggle. I tend to come away feeling comforted, cared for, and acknowledged. <3

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! life affirming-moments!

    • I love this. I couldn’t agree more. That *something* is a little bit of the wine of life, I swear.

    • Nina says...

      This is it. This is exactly how I feel after a good talk with my girlfriends. We are a group of four and we ‘operate’ well all together, as well as one on one :) I’m 39, they are 41, 50 and 51, and it is just a lovely mix of women who have been through tough times, with their souls intact. We have honest, straightforward and loving conversations, and maybe it’s just my caracter or how I chose the people I want to be with, but my group of friends doesn’t need to yell to get noticed. I just love them.
      I have a couple of good male friends, but I feel there is always a part of the attraction in the equation. You know when that eye contact is just a tad bit too long. The level of connection I feel being with my girlfriend can only be topped by the security and love my boyfriend gives me (and my closest family) and I think it says a lot about my beautiful women friends.

  115. I always gravitated toward groups of ladies. Growing up, I rarely hung out with males, even in college, I only had a few male friends. But, since I’ve had children, I find that I enjoy hanging out with men just as much, if not more. If you get a bunch of ladies together (at least based on my experience) who have children, the conversation inevitably turns to the kids and the daily grind of bedtimes, school, activities. I hate talking about that stuff when I am out and about. I do have a few female friends who do not have kids, and conversations with them are always refreshing, and not kid-centered. When I talk to men (whether or not they happen to be dads), they really don’t talk about kids much, and it’s easier to feel like an actual person,and not just a mother.

  116. Kait says...

    Looking forward to Stella’s post! I am seriously struggling right now with the friend situation. I have a couple of close friends but need to expand my circle. Becoming a mom this year has put some distance between me and my old friends, who at 26 through no fault of their own, are more into talking about their hangovers than the pride/joy/frustration of new motherhood – it’s like we have no idea what to say to each other anymore! I need to make more mom friends! Love your post as always, Joanna – just a little jealous of the female camaraderie!

    • I feel you. I had my first baby at 28 when all of my friends were still in party mode and it was so lonely. I met so many mom-friends at my daughter’s daycare and we are still great friends almost five years later. If you stay home with your child I would recommend something as simple as hanging out at the park. You would be surprised how many other moms are just as anxious to find mom friends as you are. It also gets easier as your child gets older and more social. They do some of the legwork for you! Hang in there! It gets better!

  117. Laura C. says...

    Absolutely! Fifteen years ago I used to go out with a nice group of friends- boys and girls. Now all we do is a gathering of four, twice a year, four female friends on what we call “The releasing beer”, that is, four moms leaving their toddlers with their husbands and having this wine-coke-beer-whatever…
    Our topics are: our children, of course.