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Why Friends Are Like Knickers

Author: Lauren Coleman

Last year there was an Instagram post circulating nominating people to share twenty facts about themselves. It took me ages to come up with at least one remotely interesting fact about myself but somehow I managed to cobble together twenty. Two of the facts that seemed to draw the most response which I thought I’d mention today.

#5. I’m blessed with a large gaggle of friends though I’ve learned over the last few years friends are like knickers. You need lots of different types for different occasions. One size does not fit all and you have to care for your delicates. 
#15. I believe opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.

I’ll leave number fifteen for another day as I think that might make a corker of a post but for now let’s go back to number five .

We’ve touched on here before how making friends can get trickier as you get older. Gone are those heady days of college, university and early careerdom when most friendships were cemented over tequila slammers (feel free to insert some other alcoholic beverage here) it’s much harder when we get older and the responsibility level steps up both at home and work and it becomes more difficult to carve out time for your best girls.

The toxic friendships of my youth are now behind me. If one of my chicas upsets me now I’m either very honest with them or give them a wide berth until I can find the headspace to deal with them. Sometimes it’s my own emotional state that has taken offence to something they’ve said rather than anything they’ve done wrong.

I’m very lucky that I have several friends who I can go a year or so without seeing and we can pick up from exactly where we left. These girls know a huge amount about me, my family, they know what makes me tick and I’m very lucky to have them. While I keep up with their lives through social media, these are not the lingering friendships that would have burnt out if Facebook was still a twinkle in Zuckerberg’s eye. However as I alluded to in the Instagram post, friendships need to be nurtured. You have to put effort in to be able to claim the equity. Just like a marriage it’s a two way relationship.

I’m not saying you’re flippant with your sisterhood in your early twenties but on a personal level as I headed for my thirties I started to have more of an appreciation for my friends and no longer expected them to take on multiple roles. Now my friendships are more meaningful though perhaps more complex too. I expect those who I let close to me to hold the same values as I do and my expectation of what determines a ‘good friend’ has completely changed in the last few years. Maybe it’s because when my mum was ill a few years ago some pals offered unwavering support whilst others disappeared. It’s taken a while but I no longer begrudge those who were a no-show during that time at the end of the day everyone has their own schizzle to deal with. I think realising you’re not the centre of everyone’s universe is a very grounding experience.
When I was blabbering on Instagram about having mates for different occasions I was thinking about how ideally you’d have a variety of companions to see you through the good times and the bad. Personally I think I couldn’t get by without a circle made up of:

  • A non-judgemental friend
  • A brutally honest friend
  • Your cheerleeder who offers unwavering support
  • The one who always knows what to say
  • The good time party girl who’s always ready to get her dancing shoes on
  • The one with experience who has done it all before
  • The mother who nutures and cares for
  • The confidante
  • The career minded one who you can talk to about work
  • The one from a different walk of life
  • The work colleague you can count on (got lots of them thankfully)

It’s not to say each person takes up purely one guise but I reckon it would be virtually impossible for one human to take up all these roles. Whether you choose to keep your circle tight or are a social butterfly do you think there are any other behavioural traits a girl needs to find in her friends?
Have you found your concept of friendship and your relationship have changed over the years too?


Image by A Thing Like That

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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16 thoughts on “Why Friends Are Like Knickers

  1. I have masses of friends some from primary and senior school, who still meet up a couple of times a year, they are the ones that I’ve known over many decades and know everything about me, they are all joining me today at my Mum’s funeral, and when we meet it’s like we only spoke yesterday.
    Then there are the ones I’ve made later in life that I’m in contact with constantly, and share everything with, they are what I call my “3.00am friends” because I know if I needed them at anytime, if I was in trouble, they’d race to my side. They also give me honest advice and it works both ways. Couldn’t live without my friends, always there for me.

    1. Eileen so sorry to hear that you’re at your mum’s funeral but such a comfort to have a strong support network. Sending lots of hugs x

  2. It’s funny, I’m 30 this year and I had a real wobble that I didn’t have enough people to invite. When I stopped to think about it, I was glad for a few great friends rather than many superficial ones.
    Shared experience and values makes for the truest friendships.

    Also, can’t wait for your post about #15.
    I’m a big believer in making your own luck!

    1. Do you remember when everyone was obsessed with how many facebook ‘friends’ they had Charlie? And then they’d find themselves crossing the road if they saw them in real life as they weren’t friends at all.
      So true – meaningful friendships are so much better than superficial ones.
      Have a fab 30th celebration x

  3. I’m on maternity leave at the moment with my second daughter and we live in a different village to where we lived when I had maternity leave with my first. One of the reasons we chose this village is that it has lots of young families as I really wanted to make some mummy friends that were nearby. It’s made a massive difference to my year off, I’ve genuinely had none of the lonely days that I experienced last time and I’m struggling to fit in my social events in the evenings at risk of the husband feeling neglected. It’s not easy though, you have to put yourself out there and put up with the initial conversations about nappies, feeds and sleep before you can get to the level of friendship.

    1. Natalie, I love that moving to a new village has brought you such an active social life. I don’t know if you saw the link I posted in the piece to Fern’s feature on making friends? Lots of similar comments on how if you put yourself out there it’s easier to forge friendships.

  4. I found after turning 30 a lot of ‘friends’ disappeared. I have just a few very good friends who I am very grateful for. It can be a bit lonely sometimes as out of my five good friends, one lives abroad and another lives four hours drive away. But when it comes to friends it is quality rather than quantity!

    I do sometimes miss the ‘random’ friends of my late teens and early twenties who I would meet for a quick drink on a Friday after work and then somehow not get home until Sunday evening! Some of those stories should not be repeated, but they are amazing memories.

    1. Definitely agree it’s quality over quantity!
      And nodding my head in agreement to your last comment! x

  5. I could not put a value on my friendships, I am very lucky to have decent sized groups from school, university and work. I also have the ones who you pick up locally, at the gym and through Netball who’s more casual friendship is a good thing at times!
    I’ve been single for most of my adult life and I have always needed my friendships and i would say on the whole they have bent over backwards for me. They are always happy for me to 3rd wheel, still make time for me and make me feel very valued.
    I’ve just been asked to be a Maid of Honour a 3rd time and honestly nothing makes me happier, I must be doing something right back 😂

  6. I was given an amazing piece of advice years ago that has seen me through friendship wobbles, breakups and life changes (like international moves).

    “Each of your friends are for a season, a reason or a lifetime”.

    It’s been proven true so many times for me.

  7. This is such a wonderful post Lauren, and the idea makes me smile – and rings so true!

    I have a few old, close friends I value. I know that I’m not always brilliant at keeping in touch, but do find that as soon as I see them it all clicks back in to place and love spending time with them.

    I know some lovely people who are 100% supportive, amazing people – the kind of people who are there when you need them. My husband is one of those people too – who makes offers of help and support whenever someone is going through a hard time, lifts to the hospital, a temporary bed in our house, food, a friendly ear… sometimes I think he makes me better by association. And having babies has changed some of our friendships, made it harder to see some of our friends, made us closer to others – and made us appreciate that our little girl is going to grow up surrounded by these people (and their children too).

    1. What a lovely thing to say about your husband Rebecca, and I agree I think kindness ‘catches’ and spreads so easily when others show it.

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