Vivacious Living


Don’t Forget Your Girlfriends & Other Acts of Loving Self-Care |

I was recently reminded of the importance of having girlfriends and making time to spend with them. Whether you are just going through a divorce, at the start of a whirlwind romance, have been married for years, or you are a stay at home mom with small children or whether you are starting a new business and working three part-time jobs, we all need girlfriends.

Girlfriends fulfill an important need for women. There is some suggestion that women (or people in their feminine) speak 10 – 20,000 words per day while men (or those in their masculine) speak only 5,000. Imagine, your partner comes home from work, after talking to colleagues all day and being in meetings, he is talked out! But women, especially those who have been home all day with toddlers that don’t talk, have a full 10-20,000 words left! Do you see a potential problem here?

Another reason girlfriends are important is that women are different than men. Surprise, Surprise! Right? We not only talk more, but we think and communicate differently. We talk just to vent, to let out stress, to figure out exactly what it is we are thinking. Men, on the other hand, tend to share only when they want input into their problems. As a result, when we share all our disappointments, frustrations, hopes and dreams, many men will see these as requests for him to do something about it. If they cannot provide what they perceive us asking for right away,  they may feel emasculated.

This is exacerbated by the fact that as women, we have hormones that fluctuate not only throughout the weeks of the month but hourly during the day, while a man’s tend to stay constant from puberty to their late 40s, early 50s. Only women can understand the emotional ups and downs that other women experience. At most, we can hope that the men in our lives appreciate our passion, our integrity and honesty, and our zest for life.

Women can give us feedback, can create a village so that our partners aren’t expected to be our girlfriend as well as our provider, protector, lover and soulmate. This can be a great source of relief for the men in our lives. It also allows us to get clear about what our needs are, what we can provide for ourselves and what we want to request of the men in our lives.

Unfortunately, as women, we have a built-in tendency to put the needs of others ahead of our own. It’s our instinct to want to please and be attractive to the opposite gender. If you think back to the days of hunters and gatherers, which wasn’t that long ago evolution-wise, it makes sense. As women, generally physically smaller and less strong than men, our safety and actual lives depended on our ability to attract a man and have him protect and provide for us, especially in the early years of raising families. Evolution made this possible by wiring us in many ways to want to please, to want to nurture, to put others before ourselves.

There is some research out there that further suggests that the hormone estrogen has a lot to do with this wiring for nurturing others and putting our needs last and that as it declines and we enter menopause, this tendency lessens.

While there is research that explains our tendency to put our needs in the category of “that would be nice” as opposed to “urgent and critical”, the fact remains that we are better people, better partners, better lovers, better mothers, better sisters, better workers when we do take care of ourselves and don’t rely wholly on others meeting our needs. If we are recently separated and divorced, we now no longer have a partner that is willing to meet our needs (and quite honestly, this has probably been going on for some time now).

What are the things that you can do to make yourself a better partner, a better lover, a better mother, a better employee, a better businesswoman, a better YOU? If doing these things allow you to create better, more intimate relationships, generate greater revenue in your business or job, and make you a better person overall, isn’t it time to look at these needs as important? It is time to stop putting the perceived needs of your children, your spouse, your job or business ahead of yours. Your happiness, your relationship, your children, AND your business depend upon you putting your needs first.

Be loving to yourself. Take ten minutes right now and brainstorm about what would allow you to show up as the best you? What things would you do? Go for a massage? Take regular walks on the beach? Go for a run? Take a bubble bath? Go to lunch with a girlfriend? Catch up with an old friend? What things would you need to stop doing?

Then, pick up the phone and schedule time with a girlfriend. It’s an important part of self-care! 

Interested in learning more about the interplay of masculine and feminine energies and how to use this knowledge to create your ultimate relationship? Whether that means taking your marriage to the next level, turning your long-term committed relationship around, or dating with confidence, contact me at jacqueline@jeclarkcoaching.com for information about my upcoming Queen’s Code book club.