It's fair to say I have more male than female friends. I can count the number of girlfriends I have on less than two full hands. If I choose to analyze the situation objectively, this is partly due to me and partly to a reasonable number of the girls / ladies I've come across in my wee little life that weren't ready to be a "friend". From my side, I have been known to display selfish behavior, impatience, and a sense of self-sufficiency / lack of "need" for others that hasn't helped position me as a candidate for "best girlfriend of the year". But alas, this post isn't for personal dissection purposes or to run down my friendship history. It's more to share some strategies I've managed to learn along the way that have helped me acquire some top quality, values-driven, well-rounded girlfriends.
SEEK FRIENDS OF COMMON PURPOSE
At work, at church, during social events, etc. As you learn more about what you're meant to do with your life and how to get there, it is only right that you gravitate towards people on a similar journey. It makes sense for a woman with a passion for empowering growing girls to make faith-led choices in their lives (about their education, career, marriage & children, etc) to seek out other women that are equally as interested and motivated about women's rights. On the other hand, it doesn't make much sense for a woman that has a goal of living a life of optimism and generosity towards others to surround herself with women that constantly insult and ridicule people, wish others ill, and refuse to offer compliments or positive affirmations to fellow women.
DON'T LIMIT YOURSELF TO YOUR AGE GROUP
A significant number of my "girl" friends are older than me, some even 15-20 years older, and I appreciate that. It's beneficial to have variety amongst girlfriends, from race to age to job fields. When it comes to my friends that are reasonably older, I enjoy the opportunity to discuss experiences they've had in different areas of life (faith, work, relationships, etc) that I might not yet have faced and receive sage advice from them based on lessons learned.
GET FAMILIAR WITH GOSSIP CODE
If she'll gossip with you, she'll gossip about you. It should be expected. A gossip on Monday will likely remain a gossip fromTuesday to Sunday also. Friends that gossip don't typically see boundaries or lines not to cross. It's not always malicious or bad-intentioned...it's often times a developed habit that has gotten out of hand. If you are in the quest for girlfriends, it's probably wise to consider this and choose cautiously.
PRAY FOR DISCERNMENT AND SEEK FAMILY GUIDANCE
My mother has been 99.9% right about my friends and those I surrounded myself with in the past. When I had a good girl friend, she'd identify it from interactions with the person early on and advise me to "keep that friend, she's a good one". On the flip side, every "friend" that ever did something malicious to me or that had a hidden agenda for befriending me, she could also spot immediately from first interaction. But, who ever wants mom to be right? I definitely didn't when she'd warn me about specific girlfriends in the past that I could've sworn had nothing but the best intentions for me. I'd argue with her, ignore her advice and then ultimately get "burned" by such persons. I'm thankful for that -- for mom's advice and also for the burns that came from not listening. I needed that to learn. As with anything in life (choosing friends, a spouse, a career path), prayer for the gift of discernment from the Holy Spirit and seeking wise counsel is key. When I follow this 2-step process, the benefits are insurmountable. When I don't, so are the "burns".
BECOME THE FRIEND YOU DESIRE TO HAVE
You get mostly what you are. If you want to attract great girlfriends, you need to become a great girlfriend. If you want a girlfriend that is considerate of your choices / feelings, patient towards you, generous, able to share a great laugh, and protective of your insecurities and vulnerabilities -- then you have to embody those same characteristics. But, if you're self-absorbed or gossipy or stingy or sabotaging of others with no desire to change, then the quest for great girlfriends might simply remain just that...a "quest".
Or don't you think so? :)