I’ve been reading some wedding posts on some wedding forums detailing the fraught relationships that some Brides have with their female friends and family.
Arguments between sisters, mothers, mother-in-laws, sister in laws, best friends, bridesmaids, and many others.
Reading these posts set me to wonder why women’s relationships are so different than those between men?
I’ve just read this from a psychologist website , admittedly this is about younger women but it seems to me that this is relevant to women of any age.
“Conflict in girls’ groups can also go unnoticed because it is usually indirect: the competition is for the more nebulous good of popularity (not, as in boys’ games who can throw furthest, who’s the strongest); but who is best liked, who’s most likeable, or popular, or who is closer to the girl whom everyone likes. The chief commodity in the girls’ community is intimacy. Girls monitor their friendships for subtle shifts in alliances, and they seek to be friends with popular girls. Popularity is a kind of status, but it also brings problems. Popular girls were often disliked because they can be envied, they can be the target of gossip, and they can be considered stuck up. Because the most important thing in girls’ friendship is intimacy, they cannot have masses of friends, and so a popular girl, who attracts lots of other girls, must reject some of those girls in order to preserve the intimacy in the relationships she has. This makes her seem to others stuck up.”
The article went on to say that boys play is fifty percent physical whilst girls play is only one percent physical.
Hierarchies within groups of boys tend to be clearly defined, whilst girl’s friendships are more subtle and built on shifting sands.
I have a great friend who I am always having the banter with. Some of the things we say to each other are quite outrageous but there is always a clear boundary over which we don’t step. We have argued but it’s never led to a fall out, in fact we argue all the time but it’s always forgotten the next day. Grudges are not allowed. I think the underlying reason is that there is a bond between men that is just not there between women.
Or am I being unfair?
And the competitiveness between women is different. Someone who is going to our wedding is also going to another wedding the week after. Sarah said that if this person returned from the other do waxing lyrical about what a fantastic day it was it would kill Sarah. She asked me what I would think if this other wedding was better than ours?
I searched my soul and thought long and hard and realised that I really wouldn’t give a monkeys.
Once I ran a half marathon and a pal beat me by five minutes and I was gutted. But fall out with him? There would be no reason to. Maybe that’s the difference between men and women – what we compete over, what we care about .