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My closest group of girlfriends are a bunch of fashion-conscious, prosecco-swilling strumpets.
They’re not actual strumpets/ streetwalkers (obviously), but for the last decade or so, I’ve lovingly referred to this group as ‘The Sloos’ – a bastardisation of ‘The Sluts’.
Not one of us has the faintest idea how or why this label came about and stuck.
But stuck, it has.
It’s quite ironic, really, as out of all the people I know, they’re probably the least promiscuous (well, bar one, but even she’s reigned it in recently).
In fact, most of these girls have been in monogamous relationships for years – out of eight of us, there’s only three left who aren’t currently engaged or married (though the three of us are partnered up, too).
In some ways, this is a group of friends forged together by convenience:
Our nights out and holidays together have the added bonus of killing lots of birds with one stone: not only do we get to hang out with our closest girlfriends, we also get to spend time with our other halves – all of whom get on really well too, fortunately.
It’s a pretty sweet deal, not least because we have a shared love of good food, good wine, good times and sunshine - whether at the beach or in the mountains.
We’re a boisterous lot.
Ripping the piss out of each other (with love) is how we bond, and we’ve yet to go a week without someone sending a highly inappropriate willy-related photo/ video to one of about four different Whatsapp groups we’re all in.
However, other than socially, I don’t have all that much in common with The Sloos.
A few of them work in PR, one’s a singer, one an eyelash extension extraordinaire to the stars (and little old me).
One has a luxury swimwear business, and the other – I still have no idea what she actually does for work, but her social life’s more lively than Lindsay Lohan’s back in her hey day.
Whilst we do go to the odd yoga class together, none of them are particularly interested (yet) in getting their chakras aligned, or attending a Marianne Williamson workshop with me (though they are all bloody good at manifesting an abundant life – but they’d just call that working hard, shopping, and knowing the right people).
In the wellness world, there seems to be an unspoken shared belief that in order to keep ‘evolving’ along one’s spiritual path, you should only hang out with other ‘conscious’ folk – i.e. hemp-wearing vegans who meditate and write gratitude lists daily, and attend some sort of ritual/ sound bath healing at Glastonbury at least once a year (if not on every full moon).
I’m just teasing, but in all seriousness, I think we’ve all been slightly misled over the meaning of the idea that you’re the average of the five people you hang out with the most.
It can be quite close-minded (and arrogant) to think that, because someone doesn’t share the same passions or hobbies as you, they have nothing to offer your life.
Whilst I do have many brilliant friends and soul sisters in the wellness industry, not everyone’s my cup of tea (nor I theirs) simply because we have a shared love of crystals and Kombucha (actually, I fucking hate Kombucha, it takes like feet – but you get the idea).
For friendships to be fulfilling, yes, you do have to have some things in common – but not everything.
Like with relationships, I believe that the most important thing in a friendship is not necessarily the similarities anyway, but how you respect and support each other’s differences.
After all, no one dynamic between two people can (or should) be expected to fulfil all your needs, which is why having a variety of different types of people in our lives is so important.
The Sloos may not consider themselves ‘spiritual seekers’ as such, but at ‘The Inner Fix’ book launch last year, they were all there supporting me in full force alongside their partners – even though it was in a church, on a school night, in an awkward part of London.
They may not all completely get (or care to get) the work I do, but they’ll always be the first ones to celebrate it with me – and vice versa.
The older I get, the more I realise that the friendships worth investing in are not always the ones you might expect to benefit your life the most, but the ones that most help you feel good about who you are.
Even if that involves a hell of a lot of dick pics.
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU:
Are your closest friendships today different from what you imagined they’d be a decade ago? Why?
And, what’s the most important aspect of a friendship, in your eyes?
Look forward to connecting with you in the comments below :)
P.S. If you want support in getting the love life you desire (and deserve), book a complimentary coaching call with me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org - I’d love to get to know you :)