Friendship is one of the most important things in the world. Do you have a friend, someone you can turn to whenever you need to and talk about whatever comes to mind?
And does she totally understand? Does she drop you a text just because it helps to know someone is thinking of you?
When the children play up – however old they are – who do you turn to? When your husband goes off on one (again) who gets the gin in?
This friendship is very precious. Would you be without your best friend in your life?
And then, one day, you find yourself on your own yet again. Who do you turn to? Of course, your ‘bestie’ and you go and stay. A few days becomes a few weeks and you grow even closer. Your bestie has been on her own for a few years. And do you know what? It really works.
Household chores are easily shared, shopping becomes fun again. Toilet rolls are replaced when they’re empty and never again do you come across an empty milk carton put back in the fridge.
The ability to just be yourself is a gift. Being in a relationship that is quietly affirming is a gift. Of course, some women find this with some men. All too often though, there is a huge pressure to be something that maybe you are not. Perhaps this happens in same-sex relationships, but I am luxuriating in the opportunity to relax and just ‘be’.
Sharing a living space
Yes, living together requires adjustment whatever pairings or groupings exist. Shared space is exactly that, shared. But the absence of a male ego is such a relief as far as I am concerned.
Its not that I haven’t tried. I have been married three times, each time convinced that I would be able to make a go of this. Perhaps I was always looking in the wrong place. Perhaps the newer views on same-sex relationships have made things easier.
I think that years of my feminism has finally ground me down. I simply can’t be held accountable to a man but the men I know haven’t embraced the real meaning of equality and freedom. The gender stereotypes are deeply embodied in our society and we only have to look at the ongoing debate over women’s salaries to realise that we still have a long way to go.
The place of women in society remains an issue and I am tired of hearing about glass ceilings and the (low) number of women CEOs in FTSE 100 companies. Men still claim the upper hand in so many walks of life and sadly this flows over into relationships. The sense of entitlement is still alive and kicking. I want to live with someone who sees me as an equal in all ways, not to battle over pink jobs and blue jobs. I want to free up time to be creative and happy. I’m lucky to have found someone with whom I feel happy and at ease. And that special person is a woman.
How to you deal with other people’s reactions? Well, that’s just what they are – other people’s business. It really isn’t anything to do with anyone else.
A friendship grows and becomes a relationship. Do you now give yourself a new label? Perhaps wonder if you should come out? Do you know; I don’t think the words matter at all. Life is special and precious and if you find someone you love to share it with, then go ahead.
Enjoy and embrace, if it feels right for you – then just go for it.
*The author wanted to share her story, but on this occasion not who she is. Hope you understand!