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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Jennifer's Gems > Girlfriend Rules

by Jennifer Brown Banks

Girlfriend Rules:
The Art of Choosing Friends Wisely

There’s an art to choosing friends wisely. An art that many people need to cultivate if they are to have peace in their personal lives, have a strong support system, and enhance their overall existence. It is particularly important for single folks, whose friends serve almost like an extended family.

A true “friend” will tell you that the outfit you are wearing makes your butt look too big before you go out the house. A true friend will tell you when your man is a jerk. A true friend cheers you on to victories, and holds your hand during life’s stormy seasons. A true friend will fight with you, fall out, and then once the dust settles, make up and move on. (Can I get an Amen?)


I truly treasure the ones that I have. I have been blessed with some really good ones. But, I also have to take a little credit for knowing what one is by being one. In fact, last month when I attended the Being Single’s event, one of my friends, who was also in attendance, commented on how everyone that she interacts with that’s in my “circle”, seems to truly be “good people.” It was her words that inspired this column.

Here are two examples of my friends’ loyalty and love:

1) I once had a sista-friend to co-sign on a loan for me, many years ago, that was the equivalent of a yearly salary.

2) Another friend of mine stood up at my wedding even though she was very ill, and didn’t even reveal her condition until many years later, (because she didn’t want to “spoil my special day”).

Dionne Warwick sang about friends in her hit song “That’s what Friends are for”. Another popular song asks the rhetorical question-- “friends, how many of us have them?”

Friendship is so important that it is even addressed in the Bible. Proverbs 17:17 tells us that “A friend loves at all times.” Yet, not enough people recognize its importance.

I have seen and heard of “friends” who gossip about one another behind the other one’s back, “friends” who sleep with their pal’s significant other, and “friends” who betray confidences.

Other than love, in my opinion, “friend” is the most widely misused and misunderstood word in the English language. Who do you call on in your hour of need? Do you even know what it is to be a good friend?

For those seeking to form better friendships in the future, or perhaps to just be a better friend…

Here are The Girlfriend Rules:

» Friends should stand the test of time. Sure, anybody can stick around when everything is good, and you’re pleasant to be around. But what about thru thick and thin?

» True girlfriends don’t gossip about each other. It violates trust and sisterhood.

» Friends demonstrate through words and actions that they’ve “got your back.”

» Friends don’t keep score cards of who gives what and when.

» A true friend “keeps it real”; honesty is a must.

» A friend has good self-esteem. She can’t love you, if she doesn’t love herself first. It also prevents competition and feelings of jealousy.

» A friend is a person who is spiritual. They feel heaven sent.

» A true friend recognizes that every relationship has boundaries, and respects yours. She won’t sleep with your man or dishonor your feelings.

» A friend is an attentive listener.

» A true friend understands when there are no words.

Take inventory. If your current roster of running buddies don’t possess the following qualities, perhaps you should reevaluate your relationships and act accordingly. Maybe you need to change who’s in your “fave five”!


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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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