As TLC would sing or “Girl” by destiny’s child, women it is important to have friends. Not just women but men as well, what would life be like without these encounters. I was told as a child by my mother that she would be my only best friend. I can understand why she felt that way because of her negative experiences with friends of the same-sex. Well she was partially correct, she is still and will forever be my best friend. Even though sometimes we don’t get along. I now understand that all relationships may not last, but they are experiences we are to cherish. We don’t realize it but the people you call friends are what you have attracted whether good or bad. However, it is important to feed these relationships as your friends are those that make this ride of life more enjoyable (Especially positive ones). Some people consciously or unconsciously neglect their friendships when they become involved with a new love interest. I was guilty of this, and figured I would write about it as I see many women falling victim. We as women, when we fall in love, begin to focus solely on the relationship. We think the more attention we give him, the more he is supposed to love us right? Wrong! I know from personal experience that I would constantly change plans for the one I was in a relationship with intimately. Forgetting and neglecting my relationships with family and friends. There is a saying that women go into relationship hoping to change a man, while men go into relationship hoping the woman doesn’t change. I know in my head, I genuinely believed the more time I spent with a loved one, the more invested and loved they would feel. This is wrong. It is all about quality as opposed to quantity. The relationship you are in is because the man fell in love with you for who you are. Who you are consists of your daily activities, goals, spontaneity, and lust for life. A lot of women, including myself, have given up those things and relationships solely to invest in their intimate relationship. Men love hard working women that are confident in who they are. You don’t have to spend time out every weekend but once a month to get some you time with the ladies. I also learned that you can have your spouse as a best friend, but have your own lives. Men are very black and white so some conversations should be left for your bestie or a girls evening out. Not every woman in your life needs to be categorized as your girlfriend either. A true girlfriend holds you accountable and calls you on your bull. She is there to wipe your tears but not there to tell you she told you so. I have had many friends come and go over the years, not all were there to support me on my journey. They loved me at my worse and celebrated me at my best. These are the women that you don’t forget, even when you’re in a relationship. I recently spoke about this with a friend, how we are taught that getting the man is the end goal. Getting the man is the beginning but who you were before him and goals you had prior to him should remain. Don’t ever allow a man to stunt your growth both personally and professionally. If he has a problem with the women you hang out with it may be more about him, not them. They may be able to spot something your “love blinded” ass can’t see. Not everyone is your friend, but true friends are hard to come by. I keep my circle very small, but make time for those that mean a lot to me, busy or not. It’s almost August and fall is getting close. Cuffing season will been quickly approaching. My best advice to you is to fall in love, but don’t forget about you or your friends. Love you first (God), and all else will follow. Don’t forget about your friends.