"No YOU'RE the best!"
STAGE I - THE FIRST MEETING AND FOLLOW-UP
Hi A! Just wanted to send you a quick note to say how lovely it was to meet you yesterday! I loved that sweater you were wearing, and in case I wasn't nodding my head wildly enough, I'm 100% on the same page as you when it comes to brunch. Blech! Anyways, hope to see you again soon. Let's grab lunch sometime. - B
B! Hello! I just finished writing an email to C, thanking her for connecting us! It was so, so lovely to meet you, too! And yes, let's make a plan for something soon. I felt like there was so much more I wanted to ask you. I'm actually free for lunch next Wednesday or Thursday, if that works for you?
STAGE II - THE FIRST DATE
Hi! Quick one since I know you have your hands full the rest of today! That said, don't even respond to this things calm down for you—don't even respond at all! Just wanted to say how much I loved seeing you today. I can't believe how quickly those two hours flew. I could have chatted all afternoon—SO many unfinished topics (in the best of ways). Anyways, I hope it's the first of many. XO A
Hi! First of all, how can I NOT respond to that—ha! So sweet. And the feeling's 100% mutual. I was thinking during the cab ride back how glad I am to know you. And why didn't we meet sooner? It was only a matter of time (so funny that you know D too! Small world...). I'll send you those links to some of the things I was telling you about as soon as I can. And next date, let's make it dinner or drinks so we don't have to watch the clock the whole time. XxB
STAGE III - IT'S LOVE(-LIKE)
Hi you. That was so much fun! Thank you(!!) for having me over—and for cooking too! Best part is always the company. It was so fantastic to finally meet E! I hope we didn't bore him with all our side stories and inside banter. Next time's my turn to host! Talk soon (ie, tomorrow...). Xo
Ohhhh! I was just telling E how much I adore you! He thought you were great, too—and he wasn't bored at all, btw. I think he was kind of amused by us. Part of me wished he'd just take the dog for a walk so we could have more time to chat, just us, but we'll make another date happen soon. Get home safe! XxB
Haha! I did see that "scram!" look you gave E when you mentioned that the dog probably needed to pee. Really, I didn't mind him being there at all. I love him—I think he's great! Really, I just love being around you two. I didn't want to go! Xo A
Thank you! Love YOU for saying that. Next time you know you can always spend the night if it gets too late. We have the second bedroom, and I can make a mean breakfast frittata. Xx
Oooh, I'd love that. "G'night A...G'night B..." You can make the frittata, and I'll run out for coffee. Deal. Xo!
Perfect. I see many great memories in our future. Let me know you made it home ok. G'night A... XxB
Friendship = Love
Ok, that exchange above is of course meant to be a little funny, but that's because it's also 100-percent true. As Garance Doré writes in her book, "Love Style Life," the French word for deep friendship—l'amité—"is like love, but it's even better." Friendships, especially close friendships between women, can be extremely deep (and complex), and I think as we get older,* we're able to acknowledge this with less self-consciousness.
You Can Fall Fast, And You Can Fall Hard
And while nothing will ever replace the history and familiarity shared between old friends, that shouldn't minimize the depth of close new friendships (or as I like to call them "new old friendships"). You really can meet someone and almost instantly know that she'll be a close friend for life. You feel like you've known each other for years, and as the years pass, you almost forget there was a time before you first met.*
It Gets Better With Age
I know. Immediately envisioning your future with this friend in your life might seem like an extremely rash, almost naive judgement, but I actually think it's a perception that gets more honed with age.* When you're in your 30s, you just know yourself better. You're less willing to put up with certain things you may have tolerated in your 20s—both in romantic relationships, and your friendships. It's almost Darwinian. You evolve. You get better at knowing which girl crushes are really going to develop into true friendships and stop trying so hard with the other.*
Your time suddenly feels more precious, too.* You're less willing to give up a night you could be spending with your friends to grab a drink with a nice gal you met at a party, just because you spent 20 minutes gushing about over your mutual love for Mindy Kaling. And that's key! You do not have to be super close with every single person you meet and like. Your life is too full of other, more important things (so stop trying!).
Friendship ≠ Love
Like love, friendships change. They can end, too. Certain friends were only meant to be in your life for a limited time—and you can't blame yourself for thinking it would last longer. Sadly, sometimes it's actually harder to be "just friends" with a person you used to consider a best friend, than being "just friends" with an ex.* That may mean it's better to let it go and walk away (and it's probably better for you both that you do).
Just know that it's never too late to make new old friends.
*at least that's the case for me.