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The Importance of Girlfriend Time

I’m sure you’ve heard the disparaging remarks about “spa day” or “girls’ night out” or “girls gone shopping” as if your girlfriend time were like a play date for your three-year-old. Since guys are not involved—and may even have to pitch in and look after the kids—girls’ activities are deemed “cute” or “silly” or “juvenile”. They can’t compete with the seriousness of “guys’ poker night” or “a night at the bar” or “going to see the fights”. After all, these are manly, bonding, and “kicking back” occasions.

Two women in living room smiling

In a study of the link between stress and relationships, it has been discovered that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman. However, for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health is to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends.

Why is this? It’s obvious when you think about it. Women connect with each other in ways different from how guys make connections with other guys. Women provide support systems. They help each other to cope in times of high stress, loss, grief, and other difficult life experiences.

Hubert Humphrey once said, “The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.”
How often have you heard, “I’d never have survived my husband’s death if my friend Gloria hadn’t been there.”

Or “My friend Laura was my tower of strength when I was going through my divorce.”

Or “If it hadn’t been for my girlfriends I don’t know how I would have coped with raising children.”

As James Fennimore Cooper put it: Friendship that flows from the heart cannot be frozen by adversity, as the water that flows from the spring cannot congeal in winter.

Girlfriend time is not just an emotional support. Physically, quality “girlfriend time” helps us create more serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression. It can create a general feeling of well-being and serenity and strength.

two woman friends chatting

Women differ in their relationships with other women in that they share feelings. Men often form relationships around activities. As Megan McCafferty notes in her scandalously funny book: Sloppy Firsts

“Girls will get together just to get together. Guys need an activity as an excuse. Otherwise it’s too girly for them to handle.”

Women share from our souls with our sisters/mothers. That is very good for our health. Spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as physical activities like running, jogging, or time on the treadmill.

The latest hype has made us aware of the need for aerobics, cardiovascular exercises, and body toning. We think that when we are “exercising” we are doing something good for our bodies. Time spent with girlfriends is not wasted. In fact, it has been shown that failure to create and maintain quality girlfriend relationships is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!

So hanging out with a girlfriend or group of girls is doing something good for your health! It’s not “cute” or “juvenile” or “silly”. It’s actually therapeutic.

How fortunate we are to have girlfriends in our lives!

Do you have a girlfriend story you’d like to share?

Be the change you'd like to see in the world. Gandhi - Always, Gail

About glennon

Gail is a former teacher, a published writer, and a professional editor. She makes her home in Canada for the summer and Florida for the winter. She loves to write, to travel, and to meet new writers through her editing business. She is thrilled to play a small part in Richly Middle Class. Visit her website at http://www.gleditingandcopywriting.com.


  1. Hi Gail,

    I love this article. I am so lucky. I have some of the best girlfiends. As you know I am moving back to the DC area in a couple of months to be close to my best friends. I will tell you that I could not live without my friends. They are my rock. Great article as always.
    cynthiatw recently posted…Are You Among the Walking Dead?My Profile

  2. I love having girlriends but I don’t get to spend time with mines because most of mines live in other states so it gets lonely having a good girlfriend or two is good for the soul you don’t need a lot either I say 3 or 4 good ones will do for a lifetime. Great post

    • Hi Kita:

      I am sorry to hear that geography has separated you from your closest girlfriends. We’ve moved about once every ten years and I know how hard it is to stay in touch and to make new girlfriends. Now we spend half a year in one location and the other half in a different location 1200 miles apart. I am so thankful for email and Google chat. But it’s not the same as getting to spend time together, is it? Thanks for stopping by RMC.

      glennon recently posted…Mother’s Day Brunch On A BudgetMy Profile

  3. I am blessed with two groups of women with whom I spend as much quality time with as schedules allow. The Ya-Yas are the more informal of the two; informal in the sense that no agenda exists. Our sole purpose is to be together, and we’re very good at it. :-D Compass is a little less formal. We share the bond of a very intensive women’s weekend program. Its teachings underscore how we are together, in that we are always in “go deep” mode when we’re together. Both groups replenish me in countless ways.
    Ellen M. Gregg recently posted…You: You’re “It”My Profile

  4. Hi Gail! I guess because I really haven’t done the “girlfriend time” thing since high school, I really don’t miss it. I’ve always related more to men than women. Women, and no offense to any reading this, have always seemed catty to me and full of gossip. I’ve been more into cars, drag racing, watching wrestling and sports, than being the girly girl thing. But I do every now and again get together with some girls from high school just to catch up and have a “chick date” per say. Thankfully, again and no offense to anyone reading, that those dates don’t happen to often as most the time I can’t wait to get back to my humble home, dog, and hubs!

    Am I an odd doc that just walks to a different beat?

    • Hi Bren:

      You’ve brought an interesting point of view to this article. Thanks for sharing. I remember my husband’s mother talking about the women who surrounded her during the war when their husbands were away. Those were the happiest years of her life!
      glennon recently posted…The Importance of Girlfriend TimeMy Profile

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