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The Importance Of Your Woman’s Support System

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I went out to a fine ass new restaurant  in lower Manhattan last Tuesday night called Distilled. I highly recommend it for special occasions if you’re in the city. My purpose for being there was an aunt’s birthday dinner. Now I don’t know the exact amount of years that they have been married, but I do know it’s at thirty plus. It seems that the older I get, the more intrigued I am about long marriages. I’m always interested in what actually goes into maintaining that longevity. And as much as there is more than one way to skin a cat, I do believe there are a few parallels.

One of these parallels happens to be a woman’s support system. Her support system can be family, friends or a mixture of both. I am more of the belief that it does behoove women to have a high character and highly objective girlfriend. The way two women can relate can really help out a guy in a way; allow me to explain.



Over great gourmet food and  expensive ass premium cocktails there was much laughter and reminiscing at my aunt’s dinner. Watching how my uncle and aunt interact is always fun. She turned to my mother (her sister in law) and said she had been the greatest sister. She went on to say that coming from a smaller family with no siblings, it was quite intimidating coming into this large Panamanian family. Being that her immediate family was small, she confided in the ladies who were the siblings to her husband.

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My aunt recalled instances of seeking out my mother and my other aunts in times where she was frustrated with my uncle. She spoke about the importance of their advice in those situations. In many ways I think their counsel may have saved my aunt and uncle’s marriage, even if  in a small way. Immediately I thought to myself that a woman needs that support system. It’s helpful to have another woman empathize directly with her as a woman. That friend still has to have the wherewithal to be objective.

I’m not too sure if it’s just me, but fellas please feel free to chime in. I’ve met so many women throughout my life who for whatever reason don’t have many girlfriends. Either they don’t get along with women well or  their friend did them dirty. This sucks for us because there’s times when I think a lady should just be having ladies night. At the same time, as a guy you have a chance to hang with your guys and do your thing. Women with no female friends shifts the damn balance. The lack of space it creates in relationships leads to conflict.

I’m probably asking for a lot, but I don’t think it’s impossible. What do you think? How important is it for a woman to have her girlfriends? How about for men?

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These are my words and I make no apologies.

DamnPops is a writer on the staff at SBM. His bio: “I’m not a biter, I’m a writer for myself and others. ” Brooklyn born dude trying to figure out this life just like you. Come on this journey with me. Follow me on Twitter @DamnPOPS 

“Damn He Got A Point” (My Column) http://viralstatus.com/category/kahlilhaywood/ 

Comment(38)

  1. If a woman tells me she doesn’t hang with women, I will assume she’s 16 or has questionable character traits. Women are naturally compassionate and friendly, the fact that none of her contemporaries like her, there’s usually a reason that will serve as foreshadowing in the relationship In my experiences with sisters/friends/boos it’s usually over something small but rather than be held accountable its easier to distance themselves.

    As a man its important to have some relationship with women i’m not related to or smashing. It’s also important to have friends in general who can be objective and call you on ya sh t if need be. People without support systems tend to be irrational, spoiled, disrespectful because they dont have anyone to tell them otherwise.

    1. I am definitely a little suspicious of women who have no friends or no female friends. I won't say it is correct 100% of the time, but it can indicate that there is some type of problem there.

    2. Actually Tristan people tend to have lots of friends and be more open to friendships in hs and college. Rarely do hs and college kids have no friends, unless they have some mental or social issues and/or they have extremely over protective parents or family members, and are kept under lock and key. People who are extreme introverts or extremely shy, with little to no interests are typically the types who cling to their s/o in relationships. It actually has nothing to do with them not having friends. Even when u try to put them in social situations and make them be more sociable it really doesn't work. Many times if a person has no friends at all, its because of their personality type and/or how they were raised, and that is the root of the problem.

      1. I am an introvert and my social life does center around who I date so I agree with your premise but I can also say I don’t have a bunch of enemies or people who just don’t like me,

    3. "If a woman tells me she doesn't hang with women, I will assume she's 16 or has questionable character traits."

      YES! This should be a serious red flag for men…and women if you are befriending a woman you've just met.

  2. Very Insightful and interesting….. I myself have Very Little Friends, both Men and Women, don't really know if this is a good or bad thing either.

    I don't want to use this section like a Shrink Couch but my upbringing left me to perceive and handle Friendship like Foreign Policy that exists today- I Help and Support when I can but the moment I feel or see Betrayal I'm Done, and I become Israel vs All of the Middle East in the process. I don't have a U.S. Ally but I have EU-like s Associates and Acquaintances (European Union btw), but I do have Egyptian-like Frenemies and just folks I Despise.

    D I think I'm Perfect- No, do I think I'm Kanye-Minded, Sometimes. IF I'm Cool with People and Their Folks seem Aiight, I Try to be Cool with Them, otherwise I stay at a distance. This has been Good and Bad when it comes to Relationships from age 15 to Present Day for me

  3. It’s a great thing if women have a “real” support system and not just chicks that they go out and party with. I’ve met lots of women who say that they don’t deal with too many other women because of drama. I think it’s hard for lots of women to have “real ” support systems because they are “emotionally immature”. They can’t handle constructive criticism from other women and most would feel betrayed when their friends didn’t support their ways or ideas all the time,leading to women having “strained ” friendships with each other. Factor in jealousy,envy, and miscommunication and their support system is destined to fail. As a man with 2 sisters and 3 very close female friends,I’ve seen these things occur a lot. It’s not important for women to have girlfriends as it is for her to have the “right ” kind of girlfriends!! U don’t want ya lady aligning herself with the bitter chicks of the world,or those women who “air out dirty laundry” of their so called friends whenever there’s a disagreement. I’ve seen women social clubs torn apart for petty reasons,and all because those women weren’t mature enough to deal with each other and work it out. As long as a woman has someone she can go talk to that she respects and love (likely a older woman) then she will be fine. Someone who tells them the truth vs what they wanna hear,a woman with wisdom & experience and who also has a good heart and good intentions.

    Men support systems are kinda different. Men don’t call them “support systems” lol,we just go holla at one of our homies. Or the older cat who’s been thru some things and we respect. Men can take criticism and handle like adults . Cuz if one of your boys tells u “u messing up” or “u half stepping” about whatever,us men will just sit back and accept the truth without getting upset about what’s being said to us. Then continue on being homies with our friends without any “friendship strains”.

    1. "Someone who tells them the truth vs what they wanna hear"

      Pretty much. That isn't as easy as it sounds, but I wished it occurred more often.

    2. Cosign on all this your 2 Cents. Great points. Its all about the level of maturity, which unfortunately more people don't have, than do have.

  4. I think a support system should be similar to your own. Sometimes you will need time apart and a good way to do that is with your friends and family. Whenever I talk to a guy and they don't have a friends or family that they can hang with, I become apprehensive because a lot of guys that i've talked to like that seem jealous that you have people or want to be around those people with you all the time, which is fine in the beginning but can be tiresome. ____However you need to have a "Good" support system, not just any support system. The kind that tells you "man you got a wife and kids at home, you don't need to be f**king with this hoe" or the kind that says, "girl you need to relax, dont go through his phone, just talk to him." The good "support" systems can help you stay on track, because we all know what the "hating a** girlfriends/homies" are all about.

  5. Happy to be the first woman to reply:

    Most women confuse not having many female friends with having none, and the latter should never be the case. From experience, I prefer not to run in large groups of girls because they more than likely just become party buddies and don't base the relationship on the common qualities of a healthy friendship. However, I do think that finding long lasting friends and KEEPING them is key to having a sound mind as a woman. A very good female friend of mine said that recently and I didn't have to assume that she meant girl friends. I know because we've been that kind of friend to one another for years.

    It's very hard making and keeping female friends so I do understand the girls that choose not to bother as much. You never know what these chicks have put other chicks through and called them "friend" so I won't judge a girl for keeping her distance. What I will do is try to be a good friend to her and introduce her to other positive women. It doesn't always work out. The movie Mean Girls was made for a reason. Stuff like that really goes down in the girl world, sometimes it's worse. But I learned to weed out the Instagram friends and keep my girls that I can call for any situation, even if there aren't that many.
    I have guy friends but I find that sometimes I just want to be around my girls. There's nothing like it whether it's a phone conversation or just having a night in. We support each other and share our accomplishments to inspire, not to brag. I grew up with no siblings so my girls are like my sisters. I've had the same best friend since I was 10 and most of my good friends are being bosses all over the world. However, we always make time for what matters because I believe we all recognize the importance of the "support system". We can't just turn on the TV to see something that's female empowering. We have to motivate it within our circles.

    I wouldn't say this article was insightful for me (I'm a girl) but it is great to see a man recognizing that there is actual power in girl power.
    My recent post Why Revolt TV Wins

  6. It can be really sad when one does not have that support system or any friends at all. I've seen it up close and personal with a buddy's exwife. He was the extrovert, she was the introvert. Most friends of the couple were made through him. Now that they are divorced, she has no circle of her own and its very hard on her at this stage in life trying to make one. My heart really breaks for her because it has to be a very lonely and challenging place. I think her recovery from divorce would be much better with a circle of friends to lean on. So I just pray for her because I could not imagine being in her shoes.

  7. Fella's be careful wanting your lady's to have female friends. Sometimes females have the wrong type of female friends and close female family members. They can inevitably do more harm than good to their relationships and marriages. I know men who have told me that their ex-wife's/ex-girlfriends female family members and/or close friends contributed to the demise of their marriage/relationship because she took bad advice from them.
    It's very important that you have the right type of people in your circle. I don't think a person having friends or not should define them. A person shouldn't be judged based on whether they have close friends or not.

  8. Depending on situations and circumstances there are many valid reasons why a woman may have no female friends. She may have no sisters and not many women in her family. She may be new in town and have no family and friends in the city/state she resides in. I for example have no family and close close friends here because I've only been here for 6 years. I have no family where I currently reside. The DMV is not my hometown. Some women may not have had much time to cultivate relationships with women in the past because her focus was on school and work, or her children if she has kids. There is nothing wrong with that. It's also possible she just doesn't meet and isn't around really good quality women that she feels she can trust. U cannot control who you meet in your life and who God crosses your path with. So if your closest friends were in hs and college and you move to another city/state for your career and you have no friends and family in that state; then that could be a reason.

  9. Unfortunately many people don't know how to pick and choose friends very well. They let the wrong people into their inner circle and they end up dealing with drama and bs because of it. Then they feel obligated to keep the person around because of the length of time they've known the person or something the person did for them.
    So I disagree that it is that important and makes that much of a difference if a woman or man has a lot of friends or any friends at all.
    A persons friends don't always influence who they are and what they do. U can be a great wonderful person who has it together and not have "friends." You can have hobbies and things you enjoy and not have "friends." You don't need "friends" to have a life. You do need a good, strong, support system and people you can trust and depend on. Personally I have 2 best close female friends, a few female "friends" and lots of "associates" and casual friends. However, they don't define who I am. I would still be the great person I am with or without them.

  10. Eh, I don't have many friends. I have a ton of acquaintances, many of which I met through my boyfriend, but most of my close friends are either really busy and we see each other infrequently, or have moved away from the city for jobs or school and so we just chat and see each other when we can.

    I can understand the need for space in a relationship, and my boyfriend is a social butterfly, so he goes out at least once a week, whether it's drinks or a party or something. He was/is in a fraternity, has a group of really friendly co-workers, and went to school in NYC so has plenty of friends here. He's always got something going on.

    I let him do his thing, but I also appreciate the opportunity to tag along to his events and socialize, meet people, and just generally have fun. No, I'm not calling these people up separately, but we see each other frequently and always have a good time and good conversation.

    I often have things of my own to do, but they're not always friend things. Sometimes it's a gig, or it's going to the gym, or it's catching a movie on my own. I like to go out, but I like to stay in too. And that's just how I do it. I used to run with a little female crew during my wild, clubbing days, but the "Mean Girls" thing, as was mentioned above, is real, and I just tend to disengage when that happens.

  11. I totally co-sign this post. A support system is essential, in my opinion, to men and women. Even if it's a close relative, you need someone around who will push, admonish, correct, and encourage (etc.) you when you need it the most. If a woman, or man, says they don't have any friends, run. Run far and run fast. I had to experience an expensive lesson to learn that is a very real truth. If you cannot maintain friendships with people (even if you don't talk or hang every day), there is something extremely wrong with that person's character (as Tristan pointed out).

    I have a strong circle of friends with different strengths, talents, views, etc. We've even had disagreements (major ones), but we are committed to each other…we work thru them. I have no idea what I'd do without them. To me, if you can't manage/maintain a friendship, you have no business being in a romantic relationship.

    1. "To me, if you can't manage/maintain a friendship, you have no business being in a romantic relationship."

      Wow. I certainly hope that's not true. Different kinds of relationships = different kinds of skills, so I don't see why you couldn't be good at one and not the other, or better at one than the other. Just my two cents, as a person who is friendly, but doesn't have many close friends and has had long-term boyfriends. But hey, maybe I'm the only one like this.

      1. I'm not saying you need to run around in a deep crew, lol. Y'all don't have to be Wu Tang or nothing. But, if you have not one friend on the planet earth something is very wrong! …plus, I said it could be a relative.

        I believe that romantic relationships should be graduated friendships…should be. But, maintaining/managing relationships teaches "people" skills…communication skills, broadens your view of the world, loyalty, etc. If you have not developed these skills in a close relationship with a person, your romantic life will suffer as a result (not that it can't suffer due to other things as well but we're talking about this right now, lol).

        1. I get what your saying Cyn. Kinda like how important it is for kids to be "socialized" as toddlers. And know how to conduct themselves in social situations and not be complete recluses and anti-social and just know how to "play nice" with others. That is important.
          I think too often people use the word "friend" very loosely and it can mean different things to different people.
          I wouldn't run from a person with no friends, however; if a person does not speak to and get along with anyone in their family, I mean nobody, whether they have a ton of bff's or not, that is a good damn reason to run faster than Forest Gump. I've experienced this a time or two. Nine times out of ten if a persons family doesn't like them and doesn't communicate with them, that indicates a very serious problem.

    2. I think posts like this reinforce why some women are wary of other women. The amount of generalizing and judging you did in this post alone is ridiculous.
      It's just like when men say if a girl's beautiful and single, something must be wrong with her.

      While I agree in some cases, if a person has no friends it may signify a deeper problem, every case is different. People have different experiences, circumstances, or reasons why they're at that particular place in their personal life. Not everything is black or white, and you can't paint everyone with a broad brush, especially just because of your particular experience.
      There are awful people with plenty of friends, and vice versa. I evaluate people on a case-by-case basis, not by the number of friends they have, and I hope any other wise person would also.

      1. I’m suspicious of people with zero friends (or a close relative)…based on experience. If that works for you, awesome. This wise thinking works for me and others… so I’ll stick with it.

  12. I'm definitely all for a support system, although I must say that that can truly be accomplished in just one person, so I don't think a young lady who is one cast member short of a Waiting To Exhale sequel is someone to flee from, rather like what @Bree said, the quality of that relationship. I am a woman and I personally don't keep the company of many, male or female, BUT the friendship that I would ever consider exposing my relationship woes to is one I consider to be genuine, and full of respect for me, my sig other, and our relationship. That's all I could really ask for. Good read.
    My recent post x "Just Let Me Be Great: 24 Things in 24 Months – We Made It!" x

  13. Bro, good article. If a woman doesn't have a support system red flags go up. Every good quality relationship I have been in, my gfs had a good combo of friends and family members to support her and just hangout. I mean I encourage my lady friends to party with the girls cause I need some space as well.

  14. Support systems can give unhelpful advice tho, especially if they aren't really on your side. Go ahead and let her tell her girlfriends/sisters/mom how she's mad about something you did. Your girl's friends will just reaffirm her discontent. Women dont support each other by logically thinking through a problem like us men do. They just sit around and share emotions and stuff.

    As the wise Ginuwine once said: "When I see you with your friends, under my breath… all I can say is hmmmm… hmmmmmm… dayum… hmmmmm."

    1. I don't that's fair to women. There are many level headed women who can be objective and empathetic. I'd also say that if woman's circle doesn't have the purest intentions for her regarding the advice they give then they really aren't her support system to begin with. I recognize the type of vindictive women just as you have here. They do exist and they're no good. This post certainly wasn't about them.

      1. "I'd also say that if woman's circle doesn't have the purest intentions for her regarding the advice they give then they really aren't her support system to begin with. "

        But you see, thats the problem. Her friends have HER interests in mind, not his. So they have no problem co-signing any emotions she feels toward him. If she's happy that he did something, then they're happy. But if she's mad… its not like they're gonna have the dude's back on the matter since they're her friends.

        1. But you see, thats the problem. Her friends have HER interests in mind, not his.

          Those are your friends who aren't adults. Yes I want you to be happy, and "I'll agree with I can see why you would be mad, but look at it like this…"

          It depends on the level of maturity. If you don't have somoen to talk to you, I think a lot more relationships would be on the fritz because no one had any sense spoken into them. How I gauge if my friend is giving good advice, is if they advise me to leave or cheat. NO ONE should advise that unless you are in danger of life or at risk for something like death.
          My recent post Show me something:Why she isn’t taking you seriously as a suitor

        2. But you see, thats the problem. Her friends have HER interests in mind, not his.

          Those are your friends who aren't adults. Yes I want you to be happy, and "I'll agree with I can see why you would be mad, but look at it like this…"

          It depends on the level of maturity. If you don't have somoen to talk to you, I think a lot more relationships would be on the fritz because no one had any sense spoken into them. How I gauge if my friend is giving good advice, is if they advise me to leave or cheat. NO ONE should advise that unless you are in danger of life or at risk for something like death.
          My recent post Show me something:Why she isn’t taking you seriously as a suitor

  15. lol…..12 Point u have a point about women thinking and reacting more emotionally than men. This is where that thin line between helping and hurting can come in. Thats why I specifically used the words Support System. Friends can be "fairweather." Friends can come and go, but family is forever, and Support Systems are Priceless.
    I consider myself more than a friend to those I am a close friend to, I am a Support System. If I have to get out of my bed late at nite and come get you I will. If your a single mom and I can help you take care of your kids I will do that. If I can help you put your resume together and get a better job I will. If you need groceries I buy them, if your hungry I will feed you and give you leftovers. I encourage, I uplift, I'm there when nobody else is. I've been there when my close friends were at rock bottom, been there when blood relatives weren't there. My very close friends have also done the same for me. Been there for me at my worst times, seen me at my worst, stayed by my side through thick and thin. That is a Support System and that is what we all need. Strong, solid, Support Systems are what sustain people.

  16. it's great for a woman to have a support system for a plethora of reasons: death in the family, unexpectedly finds herself as a single mom, finds herself in a financial bind, if she goes through a traumatic experience… just to name some. However it has to be a positive support system, not one that has only THEIR best interest, but hers. For instance if she and her man separate and wanna make amends but she's wary, she needs friends that are going to be positive and encouraging not bitter spiteful people who just love misery as company. Just my humble opinion
    My recent post To Conceive Or Not To Conceive Out Of Wedlock, That Is The Question

  17. This is an excellent piece ! & I want to note that the picture that's being used is from a group of women that attended my university – University of Missouri. They were such an inspiring group of women; the kind that wanted to make you do better as a person & succeed . This picture does not only represent a strong support group of Black women, but the women in this picture actually started a mentoring organization on campus to support the incoming classes Black women and uplift them as a whole .

    Great job !

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