The term "frenemy" is an official word in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which raises the question: Why do women insist on having fake friends? On the contrary, all of the catty behavior, gossipy chats, and the exhausting task of pretending to like someone you really loathe actually tends to make us appreciate the few real girlfriends we have even more.
In honor of Women's History Month, we've reflected on what's makes us just love our girlfriends - our real ones. Here are 10 reasons why we'll ride or die for our Keisha, Kelly, Kimmy or Pam.
1. First, they're loyal as hell. Let someone say something sideways about you, and that said someone is getting tossed. Your girls have your back every step of the way.
2. And yes, while they'll always have your back, they will also encourage you to do better when you need to. They don't stand for your mediocrity and push you to be your best self. If you're headed toward that familiar exit 1B (ahem... ex-boo), they'll gently - or not so gently - remind you why you got in the car in the first place.
3. Your friends make you laugh like no one else - the falling-on-the-floor, about-to-pee-on-yourself kind of laughter. Your inside jokes run deep and somehow that joke from 10th grade is still hilarious. They crack you up when you need it the most, like those days when your boss decides to body roll on your last nerve.
4. Your friends are spiritually grounded and ready to council you out of your deepest despair. They know the Word, and will encourage you to push beyond what's comfortable in order to do what's necessary. And if they're not spiritual, they're at least optimistic!
5. They have a huge sense of possibility and remind you to try for the unimaginable. They encourage your dreams and hustle. They remember your first car-washing business that sixth grade summer, and use that memory to fuel your current business venture. Their faith in your abilities is inspiring, and they'll quickly remind you of the strength you forgot you had.
7. They understand the different seasons of life, and how they necessitate different actions. It's okay if you don't talk every week like you used to. With some of your friends, you can go two months without talking and pick up where you left off, never missing a beat.
8. Your friends are the ultimate brain trust. Not sure how to get that promotion? Need to network your way into a new opportunity? You think he's cheating, but you're not sure? Your friends can help. Because of their unique experiences and subsequent wisdom, your friends have an abundance of life lessons they're ready to share. They give good advice and truly have your best interest at heart.
9. They're some of the baddest women you know! Whether as a teacher, lawyer, head chef or organizational executive, your friends are doing it! They encourage your individual path to success and celebrate your collective badassness as a group.
10. Simply put, they love you. Not your made-up, deodorant-wearing, fresh-from-the-hair-salon self, but your first-thing-in-the-morning-without-your-face-washed self. They appreciate you in your true skin and are thankful for the gift God's given them by adding you and all of your quirks to their lives. They are your friends.
A few of our Twitter friends had this to say about their girlfriends:
"They have so much more faith in me than I have in myself sometimes. They remind me of my strength." -@WhoMadeYouGreat
"I love their love and support... My girls are flawed perfection and have loved me near, far, through the great and the horrid." -@ladebelle
"I love their raw honesty, supporting nature, ongoing motivation and inspiration, our girlfriend family traditions, and our agape love." -MadameJanae
"LAUGHTER! Even in the midst of very serious tears, my besties can create some gut busting laughs for me. It's a thing of beauty" -@danyella
"The closest ones push me to actually see my dreams come true. No gossip. No put-downs. Just straight encouragement." @DoubleEYEEsq
"I love the support system we've created. I know I can go to my besties for advice and they can counsel me through joy or pain." -@afrobella
Tell us: why do YOU love your girlfriends?
Jovian Zayne is a writer, photographer and occasional radio host in New York City. Jovian also works with Janelle Monae & The Wondaland Arts Society along with Teach For America. Read more from Jovian on Word Up Haay! and follow her on Twitter @jovizi for laughs, encouragement and your daily dose of quick wit.