“Dangerous As Lucifer Matches” — this was a phrase used by Charlotte Bronte’s husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls, to describe his wife’s relationship with her best friend, Ellen Nussey, after reading their letters to each other. Her husband was so furious that, apparently, he told Nussey to burn the letters or he wouldn’t let the two of them ever meet each other again. The phrase literally translates into "a match that catches fire on its own" revealing that Nicholls thought of his wife’s friendship as something so powerful it could potentially ruin their marriage.
These are the kind of examples we have often received about friendships among women: depictions of which are fulfilling, strong, and supportive. When the bond between women is strong, when they can understand one another, it is a beautiful relationship. It does not mean that it’s always fun and games, always drinking Cosmos and talking about men; sometimes it's just talking about random nonsense, and sometimes it’s having heart to heart discussions about families and the future. Friendships which are formed in colleges/universities can be especially significant. You grow close to a person you have never met before. Soon there isn’t a day that goes by without spending time with them.
So why it is that some long-lasting friendships slowly start fading away? There could be many reasons, like geographic distance between friends, hanging out with other circles, etc. But the most concerning variable that pops into this equation between friends out of nowhere is the significant other. This is such a common worldwide phenomenon now that if someone Google searches "when my best friend gets a significant other," they will be returned with hundred of threads and articles telling stories of women who have gone through a similar problem. Virtually all of them conclude that it isn’t a nice feeling.
It does not mean that friends aren’t entitled to have romantic relationships or set priorities. In fact, it’s always your "girl gang" who is happiest for you when you get married or find someone who loves you. But when women do get into relationships, they should keep in mind that often it will be this girl gang who will always be there for them, holding a pint of ice cream and too many of those sappy romantic comedies when the new guy is out of your life.
This all too well-known phenomenon of making your relationship "your life" and not just a part of it, is often highly unhealthy, which greatly affects other important aspects of life like your friendships, which took ages to build.
Sometimes it’s not about the true love you want to find from that special someone but rather about hearing your friends quote Blair Waldorf of "Gossip Girl," saying, “We don’t judge. We are the non-judging breakfast club. We are your best friends." Sometimes it’s just about finding the Christina Yang to one’s Meredith Grey ("Grey’s Anatomy") or the Serena to one’s Blair ("Gossip Girl") or perhaps the Betty to one’s Veronica ("Riverdale"). As rightly said by Rebecca Traister, “Female friendships are not consolation prizes,” hence they shouldn’t be treated as such.