The Ladyweb

Do you know what the ladyweb is? It’s a termed coined by the two wonderful women of Call Your Girlfriend (my favorite podcast). Essentially, you map out your relationships and start to understand how they look and who is connected outside of you. I did this recently because I have been struggling with some loneliness re having close and local friends. And then I realized I have a whopping 16 (sixteen!) friends who live in NYC or in the surrounding suburbs. It spurred me into realizing the potential of drop-in community is a fixable one, at least for me.

My groups of friends fell into the following buckets:

  • family
  • school friends (high school or college)
  • old work friends
  • local meet up friends
  • friends of friends
  • gym friends

It made me realize that in anything I consistently do, I have made friends. And the longer my friendships have existed, the deeper those friendships are. But, forcing myself to think back to freshman year of high school, for example, and I can remember how it felt to think that here was a group of people I didn’t know that well and maybe I would never become close to any of them and this bias is likely still playing out for newer friends today.



Building Community

I will never forget being at my parent’s house once and my Mom saying to me:

“You are very demanding of love.”

I can’t remember anything about the context — what we were talking about, what her tone was, but it was a moment of truth. Ask anyone who knows me and they would agree. It’s not that I am co-dependent or obsessive but I am very demanding of love from those that I love. I want the relationship to be taken care of and I want us both to be loving of each other.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about building community. I live in an apartment complex with 700+ apartments ranging from 1-3 bedrooms. My dream is that everyone I loves moves into a building in the complex and is thus within a 3-minute walk of my own apartment. We can have dinners, get together casually, be there for each other when we are in need, but not have to live together with the pressures of communal living.

I have twice been lucky enough to live in the perfect community universe. Once when I lived with my college roommate and best friend, we were both single but we were basically both also married (to each other). My sister bought us a poster that said, “No beer / just wine / in bed / by nine.” It was a very accurate poster. We would plan our weekends so we could go to all the same activities — I would go to dinner with her high school friends, we would both do 10 AM yoga, etc. The only divergence which was also lovely in the space it gave us, was that I woke up early and had the apartment to myself from 6-9 AM and she went to bed late and had the apartment to herself from 8-11 PM.

Eventually, we both coupled up (she introduced me to my partner!) and moved out.

During that time, and after, I also, coincidentally, lived in the same neighborhood as a high school friend (and my one blog reader! hey you:)) A mutual friend clued us into it and we met up for a dessert date around Valentine’s Day. We weren’t super close in high school, but we were very friendly and the date sparked a full-fledged best friendship, almost more of a sisterhood. She was dating a terrible guy and we navigated a few years of not dating/dating/early dating/bad dating together. We have a totally effortless relationship in that the activity we are doing never matters. We can go out for dinner, stay in for dinner, make dinner, do homework next to each other, run errands, lay in the park, meet up early, go to the steam room, etc. etc. etc. and it’s always fun and it’s always comforting because the relationship is there.

This post turned into more of a love letter than I intended, but I’m good with that. A Part II to follow re how and why to build deeper community.