The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The importance of platonic love

Female friendships make the world go ‘round
Photo by Kyra Price
Society places so much emphasis on romantic relationships, but platonic love is just as important.

I’m currently 3,926 miles away from the only life I’d ever known up until four months ago. There are so many things I love about my study abroad semester in Winchester, England, but contrary to what my Instagram depicts, the transition hasn’t been perfectly smooth.


I’m used to living next door to my support system. The switch from, “Can I pick you up later?” to “Are you free to call sometime this week?” has been more of a challenge than I realized it would be.


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That old saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” has been proven over and over again in my time away from Eau Claire. I fill my days with adventures, but through every wonderful thing I experience, I wish my best friends were there to share it with me.


Society places so much emphasis on romantic relationships, but platonic love is just as important.


At only 21 years old, I’m surrounded by couples fighting, cheating, breaking up and getting back together again. Everyone uses dating apps. People go out just to have someone to go home with.


So many times, I’ve seen best friends pushed aside for boys who only lasted a season. So many times, I have been that best friend. And I can admit that I’ve been the one to push away, too.


Through all the ups and downs in my life, though, the one constant is my female friendships.


I can recall a handful of times that a romantic partner has gone out of their way to do something nice for me, but the number of times my best friends have gone above and beyond for me couldn’t be counted on all my fingers and my toes.


My mind sometimes flits back to the time a friend of mine brought coffee to my house after I had a really bad nightmare. It’s been four years now, and this seemingly small action still touches me.


In my junior year of high school, I was going through a tough friend breakup. I went to one of my best friends’ house and laid on her bed and sobbed for an hour while she sat there and rubbed my back and told me it would be alright.


The women in my life understand the importance of the little things. They understand the joys of sharing our favorite songs and writing each other notes.


My friends make my bed for me if it’s messy. They see something in a store that reminds them of me and buy it for me just because.


They make a batch of brownies and save one for me because they know they’re my favorite. They listen to the 30 minutes of voice memos I sent and respond to every part.


And I do the exact same for them.


My friends constantly set the standard for anyone who enters my life, platonic or romantic.


I miss my best friends from home more than words can describe, and I can’t wait to get back to Wisconsin and give every single one of them the rib-crushing hug I promised.


That being said, saying goodbye to my new girlfriends is going to be the hardest part of leaving Winchester.


From the moment I met them, these women welcomed me with open arms. They accept me for who I am and never do anything but lift me up.


There’s never been a snide remark or a petty argument. They face every situation with kindness and empathy, and I’ve learned so much from them in our three short months together.


Every girl I’ve befriended has been incredible, but two adopted me immediately, and we’ve been inseparable since.


In January, I had a conversation with Mel at the Terrace Bar and she invited me to join the yoga society. Since then, we’ve had countless coffee dates. Just last night we had a movie night and stayed up talking until nearly 2 a.m.


At the first party I went to with Mel, I met Holly. I saw a man get uncomfortably close to her and I pulled her away, and since then we’ve been attached at the hip.


It’s hard to imagine life before my new best friends. They’ve brought me so much love and light. We’re each others’ No. 1 hype girls and the first people we go to when we need a shoulder, or two, to cry on.


Romantic love is important and there’s no shame in pursuing it, but my female friendships fill my life with joy in a way nothing else ever has.


I’m only 21. I’m still in college. Now is the time to focus on my passions and aspirations and friendships.


Romantic love will come and go, but I know that my best friends will have my back through it all.


Price can be reached at [email protected].

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