What’s a lady date? Great question! Here’s my definition: it’s any kind of get-together involving at least two close female friends who share no familial bond where said friends find a commonality, deepen a bond and strengthen a friendship. Basically, it’s girl time. Now for those with their minds in the gutter, I’m not writing about the OTHER kind of lady dates where the two ladies are seeking a lifelong (or not) companionship together with sexual needs involved. I’m writing strictly about lady friends.
Here are the essentials for a Lady Date:
1. A close female friend who is in no way related to you. Why not? Because that brings in family which can start drama. A lady date is meant to be drama free. If you go on a lady date with your female cousin Lucy and you say something Lucy doesn’t like you can bet that people will be talking about you at Aunt Myrtle’s Thanksgiving Day feast. Uh-huh. Leave the family for family occasions like reunions, holidays and weddings. For a lady date stick with a friend.
2. Make sure your lady date has a focus to it. Plan out what you’re going to do that way you both can look forward to it. I recommend selecting a specific time and location and activity for your lady date. For instance, if you want to chill out with some wine, cheese and chatter then select a location (your friend’s house) and you bring the wine and cheese and make sure you both have something in mind you want to chatter about. Or if you’re looking for a more active date the same rules apply. Select a specific location and activity like going ballroom dancing at a local dance studio. Planning your lady date out in advance will give you more time to spend together actually enjoying your activity instead of trying to figure out where to go and what to do when you actually meet up.
3. Always be generous, courteous and say please and thank you. When you go out with a good friend, understand that they’re taking time out of their busy schedule to spend time with you and most likely vice versa. If you are lucky to have a good friend that is willing to make time for just the two of you make sure to acknowledge that by saying thank you. I also would like to point out that sometimes our friends do get busy and wrapped up in their lives and maybe have a more hectic schedule than you do at that point in your life. Make sure you know that there’s nothing wrong with always being the one who sets up the lady date. Sometimes friends just get busy and don’t think about it. Believe me, they wouldn’t carve out time in their day if they didn’t want to spend it with you. Thank them for the time they spend with you and be appreciative and they will reciprocate back in time when maybe the reverse becomes true–you’re ultra busy and their life is not as hectic.
4. Don’t cancel. Unless your child is in the hospital or you’ve suddenly come down with a horrid cold, don’t cancel. Most of my lady dates are not cancelled unless for a very good reason. There’s a reason for that: they’re well planned and thought out and we are both looking forward to the specific date. Therefore stupid excuses like “I have to clean my house” or “I can’t make it because my outdoor cat is missing” just don’t cut it. If you plan to spend time with someone, make sure you have the time available to spend and that it’s a person you want to spend time with; otherwise your outdoor cat inside the house an hour before date time. Respect your friend and yourself. Respect your time and theirs.
Here are two of my favorite lady dates:
A. Lunch on Saturdays in Chesterton with one of my friends. We usually go to the same restaurant because they have really great coffee. We don’t go every Saturday, but we wind up seeing each other about twice a month. We sit at the table and chat. I look forward to it because this lady friend is a really good friend and I always enjoy our time together. We have a very predictable, chill kind of lady date.
B. My running buddy lady dates. We do all sorts of stuff together. We have an elegant lady date planned for the ballet in Chicago in March. We ran a marathon together and believe me, you can chat about a lot of stuff when running 20 miles together (even if you get lost and all you can talk about is how you can’t believe you got lost and are rejoicing that the surprise 20 miler is over and you don’t have to do another one)!! We also go to Whole Foods together to grocery shop. We’ve gone to parties together like the inspirational “A Very Vegan Holiday.” And we also meet for lunch sometimes and occasionally go to dinner where there’s wine involved. We both love wine.
Each friend is different. I have a different bond with each friend. Our lady dates reflect that. Each is unique in its own way just like each friend and the bond I have with each friend is unique.
For any male readers I may have I would like to apologize to you. I’m a lady so I can’t really relate to what a man date would be like. I can try to speculate though. I think man dates are less one-on-one and perhaps more of a group get-together. I’m basing this assumption on my fiance and his group of friends. They all get together and catch up once a month on game night. I wonder if men bond more as a group of men vs one-on-one like females do. If you are a male reader, I’d appreciate your perspective!
Growing up I’ve had a lot more male friends than female friends. I’m really grateful to have these female friendships that have developed in my life. Having a female friend is a lot different from having a male friend. You get the woman’s perspective on situations and advice that a man just can’t give you. Other women get where you’re coming from whereas a male friend might not get it. For instance, can you imagine bonding with a male friend over PMS? It’ll never happen. It’s genetically impossible. That man has never been in your female shoes and just can’t relate no matter how hard he tries.
Embrace all friendships in your life. Make time for the really close friends in your life, male or female. Those relationships you develop could save your life someday. You never know! In the meantime ladies call up, text or Facebook your closest female friend and set up a lady date!