Thursday, March 10, 2011

What's in a Name? (When Girls Call Each Other Wifey)

Wifey. Fiance. Lover. You think that these titles would be designated to women in romantic relationships but over the years, I've come to notice that they are used in female friendships. The dynamics of female friendships have always been complex, but this recent occurrence has me perplexed. Has the closeness between two girls become a little too close or has female friendships taken a step in the right direction?

When you think of the various terms of endearment, they hold some sort of weight. A wifey, fiance, or lover is usually seen as a person that will be there for you no matter what; the closeness between the two of you is unmatched. The time that the both of you spend developing and growing together in that relationship takes time equivalent to a marriage. In female friendships, that level of closeness should be celebrated. Many times we see women tearing each other down, especially women of color. We get inundated with images on the television screen with women calling each other names, scheming, plotting, backbiting, and fighting. When  you think about it, for a second, the appointed title of wifey and the like seem like a nice change of pace or a playful way of showing love. 

On the flip side, how is that level of closeness perceived by others? I found out some people's thoughts on the topic and the common response was that this level of closeness is only a substitute for the lack of a romantic partner, male or female (we don't discriminate over here!). When one (or both) girls have no significant other, it's easier to turn to that close female friend and label her your wifey. Hey, if you can't be wifey to a significant other, the next best thing would be a close friend. Perhaps it's the title, perhaps it's the level of the closeness, but whatever it is, some find that it crosses the familiar lines of friendship and reaches a whole new level that some say is strange, annoying, and even immature. 

What we can all take away from the issue is this: anytime we can celebrate women being close with each other, it's a good thing. Female friendships, close ones without the drama a la reality show friendships, can sometimes be tough to find or maintain so when you have it, treasure it. However, a friendship is just that, a friendship. It's not a marriage or an intense romantic relationship as those have different dynamics. If it is treated as such, boundaries get crossed. Enjoy the friendship for what it is, nothing more, nothing less. 


Anonymous said...

This is wrong. I know female friends that are both in relationships with males that call each other these names.

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