Noah and Scott just returned from their big 13th birthday father/son trip. They filled their every moment with sightseeing and adventure. It was truly a dream come true for both of them. Meanwhile Oaks and I stayed behind, guarding the post, and carrying on with our usual lives for the most part, except . . .
We decided to make every night a “mama date”.
We got his favorite food. We watched movies. We jumped on the trampoline. By becoming his sole companion for the week, I was reminded of just how much companionship those boys share. So upon their return, it filled my mama heart with joy to watch Noah excitedly share the memorabilia that he specifically chose for Oakley while on the trip. His selections weren’t costly, but they were incredibly thoughtful. They were gifts from a friend who knows him well. Even though it seems like 90% of their relationship is sarcasm, arguing, and taunting, somehow they stay close and connected. They may drive me up the ever-loving wall with their endless banter and posturing, but those boys are as thick as thieves.
It’s clearly because they share so much life together.
It reminds me of a phrase Scott has repeated often in different scenarios in our lives, “Proximity builds intimacy”. I didn’t know it until recently, but there’s actually a psychological term for this. It’s called, “The Proximity Principle”. It explains “the tendency for individuals to form interpersonal relations with those who are close by. The more they come into contact with one another, the more likely the interaction will cultivate a deeper relationship.” It doesn’t dive into the need for five positive interactions for every negative one, like Shasta Nelson teaches about forming healthy friendships. Clearly those 5 positive deposits are needed for “healthy” friendships, but just being consistently together builds intimacy. (apparently even if it’s built on banter and posturing)
It’s a stark reminder that the need for “friendship proximity” doesn’t change as we get older.
Our lives change. We don’t have the automatic proximity built in at school that we used to have. We may have it at work or social clubs. But as Shasta teaches for most of us, the consistent contact that builds the kind of intimacy in female friendships, or “Frientimacy” we’re longing for, doesn’t happen on accident.
We have to engineer it into our lives.
You have to plan for it. (wah. . . wah) I know. It doesn’t sound as easy, fun and exciting as you might hope, but it’s worth it. If you want those relationships with other women that make you “thick as thieves”, it requires proximity. Believe me, I’m looking at the woman in the mirror on this one. It’s so much easier said than done.
That’s why I’ve made it my life’s work to make it easier for you.
It’s easy to judge other women from a distance.
But get closer consistently, and you’ll become thick as thieves.
Who will you intentionally choose to get closer to this week?
It doesn’t happen on accident.
to more love,
p.s. We’re providing a super fun and easy way to build proximity and consistency into your friendships this month in celebration of our 3rd year of monthly GNOs! Buy two tickets and tell that friend you thought of above to clear her calendar on June 6th because you’re taking her to out for the the night to our “True Colors Birthday Bingo Bash! I’ll see you there!