Here's something you already know and have probably experienced firsthand: Making friends as an adult is hard. And beyond that, once you've established those sisterly bonds that feel as though they could last a lifetime, you've got to put in the work. Take it from Danielle Cadet, managing editor of R29 Unbothered:
“I do think that sometimes it feels like you have to do a lot, and I think, as Black women, we do that disproportionately because we pour so much of ourselves into people,” she says. “Friendships are like a rollercoaster — they can have high highs and they can have low lows — but you got to buckle up, sis, because if it's truly a person that's worth having in your life, you learn how to have that perspective.”
On the third episode of R29 Unbothered's podcast Go Off, Sis, we're getting real about — you guessed it — female friendship, and more specifically, what it's like for Black women to navigate the terrain of platonic love.
“There is so much levity and there's just so much beauty that comes with Black women and our friendships,” says Cadet. “Black women have an inherent sisterhood no matter what we do. Friendships can also be very complicated, and I think because of the kind of friends we are as Black women — we care, we want to take care of each other — it can get messy sometimes.”
Laurise McMillian, R29’s Instagram content strategy editor, uses the conversation as an opportunity to self-reflect, acknowledging the role she plays in her friends' lives:
“This whole conversation is making me feel like I just need to prioritize that a little bit more and just take a step back and realize that even if you don't have the time to see someone every single day or text them every single day, the effort does have to go both ways,” she says. “You do have to show up if you want to maintain people in your life you care about.”
If you're feeling pressure to constantly show up no matter what, it's time to manage expectations and remember to recognize each other's needs, says Channing Hargrove, R29’s fashion news editor.
“I think once you take your expectations off the table and you're just like, 'Okay, this is what my friend needs,' hopefully that's a reciprocal thing, so you don't feel like the effort is lacking. You need somebody that will meet you where you are and whatever that looks like, whatever stage that is.”
Listen to the podcast below to grab more wisdom from the hosts of Go Off, Sis.