Anyone who has turned 30 can look around and realize they might not have the same group of friends they had when they turned 20. Life happens, we relocate, we take on different journeys in life, and we just don't have the convenience of going across campus to binge TV. As much as we want to be the real-life version of Girlfriends – channeling our inner Joan, Toni, Maya, or Lynn, as we get older, our circle gets smaller and smaller. It might even turn into a triangle (or a line for those who just don't have time for the BS). Still, there's a type of friend that each of us needs during this phase in our life.
If we think our 20s are significant, our 30s are defining. But they can be the best years with these types of friends your life.
This is your BFF, your ride or die. The Oprah to your Gayle. The Kelly to your Beyonce. We all need that one friend who just gets us. They've been with us through thick and thin and aren't going anywhere. They're supportive, but not afraid to tell us the truth out of love. They love us for who we are, and the feelings are clearly mutual. They know all of our secrets but would never reveal them because we know theirs too. You can be yourself around them, free of judgment, and they feel the same. It's the definition of a true friendship.
2.The Optimistic Friend:
Whether these are the years you'll experience life's biggest heartaches, or the happiest moments that will always make you smile, or both, you need a positive-vibes-only friend by your side. The optimistic friend is the one who always finds the positive in any situation. No, they're not wishing on rainbows and unicorns, but they understand that whatever is going on, you'll get through it. And they will always be there to remind you of that. They support you first and ask questions later. They're not perfect, but their attitude definitely inspires you to be better and have an amazing outlook on life.
3.The Reliable Friend:
Gone are the days of the flaky friend. Who has time for that? This isn't a push to just go and cut people off (unless you feel that's what you need), but when you're reflecting on the friendships in your life, who do you know you can depend on, no matter what? The reliable friend is a must-have in our 30s. This is a time in our lives when we're building our careers, our families and our lives. The whole decade is a staple, and we need a friend who will show up and be consistent… and pretty much do what they say they'll do as we reciprocate the love.
4.The Beyond The Surface Friend:
Have you ever realized that some friendships that were once the closest don't really go beyond the surface anymore? Or maybe they never have. Some friendships are meant to be fun and exciting, but others are purposed to be more than social events and group chats. The beyond the surface friend goes deeper than the typical associate. You don't just talk about life, you do it together, no matter how much distance comes between you over time. This is one of the many types of friendships that take work. But when we have milestone moments, they're the ones who we want there with us.
5.The Adventurous Friend:
I literally have a friend who will ask, "Do you want to go to Aruba?.. Like, next week?" Sis keeps me on my toes! Obviously, seven days isn't enough time to plan or save for an international trip, but the type of friend who isn't afraid to be spontaneous is definitely needed during our 30s. They let us know it's OK to let our hair down and actually have fun! Everything doesn't have to be so serious all the time. Our best memories don't have to be the ones we plan. In fact, some of them are experienced on the fly when we least expect it. And we can live it to the fullest, thanks to our adventurous friend who isn't afraid to take a risk, try something new and push us to do the same.
6.The Work Friend:
Who doesn't love a good work friend?! Someone who understands what you go through from 9-5. While the friendship starts out at work, sometimes it can grow into so much more. You might find yourself inviting them to your birthday parties, weddings and baby showers. But the best part is, thanks to being around them basically all day every day, this is one of the friendships that are the most organic. You might only chat at work, or you could vent to each other after hours or during lunch. Either way, there's nothing like having a solid work friend in our 30s.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
My Female Friendships Were The Most Heartbreaking & Loving Relationships Of My Twenties
5 Things You Can Do Today To Be A Better Friend
What If You Love Your Friend… But Don't Like Her Anymore?
According To Experts, We Only Have A Few Friends – Here's Why
Featured image by Giphy
- The 10 Types of Friends You Should Avoid - JustMyTypeMag ›
- How Friendships Change Over Time - The Atlantic ›
- The 5 types of friends every African woman needs ›
- Why Is It Hard to Make Friends Over 30? - The New York Times ›
- 5 Types Of Friends You Don't Really Need In Your 30's ›
- Friends for life? Keeping friendships throughout your 30s ›
- 10 Types of Odd Friendships You're Probably Part Of — Wait But Why ›
- Study: The kinds of friendships you have in your 20s and 30s ... ›
- Types Of Friendships You Should Have By 40 ›
Charmaine Patterson is a journalist, lifestyle blogger, and a lover of all things pop culture. While she has much experience in covering top entertainment news stories, she aims to share her everyday life experiences, old and new, with other women who can relate, laugh, and love along with her. Follow Char on Twitter @charjpatterson, Instagram @charpatterson, and keep up with her journey at CharJPatterson.com .
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From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
Featured image by skynesher/Getty Images