Women's Best Friendships : Beyond Betty, Veronica, Thelma, and Louise book cover
1st Edition

Women's Best Friendships
Beyond Betty, Veronica, Thelma, and Louise

ISBN 9780789015402
Published July 2, 2002 by Routledge
206 Pages

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Book Description

Explore the distinct relationships of close female friends!

Women’s Best Friendships: Beyond Betty, Veronica, Thelma, and Louise gives new and comprehensive insight into the complex world of women’s closest friendships. Recent studies have shown that women place enormous value on best friendships and consider them to be woven tightly into the fabric of their lives. Using in-depth interviews, along with close readings of relevant literature and theory, this book focuses on the many facets of these relationships.

With heartfelt first-person accounts and insightful commentary from the author, this book examines three intertwining themes: feelings of competition, issues of dependence and independence, and knowing/understanding. This book sheds light on areas of tension among women, especially difficulties in communication, frustration about not being entirely let into a friend’s life and thought processes, and the feeling that one friend may value the friendship more than the other. It also discusses women’s struggles to maintain closeness over increased distances and the realization that one’s friends are flawed, even as friends. This informative book, grounded in established research and theory, presents stories of real friendships--told by the people who live them. These women talk candidly about what makes a best friend, about navigating the choppy waters of friendship, and much more: “Somehow, when we started living farther apart there were ways in which we were being insensitive. We recognized that there was a really strong bond, but we were taking it for granted. So we talked about how close we feel to one another and perhaps how that leads to some arguments or hurt feelings.” --Liz, on how distance has affected her relationship with her best friend Susan

“Em and I don’t fight at all. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I don’t think I do well with fights. I think that’s probably a lot of conflict avoidance on my part. And I think it does lead to some distance, even though it’s a best friendship. I think I’m uncomfortable asserting myself. And so it’s easier not to have to do that. So maybe my inability to deal with the problems keeps the friendship at a distance, where it’s safe and comfortable for me, in that one respect.” --Linda, about her desire to avoid any confrontation with Emily, her best friend

Women’s Best Friendships: Beyond Betty, Veronica, Thelma, and Louise is a fresh and exciting look at the inner workings of relationships between women. Drawing upon a multitude of issues and insights, this book is a must-have for women’s studies classes.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Women and Fiction
  • My Research Methods
  • How the Findings Are Presented
  • What This Book Is Not
  • Chapter 2. Linda
  • The Story
  • Further Reflections: Keeping Some Distance
  • Chapter 3. Nancy
  • The Story
  • Further Reflections: A Question of Loyalty
  • Chapter 4. Liz
  • The Story
  • Further Reflections: Knowing What to Say and When to Say It
  • Chapter 5. “Although Sometimes My Friends Are Competitive, I Don’t Think I Ever Am”: Navigating Choppy Waters
  • Nancy
  • Linda
  • Liz
  • Reflections
  • Chapter 6. Alice
  • The Story
  • Further Reflections: Communication Breakdowns
  • Chapter 7. Amy
  • The Story
  • Further Reflections: What Makes a Best Friend?
  • Chapter 8. “I Can Count on My Best Friend . . . Not That I Would”: The Conundrum of Independence versus Dependence
  • Alice
  • Linda
  • Nancy
  • Reflections
  • Chapter 9. Deb
  • The Story
  • Further Reflections: A Different Kind of Friendship
  • Chapter 10. Denise
  • The Story
  • Further Reflections: Are All Best Friends Considered Equal?
  • Chapter 11. “They’re Both People Who Truly Know Me”: A Need Fulfilled
  • “They’ve Seen Me Through a Lot of Changes”
  • “They’re Very Attuned to My Feelings”
  • “They Don’t Just Know Me, They Understand Me”
  • “She Knows What Would Happen If I Did That”
  • Deb
  • Reflections
  • Chapter 12. Conclusion
  • Appendix A. Transcript versus Poem
  • Appendix B. Nancy Poem 1
  • Appendix C. Nancy Poem 2
  • Appendix D. Liz Poem
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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Patricia Rind