Cover image for Women's best friendships : beyond Betty, Veronica, Thelma, and Louise
Women's best friendships : beyond Betty, Veronica, Thelma, and Louise
Rind, Patricia.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Haworth Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xvi, 183 pages ; 23 cm
Subject Term:

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Material Type
Home Location
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BF575.F66 R56 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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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.

Author Notes

Patricia Rind, PhD, is a specialist in women's sexuality and psychology

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Chapter 1. Introductionp. 1
Women and Fictionp. 2
My Research Methodsp. 5
How the Findings Are Presentedp. 8
What This Book Is Notp. 9
Chapter 2. Lindap. 11
The Storyp. 11
Further Reflections: Keeping Some Distancep. 20
Chapter 3. Nancyp. 25
The Storyp. 25
Further Reflections: A Question of Loyaltyp. 33
Chapter 4. Lizp. 41
The Storyp. 42
Further Reflections: Knowing What to Say and When to Say Itp. 50
Chapter 5. "Although Sometimes My Friends Are Competitive, I Don't Think I Ever Am": Navigating Choppy Watersp. 55
Nancyp. 56
Lindap. 60
Lizp. 63
Reflectionsp. 65
Chapter 6. Alicep. 73
The Storyp. 73
Further Reflections: Communication Breakdownsp. 79
Chapter 7. Amyp. 83
The Storyp. 84
Further Reflections: What Makes a Best Friend?p. 91
Chapter 8. "I Can Count on My Best Friend ... Not That I Would": The Conundrum of Independence versus Dependencep. 95
Alicep. 96
Lindap. 98
Nancyp. 101
Reflectionsp. 103
Chapter 9. Debp. 107
The Storyp. 108
Further Reflections: A Different Kind of Friendshipp. 114
Chapter 10. Denisep. 117
The Storyp. 118
Further Reflections: Are All Best Friends Considered Equal?p. 124
Chapter 11. "They're Both People Who Truly Know Me": A Need Fulfilledp. 127
"They've Seen Me Through a Lot of Changes"p. 128
"They're Very Attuned to My Feelings"p. 130
"They Don't Just Know Me, They Understand Me"p. 133
"She Knows What Would Happen If I Did That"p. 135
Debp. 136
Reflectionsp. 139
Chapter 12. Conclusionp. 145
Appendix A. Transcript versus Poemp. 153
Appendix B. Nancy Poem 1p. 155
Appendix C. Nancy Poem 2p. 161
Appendix D. Liz Poemp. 167
Notesp. 171
Bibliographyp. 175
Indexp. 181