Love, money, health, and more: 5 heart-to-hearts that women need to have with their BFFs
Only about a month ago, Poulomi Chakladar (26) was in the best of spirits. She was set to tie the knot with her long-time beau, and couldn’t believe that it was finally happening. Today, she is struggling to reconcile to the fact that marriage can be vastly different from dating.
“Once you get hitched, everything changes overnight. It can feel like a kick in the stomach,” says the Kolkata-based advertising professional.
Poulomi, however, seems to have found a time-tested way of making sense of the chaos. “It’s all because of my best friend. Every time I feel low, I stick to the simple advice that she gave me: Live life on your own terms. It’s your responsibility to keep yourself happy; no one else’s,” she adds.
Like Poulomi, many women can’t go a day without turning to their Best Friends Forever (BFFs) for direction. Be it coping with a relationship that has reached a dead-end or a financial blunder that makes one rethink their expenses, there is no problem that a hearty conversation with a friend can’t fix.
But, to think about it, wouldn’t you rather guide your pal at the very beginning than to see her walking into a trap later on? Here are five key talking points that women need to address during catch-up sessions with the bestie.
No relationship is perfect
Compromises are essential to make a relationship last. Your BFF maybe a stickler for this, but make sure that she isn’t giving up on everything just to make her partner happy. Motivate her to support him and respect his privacy, but also embolden her to walk out of a relationship if such a need arises. But also be there to stop her from keeping any unrealistic expectations, and getting swayed by minor disagreements. After all, there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Still need more expertise to be the love guru? Make her watch and re-watch My Best Friend’s Wedding.
Being active is important
Does your best friend swear by junk food, and has no workout routine whatsoever? It’s time to step in. Educate her about the pitfalls of an unhealthy lifestyle, and steer her towards getting active. “Going by my doctor’s recommendation, I tell all my close friends to meditate and exercise for at least five times a week. Smoking and eating processed foods are a definite no-no,” says Anju Kalra Sethi (46), a former New Delhi-based teacher. Now, how does the idea of gifting your BFF a gym membership or health insurance sound?
Travelling is good for the soul
What advice do you have to give a BFF who is often anxious and stressed? Hit the roads! Yes, it’s as simple as that. Entice her with stories from around the world, and most importantly, the benefits of travelling for the mind and soul. She may give excuses of time and money, but push her to take the plunge. “Like I tell my best friend-- travel as much as you can, and to all kinds of places. Even the smallest of destinations can give you experiences worth a lifetime,” says Sohini Ghosh Mukherjee (32), a Kolkata-based urban planning professional.
Don’t let your career go for a toss
Women often give up on their careers right after getting married or when contemplating having a child. If your BFF is planning to walk in that direction, stand by her, but encourage her to join back work when the situation permits. It’s easy to fall prey to societal norms, but there are hundreds of examples that can you cite to her to show that women can be successful at their careers despite having families to look after. Also, always persuade her to look for better opportunities, because, as you’d say, she only deserves the best.
Take charge of finances
Imagine that it’s your BFF’s birthday next month, and she has been drawing up a list of all the things she’d like to do on this day to pamper herself. Having breakfast at a quaint café, buying that coveted dress, relaxing at a spa and a whole lot of things. Now, be a good friend and quickly add another thing to the inventory: financial planning. It can start with something as simple as having a monthly investment goal or buying life insurance. Sure, insurance may sound irrelevant or uninteresting to her, but it will provide life cover and financial security for her family in case something unfortunate happens.
When it comes to investments, a majority of women are dependent on their husbands or fathers. This is because they are either not confident about taking charge of their finances or told that it is not their area of expertise.
However, this video by HDFC Life shows us nothing is complicated in the financial world. Titled ‘Between Us Girls’, it explains the concept of term insurance lucidly, and reiterates the importance of financial planning for all women.
“As working women, we are used to playing multiple roles in the house. But, we should also be trained to deal with monetary emergencies and plan for long-term security. Term insurance can help you achieve that,” says Harshita Das (26), a New Delhi-based journalist.
Hopefully, now you have some new things to chat about the next time you call your BFF.