My best mate is turning 30 in November, and has sadly told me, instead of having a full on two day bender of a birthday, she is keeping it "low key", because sadly, she doesn't think any our friends would come. One of the babies is teething, the other isn't sleeping well, one can't afford the trip... etc.
I had always thought that these 'friendships' just fizzled out. When one party has spent the entire relationship nodding, 'mmm'-ing and offering discarded advice, there's not a great deal to cling on to. But I was having dinner with a friend last week, and she mentioned the people in her life who she was currently in the process of 'phasing out'.
When women get stressed they release the hormone oxytocin. This hormone makes women want to chat with their friends and open up about why they are feeling the strain. Interestingly, by opening up and sharing women release more oxytocin, which is thought to calm us and would therefore help to relive some of the original stress we felt.
I haven't yet settled down and binged my comedy guts out on Arrested Development's new episodes, opting instead for a comparatively restrained viewing of the first two episodes last night. I'm not sure how the rest of the run pans out, but those opening episodes have left me fairly confident of a few things: