Janet Walkow Christine Jacobs

Womance – what a wonderful word

Womance. I learned this word recently.  Think Thelma and Louise or Laverne and Shirley or Meredith and Cristina on Grey’s Anatomy.

Soul Mates

At the Omega Institute’s recent Women and Power retreat, Omega’s co-founder Elizabeth Lesser talked about the importance of Womances to all women.  A Womance is a close personal relationship between two women which is not sexual in nature.  They are just close friends who share important thoughts and ideas.

Women for Women

Bromance is a word often used to describe guy relationships, but I loved this new term.  I have had womantic relationships with a number of women who have helped me to become the person who I am today.  Most of these women are still in my life because of this important developmental role they played in my life. Many I have known since high school or college—a period of 40 or 45 years or more. We do not always talk often but there is a sense of trust that comes from having shared experiences at critical periods in our lives. And when we are together we can go from “I like your new hair do” to the meaning of life and happiness in ten minutes.

Some womances have been part of my life for only brief periods.  Women I knew at many different jobs were often in this category as the only thing we had in common was a dislike of a particular boss or company culture.   They served a person and then moved on.  Hmmm… sounds like many a romance.

More than Friends

As a busy executive and single mother, I often felt isolated and alone.   And I often wondered whether I was doing a good job and whether there was any life besides these critical and consuming roles.  The women in my womantic life were the ones who made me feel valued and appreciated.

By the way, I am not monogamous in my womances. There are many women in this category for me with varying degrees of seriousness.  They cannot always be there for me or I for them.  But we find each other and support each other and it makes me smile.

Can you relate?  Have womances been a big part of your life?

Christine Jacobs is an experienced corporate executive and a co-founder of Leading Women. Read her full bio.

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