Hello Queens! I've actually been refining ideas for this post for months now and it was actually my main interest when we still used the subreddits (I actually posted something similar before, but this one is an improved version). I worked hard the last few years and I think I've finally got only HV-friendships in my life. So here are some of my tips, enjoy!
Say goodbye to the idea of a "best friend". This point might not work for everyone, but it stopped me desiring the "perfect/ideal" friend. I stopped expecting a friend to be there for EVERYTHING, for all my ups and downs, to travel with, go to the gym with, have sleepovers with, etc. We all know it's not fair to put a Queen under that much pressure- she's got her own busy life to deal with and she needs to be her own authentic self rather than being a “side-kick” to my life. You can easily have a different friend for work, college, gym etc etc and still experience the incredibly deep, meaningful, lifelong friendships with each of them. One of my closest friends is a major introvert so I don't go out drinking/partying with her even though I'm an extrovert who loves to socialise. It doesn't make her any less of a dear friend to me and I love her the way she is.
Say goodbye to cliques too. This stops us from excluding others because they don't perfectly fit the group's "vibe". That’s not the point of friendship. Queens are busy so it's ok if they miss out on group invites because they have other commitments! And focussing less on a special "group identity" prevents you from demanding full-time commitment and same-ness in a group. We all come from different cultures and lifestyles- you will miss out on some great friends if you cut them out because they dress differently or like a different genre of music or because they can't make Taco Tuesdays.
Focus more on women-only spaces. Of course, this isn't foolproof, you might find yourself surrounded by pickmes, but keep trying other places because HVW are more likely to be in these spaces (since they're not seeking male attention). Check for women-only gym, pottery/craft classes, clubs based on your hobbies, etc. If all else fails, take up a class (cocktail-making or learn to be a barista) and meet women this way! I'm not exactly asking you to be an extrovert, you can still be an introvert and find yourself amongst a good group of women during an activity. The more you try to put yourself out there, the better. You're not going to succeed if you don't try.
Be honest, present and appreciative. HVW are not LVM, or men for that matter. No need to play hard-to-get or distant. If you trust them and know they are HVW, tell them how you are honestly feeling whenever you can ("I'm hungry/sad/happy/frustrated about xyz) and be openly appreciative of them when they acknowledge those feelings and support you. Remember that HVW are empathetic yet mature! And make sure to reciprocate. For example, I've been so stressed cramming for deadlines that my friend sent ubereats dinner to my apartment for that night. Later on, i sent her flowers and tea when she said she was sick with a cold. We do this all the time and it shows the men in our lives that this is the bare minimum!
But also, ignore performative friendship. This is when you are still vetting someone. Immediately move on if they're a fake friend (e.g. hugging you when others are around, yet completely ignoring you when you are alone together). They don't have your best interests at heart!
Minimise low-effort communication. Similar texting principles with men apply to your friends. You are busy and so are they! Don't waste your time spamming random memes. It's fine on occasion, but no low-effort text-ationships. Save your friendship for when you can actually spend one-on-one together.
Personal space and time away is CRUCIAL, but make up for this with quality meetups. Now that I've levelled up, I see my friends much much less. We're busy af! Don't bother your friends simply because you are bored or looking for attention. Build positive and enriching experiences- book a nice dinner, try a new activity or arrange a time to have tea together, whatever you want. What helps me is to keep it to timeslots: breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, etc so you don't drag it out wasting both of your times.
Avoid trauma-dumping. What I mean here is to ask permission FIRST before coming out about something heavy. While it's important friends support each other, this prevents dumping on friends when they might already have a full plate. This goes both ways. And if you are in the early stages of friendship, talk to a therapist or someone else instead first.
Keep working on yourself, even go to therapy. I have friends who deal with anxiety or depression or something else and they were all pretty open about how their mental health was impeding their ability to be good friends. I was the same to them. We all have our demons, but it's the intention to improve oneself that matters a lot in HV friendships. You both need to be on that journey of self-growth if you want the friendship to flourish.
De-centre the topic around men. Yes we know, LVM are abundant and there's plenty of wild stories out there, but it's a waste of energy to be ranting about something we already know to avoid. Only talk about this if there's a lesson to learn, a new red flag to watch for or you need to help a friend with a particular issue. Honestly, let's just avoid complaining about anything in general if it's for the sake of complaining! Save it for your journal, hun.
On that note, journal and keep track of your friendship experiences! Remember before IG, people would scrapbook their memories. Yeah maybe try something like that. I've found that treasuring moments with people solidifies the memory in your brain and you bring it up a lot more in positive ways when you meet them again. This keeps the ball rolling and treasuring each other's meetups even if you don't see each other again after a long period of time. I've had some really special moments with friends when they brought up a really random memory they had of us years ago or they remember the growth we've had.
I am still working on more tips, feel free to suggest more, but overall I'm planning on making a part 2. Hope you enjoyed this post and let me know what you all think!