Every Bride Needs A “Go To Girlfriend”

Dear Thriving Bride,

It is 35 days before my wedding and I am feeling very thankful for my “go to” girlfriends, also known as my GTF’s. Now, these are people in my  life who serve two very essential purposes, especially leading up to my wedding day: They are there to make me laugh when I need it and they are there to laugh at me when I need it as well. This may seem harsh, but it’s true.

Let’s just say you just got off the phone with your parents for the 30th time in about two weeks and you are crying and lamenting the fact that they just can’t support you in the way that you need and want.  Okay, now I am not really telling you how I feel.  Take 2. Let’s try that again!

Let’s just say you just got off the phone with your parents for the 30th time in about two weeks and you are crying and feeling like you can’t wait to change your last name so no one will ever associate you with your family name anymore.  Now, that’s really how I am feeling today.  So, now that I’ve stopped covering up the real truth, I can get on with what I wanted to say to you.

Last week, I realized that MW was one of my GTF’s.  I always thought of her that way, but I did not have a special name for her yet. Yes, she’s in my wedding and she is also very honest with me.  I was telling her how much I did not want anyone who was helping me plan my bridal shower (including her) to feel like they had to contribute above and beyond what they felt comfortable doing, and she flat out told me to stop talking like that.

We had our girl, please moment, which is the moment when your GTF sees right through you and tells it like it is.  Hopefully, you are able to hear it and know that her sentiments come from a place of deep caring and love. So, MW made it clear to me that everyone was contributing because they loved me and wanted to support me.  It’s important to remember that it makes so much sense for you to have moments of insecurity on this journey. That’s pretty normal for any bride, but especially for brides with really challenging circumstances.

In that moment of emotion and sadness (or should I say being pissed off),  you will need a friend who will be there to listen, hold your hand and maybe even make you a cup of tea after fetching the Kleenex box for you.  But, you also need that same person to have the capacity to stop and say ” Enough of that, we’ve got a wedding to plan.”  And if you continue, that shocking but necessary moment of truth will happen when she will muster the courage to simply say: Girl, please.  And that moment will probably be such an essential part of your relationship with this person, especially as you prepare for your wedding.

Why do you need a “Go To Girlfriend?”  Well, she’s the person who can tell you to go to the mall to ease your frustrations or to go to hell when you are turning into not so beautiful bitch instead of the beautiful bride you had hoped to be.  She’s not there to make fun of you or poke you where it hurts, but she is there to show you the sides of yourself that need some fine-tuning.  She is there to say, ” I am sorry that happened, but the rest of your life is waiting for you and I can’t wait to join you on this journey.”  I hope this is becoming clearer and clearer to you.

In a previous post, I spoke about the importance of surrounding yourself with people who have the capacity to support you.  For you Thriving Bride, support is something that has to be about accountability, responsibility and unconditional love.  Let me break it down for you a bit more here.

During my childhood, I did not understand that being an accountable, responsible and unconditionally loved person could all fit in the same sentence.  Words like responsibility were misused and mistreated so I always thought I was not responsible if I did not do every and anything my abusive father asked me to do.  After I left my home of origin and started understanding the world in a different way, I finally connected the dots and realized that the people who truly love you ask you to be accountable for your actions, responsible for your life and remain committed to loving you even when your ability to do all of these things is severely compromised.  You don’t have to be perfect dear bride.  You probably felt like you had to be perfect then, but you don’t have to be now.

You need someone who will be frank with you.  You need someone who can take you aside and say “girl, please” if and when you start getting crazy.  You also need that person to hug you after telling you all of that , and you need to know they will still stand with you as your maid of honor on your special day.  IT IS NOW THAT YOU ARE UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU CAN BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE WITHOUT BEING ABANDONED.  I know this may hit on some nerves, but there are many women out there (including myself) that need to hear this, so I am saying it.

So, do you have a Go To Girlfriend?  Do you look around you and notice your best friend, bridesmaid or maid of honor is just as sweet as pie, but won’t say a word to you about how bitchy you’ve been lately?  Well, those women can still take part in your wedding, but you might want to see who’s willing to be real with you.  What’s there to lose?  And if you can’t find that person, it might be time to go looking.

By the way, if you are without this kind of person in your life it may not be the time to judge the gender of the GTF who is willing to be there for you in this way.  There are some pretty amazing men in my life (gay and straight) who do a great job as a GTF.  No, seriously!   The point is you are going to need one, and even if you are just weeks away from your wedding, it is never to late to get a GTF.  They’re  like a pretty awesome insurance policy in cases of severe self-doubt and sabotage.  You’re about to get married, so you probably don’t want to go down that road. And if you do, at least there will be someone there to pass you the tissues and let you cry for an hour or so, but then that same person will give you that look and say: Girl, please.