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How To De-Centre Romance & Build Lifelong Friendships

Female friendships still have a pretty bad rap sheet. From being characterised by cattiness, envy and gossip, to finishing second place to the romantic interest of the week, it seems that the allure of having a girl pal or two has slowly fizzled out.

But the global pandemic of 2020 changed the world forever, leaving behind not only the effects of a health pandemic, but a loneliness one too. We are still doing an immense amount of work to overcome the damage done to our society, and with that, the damage done to our capacity to be social, connect with community, and have friendships. Loneliness levels skyrocketed in the years after the COVID outbreak, and this was a challenge for women in particular. Women are significantly more likely than men to be chronically lonely.

We grew up in a community. We’re both of African descent, and, like many diaspora kids, our parents migrated to the United Kingdom to start afresh and pursue opportunities that seemingly didn’t exist in their respective countries. Growing up, we always found ourselves between two worlds – the capitalist, individualistic ‘every man for himself’ mentality in the West, and the communal, connected ‘everybody around is an aunty or uncle’ mentality.