NEW YORK — For over half of all women in the United States, the old adage “sisters before misters” might be more true than most people think. According to a OnePoll survey of 2,000 American women, 56 percent would rather be trapped in quarantine with their best female friend than a romantic partner. That includes 60 percent of millennials between the ages of 24 to 39.
An overwhelming 89 percent of respondents say that their friendships with other women are important to them, with almost a quarter (23%) calling them “essential.” Of those polled, 47 percent believe that the pandemic has brought them closer to their best female friend. Another 45 percent communicate with their best friend more now than they used to before COVID-19.
Despite being at home more than ever before, 54 percent of women — including 60 percent of millennials – say they’ve developed a new best friendship as a result of becoming close with someone else during the pandemic.
The survey, commissioned by BloomsyBox, also revealed that the typical woman has known her best female friend for an average of 12 years. In contrast, only eight percent of respondents said they have no close female friendships in their lives. Regardless of gender, 59 percent of women said that the pandemic made them realize that their current best friend will be in their life forever.
How friends got us through 2020
When asked to describe how their best friends helped them in 2020, respondents shared stories about women who sent them care packages, helped to pay bills or buy groceries, delivered home-cooked meals, or offered emotional support during tough times.
Eighty-nine percent also said that these relationships have helped them cope during the pandemic. Twelve percent say that they “wouldn’t be here without” their best female friend. Over half the poll (52%) even said they miss seeing their best friend more than they miss their immediate family.
“Galentine’s Day has quickly grown from a sitcom tagline into a holiday because it is the perfect opportunity to show your closest girlfriends how much you appreciate and value their friendship,” explains BloomsyBox Director of Product Marketing Gretchen Erle in a statement. “And now, more than ever, sending your best friend a thoughtful gift is a special way to bring a smile to their face even if you can’t be there in person.”
When friends become family
For some respondents, there’s a much stronger overlap between friends and family members. Over half the survey (55%) say that their best friend is a member of their family. Another 70 percent said they’d probably still be friends with family members even if they weren’t related.
Another 55 percent add they consider their mothers to be their friend more so than a parent. Two in three women say they’re close with their moms, compared to 53 percent who said the same of their fathers.