Self-Self: Self and Self understand each other as no one else can because they share each other's world. Married friends who stuck by Self after divorce, illness, or another life-changing event are important, but they're not enough, says Florence Isaacs, author of Toxic Friends, True Friends: How Your Friends Can Make or Break Your Health, Happiness, Family, and Career. The support and inspiration Self and Self provide each other is invaluable as you introduce each other to passionate new interests and serve as sources of growth as you proceed to define or redefine yourselves. Likewise, your time together allows you to feel connected and fulfilled.
Self-Love: Love and Self may seem like opposites, but this is a friendship that can withstand the tests of time. As long as Love doesn't date around the clock and as long as Self isn't bitter about romantic relationships, Love and Self can spend quality time together, exploring new interests and perhaps pursuing personal growth. Love must be careful, though, not to date so much that Self begins to feel abandoned (hey, Love, no going out with Self just because you don't have a date!).
Self-Family: Family and Self are not the most compatible combo. Both are preoccupied with their own interests and responsibilities and shouldn't pretend otherwise -- your lack of friendship focus won't go unnoticed. Family's best bet is to tell Self that she knows she hasn't been that available lately, that she loves and misses her friend. Self should take the time to explain to Family why her priorities are what they are, since Family may not immediately understand. Reassurance and openness right now are key. Family and Self need to bring each other into their new lives as much as possible, says Jan Yager, Ph.D., author of Friendshifts: The Power of Friendship and How It Shapes Our Lives. The bottom line: It's very difficult, albeit not impossible, for a single woman to maintain a close friendship with a married friend and vice versa, especially if Self has had a marital separation or divorce and the friendship was based on being part of a couple. Remember, there's no sense hanging onto a friendship that was once beneficial but that has grown troublesome and unfulfilling.
Self-Career: Self and Career are both rather preoccupied with themselves for different reasons. Your understanding of each other's priorities makes you compatible and will help you stay tight, as long as neither of you is looking to spend a lot of time together. While you may be going at it from different angles, you're both focused on self-improvement and personal success. You have a lot of good things to learn from each other.