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Why Your Fangirl Friends are Just As Important as your IRL Friends

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Fangirl friends are people you meet through a fandom, whether it be on social media in a group chat of fan accounts, or while waiting on the merch line at a concert or event. These types of friendships can be restricted to talking mainly about the fandom at hand with little discussion of personal details, but they can also blossom into some of the closest and most rewarding relationships in your life. Isn’t it crazy to imagine that someone you originally met through fandom could go on to be a bridesmaid at your wedding?

Building relationships from school, work, nights out or anywhere else for that matter is part and parcel of the human experience, but finding friends from your fangirl escapades might be some of the best out there. 

Social media can be an excellent way to talk to others with similar interests. However, when making friends in online fandom spaces, the chances of finding someone who lives close to you in person out of millions of people is slim. Even at in-person events like concerts, the audience is made up of people who have travelled anywhere from ten minutes to fifteen hours for the show. The likelihood of making a fangirl friend who lives much further away than your other friends is high, but that distance does not have to hinder the friendship, nor should it prevent one from forming. It exposes you to people, cultures, ideas, and lifestyles from all over the world that you otherwise would not learn about, and that’s a pretty beautiful thing.

This also gives you and your fangirl friends an excellent excuse to travel. You can visit each other’s hometowns or pick somewhere in the middle, making cherished memories in a place you otherwise would have had no reason to go to. These types of long-awaited, happy crying-filled meetings and reunions are unique to long-distance friendships. But suddenly, flying to a random city for a concert or a holiday sounds more reasonable – if you and your friend both have to travel anyway to meet, you might as well make an excursion out of it!

Fangirl friends can be some of the most understanding and supportive people the world has to offer. Being a fan of something that is not seen as socially acceptable can unfortunately attract teasing, bullying, and judgement from peers or relatives at any age. This is especially true for fan bases that tend to be mainly young and female – football fans are described as devoted and passionate but Taylor Swift fans are obsessive and crazy. Honestly, make it make sense.

While your other friends may find your enthusiasm strange, a fangirl friend understands what it is like to have to defend your favourite artist. They know the true value of having a friend who understands their love for their favourite artist, and how that friendship can become a safe space to express the thoughts and emotions that they may feel hesitant to share elsewhere. 

If the pressure of creating lifelong friendships involving travel makes fangirl friends sound intimidating, there is another, much simpler bonus. Friendships improve fandoms, and fandoms improve friendships. 

Making a fangirl friend ensures you always have someone to freak out with when the new music or TV episode drops, someone to commiserate with when Ticketmaster malfunctions, and someone to laugh with over the inside jokes that only people in the fandom would understand.

It helps you solidify your own identity within a fandom, making you feel less alone and more inclined to participate. Even if all you do with your fangirl friend is send memes back and forth about the one thing you have in common, the friendship is fulfilling its purpose by allowing you to enjoy your fandom with the company of someone else. Fangirl friends provide connection and companionship, turning fandom enjoyment from a solitary activity to a social one. You are more likely to participate in the activities of your fandom if you associate it with positive feelings of friendship and togetherness.  

For people who struggle to make or keep friends in their daily lives, a fandom in common can be the perfect conversation starter.

Despite the long distance and often unconventional ways of meeting, fangirl friends can be among the easiest friends to keep. Many friendships in life are built mostly through proximity–you have a lot of classes together, or sit near each other at work, so you begin talking and eventually consider each other friends. Unfortunately, these types of in-person friendships can be difficult to maintain when that setting is removed from the equation, and you may find that you do not have much in common once school ends or you change departments at work. Being a part of the same fandom ensures that you will always have something in common even if every other aspect of your lives are different.

Fangirl friendships are not dependent on close proximity or geographical distance, all they require is that two people share a common interest in a fandom and want to talk about it with each other.

There is no reason to feel ashamed or awkward about having met your fangirl friend in a non-traditional way, or that the friendship is structured a bit differently. They can provide things in a friendship that other friends cannot, like a safe place to share all your feelings about a particular piece of media that will not only be listened to but reciprocated as well. Having fangirl friends is one of the best things a fan can do for themselves, opening the door to a world where fandoms are social and friendships are full of understanding.

So don’t sleep on your fangirl friendships. They may be some of the strongest bonds you’ll ever build.

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