In April of this year, I met an extraordinary woman. The mutual friend who introduced us considered us "two peas in a pod" and thought we would "get along famously" because we had "so much in common." It's now been a three months since we met, and to say that she is my BFF does not adequately describe our relationship.
She is straight, and I am a lesbian. I am black, and she is white. We both are married and separated from our spouses. We both embrace social media in the same ways.
There is a nearly 15-year age difference between us. We have a lot in common: We both work in the communications field -- she an academic, I a practitioner -- and we share interests in music and pop culture, but mainly it is the way we approach life that binds us. We both have lots of other friends outside our relationship with each other.
For the most part, I have never found a need to define my nonsexual relationships. With her it is different. Via text I told her how much I dig her and our time together and asked her what she thought about her burgeoning friendship.
She replied, "I love our developing friendship -- I'm happy to be in your circle of friends."
We both think of ourselves as soul sisters, kindred spirits. We are in intentional "reciprocal pursuit" of each other in a nonsexual way.
I have willingly participated in things that she has invited me to that are beyond the bounds of what I normally do. I attended a jewelry party at her home and bought jewelry that I now wear daily. I got a permanent tattoo at a tattoo party at her home.
We do things together -- plays, dinners, concerts -- one-on-one and in groups. We text and also actually talk on the phone She recommended a shoe store, and I've bought two pairs of shoes there. We have used the "L" word with each other via text and in person. We love each other and have declared it.
I asked her to help define our relationship. She said we have a "womance" or a "hermance" or a "shemance." I had heard of none of these. She thought she'd made them up, but "womance" resonated with me.
What is a womance? Think bromance, but for chicks. It's actually defined in the Urban Dictionary and on Wikipedia as "a close, non-sexual relationship." We court each other beyond the bonds of an ordinary friendship; that's definitely us.
So as my womance with her continues, she has inspired me to start working on a book entitled My Womance, with essays about influential women in my life -- some famous, others not -- and about my relationship with my mother, who passed in October 2013.
I hope "womance" catches on like "bromance." She calls other women with whom she has nonsexual relationships her "girlfriends." As a lesbian I have only used that term for lovers or partners. I am her "girlfriend," her BFF and her womance, and she is mine. Our womance continues to flourish.