It's no wonder, really. All through school, university and travels, the emphasis is always on making friends. Once all that's out of the way, there's a shift. Girls aren't supposed to look for friends any more, they're supposed to look for a relationship. If that fails, the solution never seems to be "go and make new friends", it's "grab your old friends, and go and find a new man".
What nobody tells you is that if you do find yourself single at 27, that you can still make friends - lots of them, in fact - and they'll probably end up being the best, most honest, generous and like-minded ones you ever had.
It's International Women's Day today, and there have been lots of reminders floating around the internet about female solidarity both online and off.
The reminder came for me on Tuesday night, as I hung around the office sending e-mails to friends as the clock ticked past 6pm. Truth was, I wasn't relishing the thought of going back to a house where I no longer feel all that comfortable.
Eventually I headed home leaving the e-mail chain in mid-flow, and hopped on the tube. A voicemail came through as I was killing more time in the Co-op.
"Hey love, I'm leaving for Brussels tomorrow, so my flat's free if you want to get out of your house. I'll be round the corner tonight and I have a spare key for you. Come and meet me. Byeee!"
While I was gearing up to call her back, my phone rang. It was one of the other girls, offering to meet me for a drink so that I didn't go home and sit there feeling crap all night. I grabbed the key and a quick hug, then hopped back on the tube into town to the pub, having gratefully taken both friends up on their offers.
The next day, the following sentences at the end of an article in Stylist magazine caught my attention:
At around the same time...I experienced the surpassingly odd sensation of making a new friend. A genuine friend, a good friend. It really was, and remains, a bizarre feeling. I never expected it to happen again at my age. I brighten every time I get a text from her and can’t wait to meet up with her every week to put the world to rights. It is like the beginning of a love affair but without the sickening doubts or sexual anxieties. It’s absolutely brilliant.And I couldn't have put it better myself.