Ever since the first season of The Golden Girls, I’ve been looking for women to share my bungalow, a.k.a my Bungalow 4. Surely you’ve watched The Golden Girls with your own auntie: four hilarious sexy seniors living in a bungalow in Miami? They were Lena Dunham’s Girls before those girls were even born.
Or maybe you preferred Designing Women or Sex in the City. Or Desperate Housewives. Living Single? Single Ladies? Pretty Little Liars? Girlfriends? Point is, these shows all follow a similar formula. Four women navigating the ups and downs of adulthood, their single lives and sisterhood. The cheesecake may have morphed into Cosmos over the years. The bungalow may be a NYC walk-up now, but the female dynamic remains the same.
What about these shows resonates with us?
Maybe it’s because we know that men may come in go in life, even ones we’re married to for 50 years, but ultimately, our female friendships sustain us.
Also, I think it’s because the writers of these programs are tapping into familiar archetypes that we as women instinctively seek out to help us be our best selves. Each has their own version of the Bungalow 4, with:
The Student: The woman who’s figuring her life out, especially after some important life change.
The Force of Nature: The woman who proudly celebrates her sexuality as a force of feminine strength.
The Romantic: The woman who won’t surrender to cynicism, who still believes in true love.
The Champion: The one who isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in or get what she wants.
That’s why I’m always looking for my Bungalow 4 – again, after that OG girl group, The Golden Girls – for fun, friendship and late-night gab-fests over cheesecake. Together, they can help you feel healthier, happier, more empowered and more fulfilled.
More importantly, with these women in your life, you can strengthen these facets of your own character, as I found out when I broke up with my ex. I was unceremoniously thrust back into student mode – navigating a huge life change that required a new house, new job and a new social circle. My friend Jenny, a fierce force of nature, made starting over a grand adventure, while my champion, Becci, was always cheering me on. My friend Kim refused to let me give up on love, even while I was “taking a year off” from any romantic entanglements. Together, these friends helped me transition from cautionary tale to a stronger, smarter version of my old self. Now I’m the Champion for one friend who needs it. And for another friend, I’m happy to be her Force of Nature.
Sure, there are so many more facets to us as women than just these four. Of course, there are. But by strengthening these four core qualities of your own character – and surrounding yourself with women who help you do just that – positive changes will reverberate through your entire self.
Why not identify three other women who help you fill your Bungalow. If you’re The Student at this point in your life, who is your Champion, your Force of Nature and your Romantic? If you’re a Champion, who can you help simply by letting her know you’ve got her back.
Who belongs in my bungalow?