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Every woman has done it, and every woman has had it done to her—the minute you start a new relationship, your girlfriends are pushed to the back burner. But no matter how wonderful the man, it’s unlikely he’ll ever replace that much-needed time with friends, whether it’s bonding over the season finale of The Bachelorette or a heart-to-heart over coffee. After all, says Carmen Renee Berry, MSW, coauthor of Girlfriends: Invisible Bonds, Enduring Ties, women (much like men) speak their own language. But more than that, our girlfriends are the family we choose for ourselves. Below, a few reasons—some silly, some serious—why we’ll always need one another.

1. Shopping

If you want to share the experience of shopping with someone, says Berry, rather than have someone follow you around, bring a girlfriend. Plus, no matter how wonderful your partner is, he will never grasp why the choice between red alligator and red patent leather pumps is oh-so-important.

2. Group Therapy

Whatever issue you’re facing (relationship, work, general breakdown), there’s no better fix than the unique perspectives of your friends. Plus, Berry says, “You don’t have to explain much for a group of girlfriends to know exactly what you mean.”

11 Ways To Reclaim Your “Me” Time

3. Bethenny Getting Married—or Any Reality TV Show

No matter how hard we try to change their minds, men have long deemed our guilty pleasure intolerable. But that’s OK. Your man doesn’t have to have all the same interests as you. Instead, use it as the perfect excuse to get together with your friends on a regular basis.

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“Beautiful Friendship” Contest Rules

5 Ways To Deal With Friends Who Use You [CONTEST]

Announcing…THE “BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP” CONTEST brought to you by DreamWorks Studios & HelloBeautiful.com

Do you have a beautiful friendship in your life? Have you experienced a friendship with another woman that has influenced your life in a positive way? Transformed you emotionally or spiritually or intellectually, helped you through a challenging situation, or just been plain fun?

Tell us about it in the Beautiful Friendship contest and WIN:

  • a new Flip HD camera
  • an exclusive all-expense paid trip for you and your friend to the LIVE FILM SET of DreamWorks’ upcoming major motion picture, The Help, based on the best-selling book by Kathryn Stockett.
  • a meet & greet with the cast and crew of the film to witness how a film gets made
  • Featured Blogger spot on HelloBeautiful.com to video blog about your experience with your new camera!

To Enter, fill in the form below:

1. Write a description of your “Beautiful Friend” (350 words or less)

2. Upload your most beautiful picture of you both together. (The photo should be a personal photograph, taken by you or of you for which you have permission to post.)

Winners will be chosen by HelloBeautiful on September 20, 2010

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