A girl using the word 'girlfriends' can be referring to friends who are girls or girls that they are dating, or have dated. If the speaker is a lesbian or a bisexual they probably mean a girls they have dated. If you are unsure of the sexual orientation of the speaker you will have to use context clues to guess at the proper meaning.

Mark Twain once said that the classics are something that everyone wants to have read but nobody wants to read. It explains a bit about our nature with the things that we wish we had had the will to follow through on, and so it describes the least of our failures as aspiring humans seeking culture and well-roundedness in spite of our lack of discipline. Love is no different.

Just like other noders here, I can only define what the word "girlfriend" means when applied to me, and when I do, Twain's quote comes to mind. I have been referred to as someone's girlfriend only a handful of times in my life, and it's possible that the label may have been desired of me a few more times than was actually applied. The ones who desired this never got it because either I didn't want to be what that label meant to that person or I didn't care either way. I would like to believe that I would want that title given as a present of conjugal hope, and I guess since the feelings have not often been that strong, I have only really sought it out for myself maybe two times in my life (both times ended by my hand, as it turns out).

It means to me that while a girlfriend may be what this guy thinks he wants, he may not have what it takes to maintain his end of the bargain. He may simply want one because it's what we are taught to want, and nowadays, it's just been a hard word to use with a straight face. As I get older, it's hard for me to see how the word is going to apply to me, since couples younger than me are often married with at least one child on the way.

Maybe it's how I've come in contact with this word. The first time it had only begun to be used was long after the relationship had been in full swing, used as an afterthought and with introductions to new people. It had a nice ring of ownership then. Then the second time I was approached with it, I was in my own living room with a guy I had been more or less dating for about two weeks. He didn't use the word per se, but wanted to see how long it would be before he could start using it, if that was where I wanted this dating thing to head. I didn't, and so I never took that label for myself. The third and last time was earlier this year in the summer, and by that time I was outright asking and/or begging to have this label apply to me, to which the guy was more than happy to comply. And then, crash, boom, slam.

There are never any sturdy rules for the use of this word; we just try to apply where we think it should go, like puzzle pieces that look almost like they should go in a certain place and for a moment we are caught trying to force the piece in, determined. I liked it the way it fit the first time, so that's the fit I'm looking for again. While being someone's girlfriend is something they would like for themselves, the guy in question may just not be able to go with it, take it on as a burden more of happiness than resignation. And you can't really hate them for it, so therein lies the irony.

But still, I would like to be someone's girlfriend again someday. We never really learn, do we?

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