When my kids were small and I was sick with the flu, my secret weapon to a fast recovery wasn't just drinking lots of fluids. I wanted the peace and quiet of my bed; I had a date with my pillow and no one was interrupting me. But when you're a mom, the requests for clean shorts and pasta cannot go entirely unattended. That's why a single working mother needs her most crucial artillery: a tight network of friends--especially when they're close at hand.
So when I came across a study about friendship and proximity, I had to stop. In the study, University of Leipzig researchers found that among students who sat in randomly assigned seats, those sitting in neighboring seats had higher ratings of friendship intensity one year later. And the same was true even if the students sat in the same row.
This makes a lot of sense. My friends live nearby, one even in the apartment next to mine. The commute is really short. So on Sunday mornings, I sometimes send her an unobtrusive text message that says: "Coffee?" Or if we're really feeling charged up, we'll all get together on a Friday night in wingwomen mode. But mostly we're there to relay the highlights of the week, touching on family, work, and love. It's a definite therapy session.