The Atlantic

Why Women’s Friendships Are So Complicated

Women place a premium on knowing the details of their loved ones’ lives, which can make their relationships as fraught as they are gratifying.
Source: Sol de Zuasnabar Brebbia / Getty

When Deborah Tannen, a linguistics professor at Georgetown University, was in grade school, one of her best friends abruptly stopped talking to her. Tannen and the friend, Susan, had done everything together: They had lunch together, made trips to the library together, did afterschool activities in their New York City neighborhood of Greenwich Village together. Then, one day, Susan cut her off. They wouldn’t speak again until more than half a

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