It is interesting that there is no definition for girlfriend, other than romantic. The dictionary defines her as: "a regular female companion with whom a person has a romantic or sexual relationship"; "a woman's female friend"; "significant other, main squeeze, girl, woman; fiancée; informal steady; dated lady friend,lady love". And it struck me, a man must have written that definition! Because, men simply don't get the relationship between two women, called "girlfriends".
Many of those adjectives, I would have applied to my girlfriend: "regular female companion", "female friend", "lady friend", and "significant other". Significant in that we shared a long history of growing up, of men and broken romance, college, marriages, literally, given birth to our children. We worked together, lived together through so many phases our life; We could finish each others sentences, shared ESP, just knew when we needed to call. We "got it" when we talked. We listened. We watched each other grow up, make huge mistakes in life choices, held each others hands and smiled through the joys and successes we achieved, we competed (as women do) but we always had each others back. The connection was visceral, not physical. Men are physical and although we may call them our "soul mates", men will never understand what it really means for us to have a "girlfriend".