August 1 is not only the start of a brand new month, but it’s also a holiday. It marks National Girlfriend Day, a day to celebrate your girlfriends and hang out. Since it’s still the summer, hopefully you get a chance to spend the day at the beach or someplace warm.
The holiday is one of many special days to celebrate your loved ones and friends. National Girlfriend Day has gained enough steam that it’s already trending on Twitter.
Here’s what you need to know about National Girlfriend Day.
1. National Girlfriend Day Was Created by Sisterwoman.com, a Social Networking Site That No Longer Exists
National Girlfriend Day has outlived its birthplace. National Day Calendar credits the social networking site Sisterwoman.com with creating the holiday. However, the site no longer exists.
The site was created in 2006 by Allie Savarino Kline and Sally Rodgers. The project gained enough attention that it was highlighted by the Washington Times and other national outlets. The goal was to create a social networking site for women to discuss topics from parenting to health to their favorite TV Shows.
“Almost every woman will tell you, as the demands grow in their life, one of the first things really to go is the time they spend with their girlfriends,” Kline told the Washington Times. Sisterwoman “allows for a relationship to exist even when our life gets in the way.”
2. The Word ‘Girlfriend’ Dates to the 19th Century
The word “girlfriend” began appearing in 1859, according to Merriam-Webster. The Online Etymology Dictionary notes that it was used to describe “a woman’s female friend in youth.” Before that, the term “she-friend” was used beginning in the 17th century.
By the 1920s, the term “dating” became part of American pop culture to refer to two people in a romantic relationship, with a girlfriend or a boyfriend. Communication Studies notes that the term “going out” also gained popularity during the early part of the 20th Century. To this day, “Girlfriend” usually refers to someone you are in a romantic relationship with, although it’s still used to describe someone you have a platonic relationship with.
3. The Number of High Schoolers Dating has Steadily Declined, a 2013 Study Shows
ChildTrends.org notes that it is still common for high school students and teenagers to date, but the numbers have been declining. The site notes that a study of Eighth, Tenth and Twelfth-Grade students completed in 2013 shows that 38 percent of those polled said they did not date in 2013, compared to 14 percent in 1991. Only 17 percent reported dating frequently in 2013, a new low for the study.
However, a 2015 Pew Research Center study found that 35 percent of teens ages 13 to 17 have experience with dating or a romantic relationship. Eighteen percent said they were currently in a relationship.
Most of those who responded to the Pew poll were not sexually active. About 30 percent of teen daters said they had sex, while 66 percents said they had not.
4. Over Half of Americans Think Using Online Dating Sites Is a Good Way to Meet People
Another Pew Research Poll, taken in February 2016, shows that 59 percent of Americans now think online dating is a good way to meet people. In 2005, when Pew started asking questions about online dating, that number was 44 percent.
Still, the study, taken in June and July 2015, shows that people still think only desperate people use online dating sites. Twenty-three percent of those polled agreed that people who use the sites are desperate.
Online dating also spiked in two age groups. Among 18-24-year-olds, it jumped from 10 percent in 2013 to 27 percent in 2015. Among 55-64-year-olds, the number jumped from 6 percent to 12 percent from 2013 to 2015.
Notably, the Pew study found that a third of those polled never went on a date with anyone they met on the site. Also, just 5 percent said they are in a committed relationship with or married to a person they met online.
5. Twitter Users Shared Photos of Their Girlfriends on National Girlfriend Day
On Twitter, the hashtag #NationalGirlfriendDay started trending, and several users have shared photos of their girlfriends or shared stories about their loved ones. Fans of TV shows and movies also shared photos of their favorite fictional couples.
By the way, National Boyfriend Day is a thing, but it’s not until October 3. There’s also Husband Appreciation Day on April 15 and Wife Appreciation Day on September 18. There’s also a little holiday called Valentine’s Day in February.