Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Married couples, single folks can be friends

Scene: Two women are shopping at Carolina Place Mall on a Saturday afternoon. Both are in their late 20s and have been friends since college. One is getting married in a couple months to her high school sweetheart. The other is hopelessly single, but has received two winks on in the past week! We listen in on their conversation as the iced lattes are finished off and Macy’s is the next stop.

Woman 1: Once you get married, won’t you drop all of your single friends because they won’t understand and you’ll run out of things, like, to talk about?
Woman 2: Um, no. It’s not like that at all. Why would I stop hanging out with you?
Woman 1: Maybe because being a third wheel is not my idea of a good time?!
Woman 2: You know how John and I are, we love our friends, and there’s always room in our friendship for the single as well as married ones.
Woman 1: I don’t know … just seems like we won’t be able to go to BAR Charlotte anymore or go cruising down Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach. Instead, we’ll resort to talking about ya’ll buying a house, planning for a family and going to brunches instead of bars. All that married stuff.
Woman 2: Girlfriend, hold off on the kid talk – you’re moving a little fast. Just because my priority is my soon-to-be husband and you might not fully understand the fact he doesn’t ever replace the empty toilet roll with a new roll -- it must be a guy thing -- does not mean we cannot hang out.
Woman 1: I guess you’re right. I just hope it won't be awkward.
Woman 2: Seems silly for married people to say "I do" to your spouse and "sayonara" to your friends just because they’re single.
Woman 1: If you say so. We’ll see.
Woman 2: We will … Whoa! Check it out; Macy’s has a sale on diamonds. Maybe John can upgrade my diamond for our fifth wedding anniversary?
Woman 1: You just got your engagement ring! Aren't you moving a little fast?

Note: The conversation and women are fictional, the problem being discussed is not.


Anonymous said...

Married couples and singles can remain friends. I was the single one until about a year ago. My friends always included me in their activities...grilling out, football games, happy hour, etc. I truly enjoyed my time with them. I never felt like a third wheel. Now that I am with someone, it's even better that my friends enjoy my significant other's company too.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, this happens on both sides. Some married people start withdrawing from their single friends and only mingling with other couples, and some singles think they have lost their place in their engaged/married friend's life. When I met my now-husband, I had a close single friend say that our lives were going in different directions and that my life didn't have room for her. Yet she was the one I wanted to share my happiness with in the ways that women share their experiences. I wish she hadn't felt that way.

Anonymous said...

I was dumped by two of my best college friends when they got engaged and married. They completely withdrew from all their single friends. It's made me determined to be more adult-like about the situation and to try hard to always include my single friends, whenever I get married.

Anonymous said...

I was able to maintain my friendships with my married friends, I just didn't see them as often once they tied the exception was with a friend, who actually drew closer to me after she got married, because her husband was away from home more than he was home. But I'm curious about what happens to women who lose their husbands to death or divorce...I've heard several stories about how their married friends distanced themselves from these women once they were no longer part of the married world. And that's sad, because if I ever marry, but then lost my husband, I'd want the support of my friends, married or single. I don't understand this...

Anonymous said...

I am newly married and have not had any problems losing friends, but I can see the case for this happening.

The solution is two fold, although not necessarily easy.

One, married couples need to conciously make time for their friends. My wife and I enjoy our friends, married and single, and make time to spend with all of them together and individually.

Two, and this is the hard part, if you are single and your friend is getting married, you need to keep your confidence. Your married friends still love you, but your relationship may change a little. It doesn't mean you are liked less, or your friendship needs to end. Stay confident, don't worry about the "status" of your friendship, and make time for your friends.

Anonymous said...

There's another issue as well, and that's a single person BECOMING friends with a married couple, or a group of marrieds. I've been divorced for years and unintentionally single for too many years now, and I would love to meet a single man through some of these happily married couples (I mean, they've cracked the code, so it makes sense to me that these are the ones to learn from. Seems to make more sense than a singles hangout, where everyone is adrift on their loneliness...). But it is extremely rare to be included at parties, gatherings, evenings out, etc., with these folks. I'm good company, I'm interesting, and I'm interested. But it seems that couples don't consider bringing a new woman into the fold. Why is that? I'd like to encourage couples--married and otherwise--to bring their single friends together in natural ways. And I'd also like to know your views on why this doesn't happen.