Should Married People have Single Friends?

Oh Vulnerabites,

She texted me saying: “Shared my news with the bestie and didn’t really get the excitement I was looking for.”

Ouch.

That feeling when the best time of your life is equally the worst time of your life.

Somewhere in between ‘finally being found by your Boaz(or your Billy)‘ and being thrilled to share that with your closest friends, also comes this weird grieving space where she says without words ‘I’m happy for you, but not really.’

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Oh sit down, let’s talk honey… this is going to  be good 🙂

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Look, we’ve all been there. Or not. Some of us, on both sides.

Disclaimer: It is possible, and it’s normal, to be happy that your friend found love and at the same time be sad about what that means for your friendship.

…and here’s my take, from both sides…

When I was single:(3) things that bothered me about my closest friends getting into relationships:

  1. Sloppy Seconds – I would no longer be their first phone call when something excited or sad happened. Which meant, I would get the leftovers to sharing in that special moment with them. They were MY friend, I should have first dibs on the turning points in their lives. Right?
  2. Single and Still Searching  – It reminded me of my singleness. Yep! Going out with my girlfriends helped soothe the disappointments of my search, and if she was no longer searching, I was left to deal with this on my own.
  3. Sharing Life with No One – She became less interested in what was going on in my life. Now all of her attention and energy was devoted to this new character she didn’t even know 3 months ago. *Scoffs* It was cool that she had someone to share life with? But what about me?

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Now that I’m married:(3) things that bother me about my single friends:

  1. Giving Me SpaceDid I ask you for space? There’s like this imaginary rule written absolutely NO WHERE that when people get married, they need some ‘space’… as if our friendship now occupies more space because I’m married. Uummm, wrong! I still want my friends around.
  2. Treating Me Like “I’ve Made it” – Whew! That was a close one! Almost didn’t make it to the altar there! Marriage is not the “I’ve Made it” in life Certification. In fact, marriage is revealing how much more work I’ve got to do on myself! If you think you’re a Christian, try getting married. Ha! 
  3. Giving me a Degree in Psychology. Look y’all, I just got married… I didn’t get my license in the psychotherapy of human relationships. But what I CAN offer you, is my experience… that’s it. And now that I’m married, I know MORE about how DIFFERENT every relationship is, because people are different. Are there underlying principles we can apply across the board like patience and forgiveness? Of course. But I can’t say that your man will act like mine in the same situation, because they are different people.

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So Vulnerabites, what am I saying? As singles and marrieds, we have to learn how to co-exist. We have to learn to transition (or not transition) with each other.

We have to get more honest conversations going.

…as a single, I should have been able to tell my ‘married friends’ — “Hey! I miss you friend and I fear being left behind as you start your new life.”

..And now that I’m married … Being intentional about ‘creating the time’ to connect with my loved ones and sharing life with them in a way that ‘includes’ them, even while I figure out this married life. Fighting the part of me that wants to sort through my emotions, understand them and THEN come and share my great revelations, but what about the joy that comes with sharing the journey?

For Clarity’s Sake: If we want to maintain a relationship, its up to us, not the other personeven if we’ve shared how we feel with them.

At church this past Sunday, there was an announcement for the Singles Ministry meeting (a discussion on self growth) and I lit up! Anybody who knows me, knows that I’m a personal development junkie. That topic had my name written all over it, BUT… it was for the singles.

Yuck! What was that feeling?

In that moment, I had this gut check that somehow ‘separated’ me from them.

Oh heck nah!!! I do not  want to be stuck in this ‘married peoples corner’ (the same corner I cried and prayed many nights about — oh the irony of life).

I can remember asking the host of a ‘singles & married’ conference a question, and in his exact words he said, “I am too far removed from the single experience and can not understand or relate to you.”

In the Issa Rae thought bubble of myself : What the *&%)*? So you was born married?!??! Or were you betrothed as a toddler? 

I decided then that I would not be like him. The person “too married” to be of any use to singles. And this entry is my first step in that direction, getting this conversation started with my Vulnerabites 🙂

So, Vulnerabites… how do “we” learn to co-exist authentically?

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I’m listening… 🙂

Singles, what are some things you want from your married friends?

Marrieds, how can we be intentional about our single friendships?

Lets Talk.

Yours Vulnerably,

The Naked Writer

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45 Comments Add yours

  1. Christy B says:

    I love the realness to the way you write here. You’re so right that just because someone is in a relationship doesn’t mean that they know everything about the topic and are now the “go-to” person for advice! I am in a relationship and sometimes struggle with how much to share with my single friends – the good stuff – because I worry they will feel lonely about their singledom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome Christy! So glad to have you! Thanks for reading. I understand that sentiment all too well and for a long time did not talk about my relationship and I share that in this blog https://thenakedwriterblog.com/2017/02/24/why-i-dont-talk-about-him/ — this is probably exactly how you’re feeling!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Christy B says:

        OMG! YES that post is exactly what I was feeling. Loved the “unpeeled banana” reference too. Great to be here 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Lol … yes girl! I totally get it 😌 But I’m learning and growing in how to share! Welcome my newest Vulnerabite ❤️☺️

          Liked by 1 person

  2. unspoken90 says:

    It obviously depends on the situation. When I was married my husband left his home town to come to mine. So we were thrown into the married group at church which had only 2 other couples our age and they didn’t talk to us no matter how hard I tried to reach out. I felt bad because I had friends and they were single so my husband was left out. We managed to find one couple our age out of our church of 200 people to do things with. My husband didn’t make the effort.

    Having married friends is awesome because you can bond together and enjoy each other along with what should be your best friend.

    Seeing how you are in church I wonder if that’s what is taught. Married couple need to be together and you shouldn’t spend time with them separately? It seemed to be the case in my situation. I had my pastor tell me that I shouldn’t spend time alone with my friends and that I should be ashamed for neglecting my responsibility to my husband. That being said I think there needs to be a balance.

    Either way I think there is a rift that occurs that will eventually come between married and singles and it’s jsut a matter of time. I am in touch with my single friends since my divorce and well I only have one married friend that is in contact with me and spends time with me.

    Whew sorry for the long comment. It was an interesting write and look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Wow! Wow! Thank you for being so generous in sharing your life with us! Wow! I’m so sorry to hear that your marriage didn’t work out, that can’t be easy.

      “I had my pastor tell me that I shouldn’t spend time alone with my friends and that I should be ashamed for neglecting my responsibility to my husband.” —- Wow! That’s a really hard statement. Sigh.

      Like you said, everything has to be with balance.

      Thanks so much for sharing a different perspective with us. 🙂 Welcome Vulnerabite! Glad to have you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. utahan15 says:

    too complicated
    no singles and married
    should not mingle
    esp if you gag
    have kids
    ewwwwwwwww!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol …. thanks for that very honest though utahan 🤓

      Like

      1. utahan15 says:

        j o h n bye bye

        Like

  4. Sneha Shenoy says:

    Hi. That’s a beautiful thought. And something that made my day. Hope you write some more

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to hear that ☺️

      Like

  5. When your friend is married or is in a serious relationship, everything changes. Some husbands in this part of the world (Nigeria) will stop at nothing to separate their wives from their single friends, just so they don’t ‘influence’ them negatively. For some women, their husbands become their world… friendships are just never the same after one gets hitched

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow! Stop at nothing? That sounds like a very strong determination 😬 Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🤓

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Joelle says:

    First of all, I’m at work cracking up about the “were you betrothed as a toddler?” Literally had me laughing out loud with my co-worker giving me the side eye.
    My take is that, just as every marriage is unique, with some basic guiding principles being universal, as you so brilliantly put it, so are friendships. Because each human being is so different, the reactions and behaviors are going to differ. How we define friendship, how we enter into or maintain relationships in general, is different, and we don’t know how we’ll react until placed in a particular situation. This is my long winded way of saying, this is hard and I don’t have an answer that is remotely solid.
    To me it boils down to love. It’s like you getting to choose a sibling and loving that sibling through everything, the stuff that makes you burst with pride, the stuff that hurts your soul, and everything in between. To me that’s friendship. We don’t treat family totally different after one gets married, so why do it to a friend?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joelle!!! I can see your cheeks rising, your eyes squinting and your pearly straight teeth shining through! lol I can LITERALLY see you laughing out loud.

      “we don’t know how we’ll react until placed in a particular situation.” — You are EXACTLY right!

      I think you hit it on the head… LOVE.

      And you’re right, it’s easier for us to transition into marriage with our family (sometimes) than with our friends. Very interesting point! Hhmmmm… Good food for thought!

      Like

  7. Kye Medley says:

    Ok, so now that I’m engaged I see how the balance can be a little difficult for me sometimes, as opposed to when I was single. So, I do have single friends and when I was single we use to talk all the time about everything, but now that I am engaged it is not as often. I mean, I believe as you get older the conversations do dwindle a little bit, and I was ok with that because I just thought that’s how it went. However, I didn’t realize until a friend of mine pointed it out, that she felt left out ever since I got engaged. I didn’t really understand what she meant at first. I felt like we talked often, but after thinking back, I will admit that it wasn’t as often. So we both agreed to intentionally communicate more. And I definitely need to work on my communication skills in all aspects of my life. I am a work in progress, lol. And thank God for my man because he is completely understanding that I have friends and that we talk and hang out, and he doesn’t feel a way like some spouses do. But yeah, finding that balance and being intentional can be difficult sometimes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Madam Kye! Congrats again on your engagement!!! Wow. I commend your friend on being able to articulate her feelings to you and share that ‘I feel left out.’ That’s hard to do, because maybe her fears might come across as ‘needy’ OR ‘not understanding of the changes that come with a new relationship’. It’s interesting that these feelings came up AFTER your engagement, which is when the first signs of ‘rocky friendship’ tend to show up. I think that as we move into ‘deeper’ relationship with our SO, we also develop a deeper friendship with them, sometimes disrupting the friendships we already have. Sigh.

      Thanks for sharing life with us!

      I wonder even if you didn’t talk to her as ‘often

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Friends4life says:

    I believe that communication is very important amongst relationships and that for the most part can help friendships stay strong and grow as we experience changes in our lives.
    I have 2 close friends who got married to one another and the three of us always used to hang out…they got married and of course we don’t see each other as much because we are busy working adults and they now have a child but we both are intentional about staying in touch with each other and planning time to hang out…we tell each other that we miss one another and we stay in touch.
    I also think there has to be a level of understanding and Maturity to know that our lives are changing and even if we don’t hangout all the time or if I don’t respond to your text immediately I still love and care about you and haven’t forgotten you. As a single woman, my life seems more busy than some of my married friends life so we have an unspoken understanding that we have our own lives but we will make every effort to link up every month or every other month. I tell myself, if I think about them, they come to mind, just reach out…don’t overthink and think I’m intruding just reach out.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wow! Two friends that married each other, that’s interesting!

      Yes! A level of understanding that our lives are changing…. indeed!

      And I agree, singles can end up being way more busy than married people… lol. I was a BUSY single!

      Good to hear about the intentionality once a month! 🙂

      And that’s what it’s all about… being intentional. 🙂

      Thank you for sharing your life with us!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Vanessa says:

    All I can say is that three of my closest friends that have gotten married have lost my number and dropped off the face of the earth never to be heard from again. It’s been my experience that we cannot coexist for whatever reasons.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

      But we CAN.

      Which is why I want to get this conversation going. Have you tried connecting with them since they got married?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Vanessa says:

        Not really. They have kids so their lives are revolved around them which is understandable. They get together with other married couples with kids. Guess they just have more in common.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Mac, you did it again. You nailed it!

    As someone who has recently gotten married, I experience so much of this! Most of my friends are single and treat me as though “I’ve made it,” given me space that I didn’t ask for and acknowledged an imaginary degree that I don’t have. I’m not sure what’s happening. But I admit, I did all of these things when I was single and one of my friends got married.

    In order to understand them, I try to remember my mindset of when I was single. I thought that if a woman was married then, she had passed some kind of exam. She had all the answers so I had to go to her with all of my questions. Suddenly, marriage meant that a woman didn’t need anyone but her husband. If I asked her to hang out, then I was “intruding.” A married friend has definitely “made it” since she got the prize that so many of us desperately want.

    Once I reflect, I can think of ways to relate to my single friends. I try to call and initiate plans that do not include my spouse. I offer for us to go to brunch just us girls or a girls trip. I put the burden on myself to continue the relationship. I am hoping that my efforts will pay off and my single friends will feel comfortable relating to me like they used to, but if not, then that’s okay.

    With marriage comes a new season, and in that, there’s new friendships. If my friends don’t come around, then I try not to let it get to me too much. (Although that’s easier said then done…)

    So glad you brought up this topic!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh and one other thing – when I got engaged, there were people who I knew would take it hard so I prepared myself. That helped eliminate the shock, but it still hurts when friends aren’t happy for you.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yaa Yaa!!!! Heeeyyy boo!!!

      Ditto. Ditto. Ditto.

      She had all the answers so I had to go to her with all of my questions. <<< Lol. Funny enough, now I do this with my friends who have been married 'longer' than me…lol. And honestly, it helps to know 'oh honey, that's just part of being married.'

      I do love the way you're intentional with your single friends! I have to say, there's something about "just being with the girls" that being with hubby just doesn't make up for. All the laughs, hour long talks and 'Girl! Yes!' moments are priceless. I hope your friends DO see your efforts and reciprocate them!!!

      And you're so right! New season. New friendships. I'm learning the hard way that not everyone will go with you into your new season. It's definitely easier said then done, but those who want to be in it with you, will be. And those who don't… well we don't want to be dragging anybody along , now do we?

      Thanks for sharing your insight Yaa Yaa! Big Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Love love love this post!!!!

    #1 stop forgetting about us single folks . We still wanna hang out .

    We do have to learn to coexist but I also do believe it has to do with the person. Some people become codependent on their partner and that’s all they care about . I’ve been there.
    It’s important for us to understand that single or not life doesn’t stop. We should still keep communication going and make time for the people that are important .

    #2. We should all have our own lives . Single you 100% have your own life . Marriage , you’re sharing your life not giving it away to your significant other. I desire to be married one day and I want me and my husband to both have a life. Give each other some time to miss one another . Balance is everything in life . But sometimes we can be extreme if we aren’t whole within ourselves .

    As the single woman I’ve brought this same issue up. And I always get “ well you’re single you don’t get it” . But I’ve never been the type to drop everybody for a man so idk man . Lol everyone is different but we do have to do better . Single or married we should still be able to remain friends. We may not hang out and be together as much but we should still be able to talk on the regular and hang out from time to time

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Cristal! I’m Yaa Yaa and I have a question for you. When you say “codependent” – what does that mean to you? What does a codependent woman look like? The reason I ask is because I got married in August and since then, my single friends have “given me space” that I didn’t ask for. You mention that codependency could be a factor, so I’m curious to know if my codependency is the reason people are giving me so much space.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Codependency just means you rely on your spouse for everything. When you’re codependent you rely on him to fill your every need. Codependent people in relationships rarely do anything without their spouse. They can’t be Haley without them . You have no life. Your whole life revolves around your significant other . It’s an unhealthy balance basically .

        Liked by 1 person

        1. How can you tell if your friend is co-dependent? Does she invite her spouse to girl outings?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes . Coming from a single woman it can get annoying if I ask you out and you always wanna bring your man . As women we are more intimate and emotional and we value one on one time with our besties but not everyone thinks like that . You may be doing it innocently tho.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Lol… Really Cristal? Do you have friends who do that?

              Perhaps it isn’t clear that you want to spend ONE on ONE time with them.

              Just Maybe.

              … and yeah, maybe homegirl is just tripping…lol

              Liked by 2 people

              1. I used to have friends like that 😂😂 not anymore tho

                Liked by 1 person

        2. Cristal, hear me out on this one. I’m going to challenge you here.

          There IS a level of co-dependency in marriage.

          I know couples who do EVERYTHING with their spouses except go to work, and well, that works for them.

          I don’t know if it’s up to us too determine how much time with one’s spouse is ok.

          How can we say “this number of activities” with your spouse is ok and anymore than that is ‘unhealthy’?

          YET, I DO believe in taking time to spend with ourselves and others… wether we are married or not.

          Codependency can show up in singleness too, the weight we place on our friendships/family, can also be unhealthy.

          It goes back to your point about us being ‘whole’…. so the issue isn’t wether or not someone spends too much time with their spouse, it’s wether or not someone is using ‘their spouse/insert any other thing here’ to fill an empty space in themselves.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Exactly . Codependency is using someone else to fill the voids that a human was never created to fill .

            Liked by 1 person

      2. Hey Yaa Yaa,

        Oooooo Good Question!!!

        >>>my single friends have “given me space” that I didn’t ask for<<< HHHmmmm…. I'm not sure how this unspoken rule made it's way into our friendships…lol

        Co-dependency. Tough word for married couples. Because in so many ways, we ARE co-dependent on our spouses…. Yikes! Another blog!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Right! And that’s why I like to hear what a single person thinks of that word. I’m thinking that “co-dependency” means that a woman is not her own person. She can’t go out with her friends without inviting her husband. She can’t talk about her thoughts without saying his thoughts as well. And every sentence begins with “we.” She talks about him ALL. THE. TIME.

          There’s healthy co-dependency or shall we say interdependency, where I can make plans after work that do not include my spouse as long as it a) within budget b) It won’t interfere with some other plan I have with hubs. I am in a marriage but I still find time to do things I love that have nothing to do with him.

          Women get so caught up in their marriage. It begins to define them to a point where singles get highly irritated and begin to paint all marrieds with the same brush.

          I don’t understand the space either! But I feel it. I definitely feel it…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. OOooooo…. interdependency…. I like that word!!!

            Women get so caught up in their marriage. It begins to define them. —- RIGHT. I felt a pinch of that when that man told me ‘i am too far removed from the single experience.’ — Like, he couldn’t picture his life when he was single…. It really was “highly irritating”.

            Yaa Yaa! Lol… Girl, we gotta change the narratives of married women and their single friends. One keystroke at a time, let’s change the world! lol

            Liked by 2 people

    2. Cristal!!! Ohhh this is good! Thank you for this very honest response!!!

      You about to make me write another blog..lol

      #1 stop forgetting about us single folks . We still wanna hang out.
      — I hear you honey. When I was single, I had to be intentional about asking my married friends for that one-on-one time AND making myself more flexible to THEIR schedule. (Even for my friends with kids, its the same thing)… It takes a little more planning to spend time with your friends when they have other people (kids/spouse) that is in demand of their time.

      #2. We should all have our own lives .
      — See! This comment right here can rub some married people the wrong way, and I can understand why. When you get married, your spouse becomes the ‘highest human relationship’ you will have on this earth. Most people will marry someone they are ‘friends’ with and what you might be seeing as co-dependent, could be someone spending time with their ‘friend’ who also happens to be who they love.

      However, I have seen couples who only hang out with themselves. They do absolutely EVERYTHING together. Is that wrong? Well, if it works for them…. they should do what is suitable to their lives.

      Perhaps they have moved to a new city together, and they only have each other.

      I’m learning not to judge couples, because I understand better now, there is no ‘blueprint’ for how all couples should think and behave.

      I think the challenge with only hanging out with your spouse (or even a best friend) is the risk of that person becoming an idol… your one stop shop for everything.

      I also think that creating new experiences with people outside of your spouse give you something to talk about (like when you’re dating and you share your life outside of them with them.) Get it?

      But of course… in balance, because as a married person, I also don’t believe in spending time with everyone else and neglecting your spouse. Your marriage IS your priority.

      You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned being whole within ourselves. That’s absolutely right!

      The “well you’re single you don’t get it”, does hold some truth, but it shouldn’t be where the conversation ends. There ARE some things on ‘this side’ of marriage, that I didn’t understand until I began to experience it. I read things, listened to experiences and could only comprehend it in theory.

      It’s sort of like when you’re in college and your professors talk about the ‘real world’— you hear them, but you understand much better when you get there yourself. Does that make sense?

      As I navigate this newlywed space, I’m hoping to ‘articulate’ the spaces in marriage that are ‘in-articul-able’… because I do believe that with more honest dialogue, we (the marrieds and singles) can have healthier ‘transitional’ friendships.

      Liked by 3 people

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