The Single Perspective

The longer I’m single, the number of friendships I have with other single adults dwindles. There was a time in my life when I thought that would be a bad thing, but I think my age has helped me to realize I want friendships with people whose perspective isn’t identical to mine.

I think there’s a bit of a misconception that if singles hang out with married people too much, then we might be sad about what we do not have. And while that may be the case for a few, most of the single people I know don’t use marital status as a gauge for the likelihood of a successful friendship.

If anything, we love being friends with married people because we get a realistic view of marriage. It forces us to deal with our tendency to build false ideas about how wonderful and easy life will be if and when we do marry and have children one day.

Still, friendships with my married friends can require a little more work sometimes. This is not because they aren’t trying or I’m not trying, but simply because our lives look different, and like any friendship, a rhythm must be found.

It’s good to have conversations with our married friends instead of assuming that they know what we’re thinking and vice versa. It’s not fair to get upset with them over our differences if we’ve never really told them things such as:

  • Don’t hold back around me. I want to see the good and the bad of marriage and kids. I’m not fragile; I can handle it. You don’t have to save the hard conversations for your married friends. I might not be able to identify, but I want to hear them. I want to know what’s going on in your life, in every way, so I can better pray for you. I won’t hold back with you either.
  • I know it seems like my schedule is the more flexible one—and often times it is—but if I have something going on and it’s not a family commitment, that doesn’t mean it’s not as important as your scheduled activity. I promise that not everything I do is just for fun or because I have a large amount of free time.
  • I want to hang out at your house. I want to sit around the table and have dinner with your family. I want to meet you at the mall and help you shop with the kids. But sometimes, I just want it to be you and me. Sometimes I need to talk to my friend and know I have your undivided attention. I realize you can’t do it at the drop of a hat; that’s okay. But can we schedule it, please? Weekly, monthly, whenever we can?
  • I want to hang out at my house sometimes too. I like my house, I cook great meals, and I love to entertain. I’m not a college student anymore, and even though I might not have had 5 bridal showers, I’ve amassed quite the collection of dishes and comfortable furniture. I know you have to arrange for your husband to keep the kids and I’m willing to wait until after they go to bed, but will you come to visit me some times, too?
  • Ask me if I want to be set-up. Chances are, I’ll hem and haw for a bit, but I’ll probably give you the green light. It’s just best to ask me before you lay the groundwork with that “wonderful guy” at your husband’s office. Same thing goes for babysitting. Just ask me. I mean, don’t ask me all the time, but ask me occasionally. I’ll let you know if I can’t (or if I don’t want to).
  • I might get jealous of your life sometimes—especially if your husband takes good care of you while you’re sick. It’s okay. I’ll get over it.
  • Again, don’t hold back on me. Don’t let me whine about my singleness. Give me a place to share and be real about my desire to be married, but always remind me that marriage won’t solve my problems. Tell me if I’m obsessing about a guy too much or if you think he’s wrong for me. Just because you’re married doesn’t disqualify you. If anything, it gives you the perspective I need to hear. But promise to not give me the clichés that everyone tells singles, like “When you stop looking you will find him,” and I promise to not make fun of your minivan.

The Married Perspective