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I have been known to make fun of married people. No, not all married people—only the ones that completely fall off the face of the planet after they exchange vows. You know the couples I’m talking about, right?

Pre-wedding, you and your friend would spend every waking hour together. She was the one you called to laugh about The Bachelor, to debate whether jeggings are a fashion faux pas, and to detail every miserable moment of every miserable date. She was the one who stopped by unannounced for a midnight cup of coffee, who invited you along on her family vacations, and who knows when to shut up and when to talk during a movie.

Then suddenly, the moment she gets hitched, you’re watching The Bachelor alone because her new husband “doesn’t like reality TV.” The phone stops ringing, and she doesn’t answer her phone, even though she knows you had a date tonight. She flakes on plans you’ve made, and the only time you see her is when her husband is around.

Sound familiar? It happens all the time. Both men and women do it. Guys stop hanging with their guy friends, girls stop hanging with their girlfriends. These newly married couples are glued at the hip, not allowing any others into their tight schedules of smooching and baking cupcakes together.

I get the whole newly wedded bliss thing. I get the honeymoon stage. I get being wrapped up in new love. What I don’t get is abandoning everyone you’ve ever known—just turning them off like a light switch—simply because you said “I do.”

And then I got to thinking… sometimes we single gals and guys do the same. We don’t think it matters because, hey, we’re single. We get the shorter end of the stick. Everyone should cater to us, right?

Here are some things we singles might be doing. (Some of which I’m probably guilty of myself.)

  1. Viewing people in relationships as “annoying”
  2. Making fun of couples who love annoying public displays of affection
  3. Not attending events where there will be mostly couples, because that’s annoying
  4. Complaining when couples can’t hang out with us, because that’s really annoying
  5. Being annoyed when our friends who have kids hold us back from social fun
  6. Backing away from church functions because they cater to annoying married people

So here I am, going on about how… what’s the word… annoying married people are. But maybe it’s not only the married folks who are responsible for driving the wedge between us. Maybe it’s all of us.

My friend was just telling me about her church’s young adults group in San Francisco. It’s groundbreaking, really. Their “young professionals” group includes anyone between the ages of 25-40 — whether or not you’re single, married, or have kids. What a novel concept. This church recognizes that we are not defined by our marital status. We are a community. I can learn and grow from my relationships with married friends. They can learn and grow from their relationships with me. We are a family.

So, I’m setting out to shake the chip off my lonely shoulder, and to be less judgmental of my friends who happen to be in relationships. I’m going to try to accept them for who they are as individuals, to appreciate them and learn from their experiences.

And I’m hoping they will do the same with me. If you’re dating or married, don’t forget about your single friends. We’re still here. We’re still fun. And we’d love to hang out with you.

~Ruth