Navigating Married Life: Maintaining Friendships with Single Friends
Can Married Friends Sustain a Friendship with their Single Friends?
That common Snow Whitish statement is, "birds of a feather flock together". But is that ever that case when it comes to friendship?
Nothing is more dope than a sisterhood bond of parties, trips, drinks, sleepovers, and my
favorite, random adventures. Then the inevitable happens, and one of you finds your soulmate, and he solidifies this fact by putting a ring on it. The sisterhood has elevated as there is a bridal party and wedding to plan. This friend is designated to be a part of your special day in some capacity if nothing more than alleviating stress. The wedding day has finally come, and afterward, the friend bids her sister good luck on her new journey with the love of her life.
The Start of the Honeymoon Stage = A Shift in Friendship
The day after the wedding, the married friend wakes up to realize she is no longer single. Both she and her mate are tasked with the complex concept of compromise and figuring out what the hell to do next. This honeymoon stage is usurping the energy that was once reserved for her friend has shifted to her husband. Overall this is an adjusting period for all three parties leaving, well, everyone uncomfortable.
While both you and your friend were single, it was important for the friend and mate to reach
some level of friendship. The essentialness of this plays a significant factor after marriage. If the friend and the mate don't get along, it can cause an inevitable rip in the union. If neither gets along, the friend may have to face choosing one over the other.
FYI: In not all cases does the spouse win this battle.
If both the spouse and friend get along, there is still that quality time struggle. The friend is stuck with trying to stay current on her friend's life while trying to build a life with her spouse. From personal experience, that is a tricky balance to try and maintain. So whether you are fighting against the inevitable, there will be a quality time shift in your friendship. Either the friend can accept this, or she can accept this, bottom-line, she will have to adjust.
Old School Marriage vs. New School Marriage
Old-school adults will tell you that your husband comes first over everyone. This concept forces you to be uncleaved to anything or anyone part of your single life. Personally, this is an open door for resentment as both mates should still be given the space to be individuals. These old school adults always believed that single women should not hang with married women for some of these popular reasons:
Single women are a distraction
Your friend is not sincerely happy for you
Girl, don't have your man around your friend; that's trouble
Although there are instances when these three bullet points could annihilate your marriage but realistically, a true friend would not intentionally do anything to sabotage your marriage.
Although a single life offers liberties that marriage now prohibits, the married friend is an adult and is in charge of her own decisions. If the single friend attempts to coerce her married friend into doing something she is comfortable with, she has the free will to choose for herself. Also, once again, a true friend would not purposely put you in an uncompromisable position.
I have watched enough Jerry Springer shows to witness friends getting too close with spouses. Their explanation is "it just happened" and I don't believe that shit, and neither should the next wife, some type of emotional bond formed beyond the friendship zone. And although the friend and spouse should get along, boundaries must be met.
The new-school mentality is that a woman can sustain her identity and routine and still be
married. She is not required to give up anything she does not choose to. This means she can
continue to hang with friends and keep working on her side hustles while tackling whatever
responsibilities she and her spouse have decided. The traditional role of the wife being the
designated caretaker has since been eliminated, and there is a joint effort within the home.
In the new age marriage, the single friend would still have limited access to the married friend. There would still need to be a boundary established, but it no longer requires "permission". The spouse would still have the freedom to make requests, but it would be on the terms to those in the marriage and not a set of outdated guidelines.
But Wait! There is Another Side of the Coin!
It was mentioned earlier that friends have a lot of adjusting to do when their friends get married. However, the married friend needs to be aware of her actions or inactions for the friendship to sustain. It is natural for the married friend to think they have arrived after the wedding and totally forget about how the unattached friend is feeling.
Here are some things married friends should keep in mind with their single friends:
Don't be obsessive with the Hook Ups
The married friend may be compelled to push their friend into marriage just to have something in common but make sure you are not pressuring her to just love the one she is with. Society does a good enough job in making her feel inadequate, so please be sensitive to this. If they ask to be hooked up, that is another story, but make sure your matchmaking is not intrusive.
Schedule a Friend Day
This is in line with the first point. Inviting your single friend to a plethora of couple gatherings is
also pressure. To avoid her feeling left out, it is a good idea to set a time for just you and her.
This way, you two can catch up on each other's life, veg out, or just be silly like old times.
Don't Throw Your Marriage in Her Face
While your friend is ecstatic about your new journey, she does not need your pity. She does not need someone looking at her with sad puppy eyes because she has not yet found her mate. Just like it is inappropriate to through her single privileges in your face, be mindful to not repetitively remind her that she is single. Some women enjoy being single, and your pity will fly over their heads, but for those who are longing for what you have, encourage them.
Conclusively, married friends can sustain a friendship with their married friends with boundaries in place. Both friends need to come to a mutual understanding and set new normalcy for their sisterhood to work. The single friend needs to understand the married friend is not as available as before; the married friend needs to make sure she does not turn her single friend into a project.
Posted by: LaydieFluent
Written by: Renita Quirls