Thursday, May 27, 2010

Single Friends

Are you married or in a committed relationship? How many close single friends do you have?

Single people; do you have close friends who are married?

It’s 1991. My friend Renee and I are both single. We talk freely on the phone with no time limitation. And about once a month, we get together to hang out. We even fly south to one of the islands for a vacation.

Two years later…I began to seriously date G. He’s in another city and I don’t see him every weekend, but still, “hanging out” has lost its appeal. Renee and I keep the phone conversations going, but she begins to sense that it isn’t the same.

I get married. Renee and I maintain our friendship, now spanning two states, but the calls are decreasing…a lot.

Then, she gets married!

The calls pick up – a little – because we have “the marriage thing” in common.

It’s a few years later. She gets divorced. Her time is “all” hers again.

But now I have three children!

I also have several new friends from play group, piano lessons, church, the elementary school, etc. My phone time is all but gone.

Renee and I are down to talking once or twice a year.

In one of our conversations, she says something I’ll always remember. “You’re married with children. Married people just don’t have much time for their single friends. It’s okay; your life is different now.”

What can I say? She’s right. It’s not intentional though.

So, single friends – I thank you for caring about me and keeping our friendship alive via your initiated phone calls and emails. I feel awkward for not calling you much. Just keep in mind that my children will not always be children, and my husband is okay with a “girls” outing – the time will come…or will it?

How do you maintain friendships with single people?

Or, if you’re single, how do you maintain friendships with married people or people in committed relationships?

Have you read the previous post titled Money? It includes some "very good" comments from the followers and readers on how they handle the income of their household - some one income families; others, two or more.


32 comments:

Always Nesting said...

Wow, this sure made me think. I don't think I have one close friend that isn't married or in a long term relationship. Now I do have young men I know that are available asking if I know someone....maybe that's because I have all daughters. :)

Yes, it's harder to maintain friendships when you are in the midst of parenting. It's fun to reclaim that part of yourself when your kids get older. I love this time of dating my husband and going out with our friends.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Interesting topic. At my age, 53, many of my friends have divorced. Knew their husbands for 20+ years also. Presents an entirely different situation - 50 year old women, now single, kids have moved on, and they are alone.

I have always had single friends, however. Friends who never married or divorced young and didn't remarry. Often, my husband, the token man. He didn't seem to mind and we just worked around him. Ha!

Anita, you bring up the most interesting topics.

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

I rarely see or talk to one of my best friends since her divorce. We tried getting together once a month for breakfast but that fizzled as well. Her kids are also all grown and I still have one at home. It is harder to maintain a relationship like this.

MissKris said...

Hmmmmm...I don't have any single friends. But then I don't have much time for friends, period. Not at this stage in life. My 'socializing' is mainly online now and I have precious little time for that! How pathetic! HA! But, honestly, with the schedule I keep I'm too tired to care most of the time. Peace and quiet is what I crave in my 'off' time. Thank goodness I'm not a social creature by nature...I'd be experiencing withdrawal pangs!

Tabor said...

I do not have many single friends and I certainly don't see them much. Sadly most of my friends are my husbands friends or my kids friends. Old friends I keep in touch with on FB.

yonca said...

I have a single friend and you're right.Our lives are different.
Unfortunately, we can't see each other much like before my son was born.

KaLynn said...

Funny thing with me is that even though I am single, most of my friends are married!! We all have kids about the same age, some with grands and some not. We just work about the husbands or include them in whatever we do. I used to feel awkward but then it's been so long and I've known them for so long, if I showed up with someone, they would wonder where my head was!! I do have a few single friends but they seem to be harder to get with than the married ones! We singles just keep our lives full to the brim I guess!

Tammy@ A Doctor in the House said...

I do have a couple of single friends but it's just as you said. We're not as close as we once were. There was a time I almost felt guilty b/c I knew one of them desired to be married with kids. I felt like I was bragging or throwing it in her face. My family is my life so that's about all I have to talk about most of the time. We gravitate to those in similar situations. Thankful for every friend I have and have had in each season of my life.

Aging Mommy said...

I no longer have any single friends but for a long time after I married I did, and we still spent a lot of time together, because girls nights out away from the husband are a good thing I believe and we did weekends away, lunch, coffee, the gym and all sorts of things. However, now we all have children too (funny how all my friends were late starters on families like me) and are scattered all over the world, so I don't get to see any of my old girlfriends and the friends I now have are all Moms, who I have met since my daughter was born. But if I had single girlfriends it would now be very hard to meet up with them - however I would still make the effort.

Bernie said...

This is an interesting topic. My situation is really different from most. Most of my friends are widows and do a lot of things together. My husband is still with me but in the rest home so tho I am living as tho I were single I still have responsibilities as a married woman. By the way, let me offer this piece of advice. Anyone in a resthome needs someone to take care of them a lot. There is always some problem that if you were not on the ball to watch out for your loved one, their care would not be good at all. So if you have someone close to you in any resthome whether it is supposed to be the best of not, be sure to watch what goes on.

I know many of our former supposed friends, like people in a bridge club we were in for 18 years, dropped me and us like hot potatoes when they learned Bill had Altzeimer's. Church group too.
So all of my friends are fairly new. And not married.

Karen said...

I have a couple of single friends, one with kids. We have a lot in common, as parents of teenagers for one thing, so we make time to see one another. However, she understands that my schedule isn't as flexible as hers. As my kids have gotten older, and I realize how fast my time with them will go, and now that I can spend more time with my husband, I choose to put my family first. I've learned to say that sometimes I can't get together simply because it's time I need to spend with my family. I don't need any other excuse.

Anita said...

HELLO EVERYONE - As TAMMY said, "we gravitate towards those in similar situations." That seems to be the case for many of you, but others have expressed different friendship situations that have evolved in their lives - some good, some not so good.

I hope you'll read what each other has to say - especially BERNIE'S comment(5/28/10); someone who is over 80 and has been through more than the rest of us.

MIDLIFE JOBHUNTER JULIE, thank you for the compliment. If it were not for you and others out there sharing your honest feelings, I don't know where I'd get my inspiration! :)

Thank you GIRLFRIENDS!

MORE THOUGHTS PLEASE. THIS POST IS RECEIVING VERY GOOD COMMENTS. I HOPE YOU'LL READ THEM.

Anita said...

PS WE WANT TO HEAR FROM THE FELLOWS TOO. :)

Betty said...

Great post Anita. Very touchy subject to some. I am just now seeing my neighbor and friend (who has separated from her husband), how she has to cope with being alone/single again. The weekends are very lonely and I feel for her. I think she will have to build a whole new network of different friends now. We remain friends, but it´s different now. We usually just visit when my hubby is not there. I think being single is hard, especially here. But I try to support her where I can.

arlee bird said...

I am married and I do not have many friends near where I live, just a few acquaintances from church who are all married. Most of my closer friends live in TN and I rarely see them since I'm in CA. However, I try to keep up with them via phone and internet. Some of those are married and some single (all due to divorce or death of spouse). My kids are all grown and gone from home, but I don't really socialize to much and neither does my wife. I probably should get out more often.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Menopausal New Mom said...

Anita, keeping my friendships with single girlfriends has been very difficult. It didn't help that I moved 3 hours away once I got married. I've lost touch for the most part, I just don't have the time or energy while chasing around a 4 year old all day and then trying to outrun her father at night ;)

My name is PJ. said...

You post some of the most interesting things, relevant to so many women.

I moved away from all of my friends in 1989, some very long, close relationships. What we did was send cards and email, visit a couple of times a year and talk on the phone at night for a couple of hours at a time periodically. We redefined what was routine.

Skype helps enormously.

Real friends, those few that any lucky person may have in a lifetime, hang with you through the changes and grow old with you, regardless the situation.

Paul C said...

Our group of friends includes a single male. He is invited to our get togethers and he is always cordial enough to come. We make a point not to forget to invite him.

Buckeroomama said...

My husband and I still have single friends and still meet up with them once in a while... only we don't get to hang out with them as much as we used to when all of us were single.

I remember when I was still single and two of my best friends from high school already had kids and we got together and they were comparing notes on their pregnancies, children and I SO could not relate! I didn't resent them for it, but I just was not at that life stage yet and they were smack in the middle of it... At that time, I was more about my career and they were both SAHM's. Even though now I have kids of my own, their kids are starting finishing up high school and mine are not even in grade school yet!

SuziCate said...

You're right the relationships do change, esp. when one of the friends is busy raising children. But the wonderful thing is that those people who are really friends will pick the friendship back up as if no time has elapsed in between. I think I am a bit older than you, and I've had this happen now that I have time to myself. And that is the blessing of friendship...it's always there, whether it's in full bloom or waiting for a little sunshine.

Life with Kaishon said...

Hi : ) We are so glad you linked up with Communal Global today. Do you mind adding a link in your post to Communal Global so your friends can find it and maybe link up as well? That would be just ducky! Thanks!

I barely talk to any of my friends married OR single : ) Who has time for friends. Marriage and kids take so much, right? I did go out with my girlfriends to see Sex and the City last week and it was fab fun! Friends are friends no matter what.

Together We Save said...

It is tough to lose touch with old friends no matter the reason... glad even though you don't talk often you know she is there for you.

Rebecca S. said...

Friendships do change as both parties get older and undergo different experiences, move, have children, etc., but the friendship can still flourish if an effort is made to stay in touch in a 'quality' way. I have had a friend since grade one. We used to fight a lot because we had that luxury when we saw each other all the time - there would always be a chance soon to make it up. When that was no longer possible because we rarely saw each other, our relationship actually became much stronger as we both realized we valued each other too much to let our relationship go. Now, when we call each other every few months we spend time encouraging each other and say 'I love you' at the end of the conversation, and that really makes a difference.

Laurie said...

I sm single, and I do see that friends who are married seldom call or show much interest. There are exceptions, and I think that if you really care about the person, then you can make the effort. My mom, recently widowed, had to make tremendous social changes b/c married people were not calling her anymore. But she was resilient, and now a group of good friends, married/widowed, who are faithful to each other in their older years.

Anita said...

BETTY, ARLEE BIRD, MENONEWMOM, PJ, PAUL, BUCKERROOMAMA, SUZICATE, LIFEWITHKAISHON, TOGETHERWESAVE, REBECCA, LAURIE - I thought the first group of responders had almost summed it up, but your responses are all unique and have added a lot more to this subject. Thank you!

HOPE TO HEAR FROM MORE OF YOU!

Jessica said...

So true! I am single but most of my friends are married. Instead of going to the occasional movie, I'm usually called upon to babysit so my friends can go out with their husbands to the occasional movie. After all - I have nothing better to do, right?

BigLittleWolf said...

I am delighted to have found you on Suzicate's blog. Another mom of a "certain age" with teens! And still kicking!

I've been out of synch with the singles, the marrieds, the post-marrieds - everyone it seems - for years. Since my single days in my 20s and early 30s. It's a challenge. We live in a culture that wants to slot us, women in particular, rather than taking us for who (and where) we are. Individuals, with an assortment of roles and responsibilities, at various stages in life.

Here's to those who manage to break through the conventional groupings of couplehood or singleness.

It ain't easy. Especially with kids.

Tracie said...

I don't have any single friends. I barely have any real life friends at all. That's sad. I know.

ModernMom said...

Oh this is one I struggle with all of the time!
One of my close friends got divorced about 2 years ago and does not understand why I don't want to be her wing man? Sigh. I try but honestly, we really are in such different places in our lives. So how do I handle it. With effort and guilt:)

newmumover40 (to be!) said...

Having spent most of my life watching my friends get married and have kids, you learn to simply accept it. It's not nice losing regular contact with people who used to play an integral part of your daily life, but you have no choice. Be happy for them and keep moving forward in your own journey.

Now that I am the one in a relationship, it hasn't changed those old friendships back again, but I am trying my hardest to make sure my current friendships with single friends don't fall by the wayside!

Claire Gibson King said...

I have no kids yet and I am just married but my hubby and I make a huge effort to carve out friend time. Its so important for both of us to have girl time or boy time. I hope that does not change...Most all of my girl friends are still single and I don't feel things have changed between us since getting married. They all just gained a new friend in my husband. Of course our lives are all going in different directions but that is nothing a long phone call won't take care of or a get together. From reading everyones comments...I really hope my relationships with my girlfriends stay strong as well as my relationship with my husband...they both are so essential.

Anita said...

JESSICA - Not many asked me to babysit while single, but they certainly tried to give me "last" pick of vacation time when I was working.
Thanks for commenting and I hope you'll visit again.

BIG LITTLE WOLF - You're right, kids do change our lives...but who want to stay the same. :)
We roll with the punches, don't we!
Thanks for visiting my blog - hope you'll visit again.
I will click over to yours too.

TRACY - There's always friends in bloggyland! :)
But have faith - things change when you least expect it.

MODERN MOM - Yes, it is difficult. For example, I have a hard time having a phone conversation at 9 p.m. after being up since 6 a.m. and talking non-stop to my kids after school.

NEWMUM - Somehow we manage to keep the friends that are meant to be.

CLAIRE - Such a positive response! With your energy and personality, you will probably be one of the ones that will be able to regularly communicate with 25 friends...even after you become a mom!

THANKS EVERYONE.

MORE COMMENTS - I'D LOVE TO HEAR THEM. :)