Some of these are my own thoughts and some come from the hearts of others. We get a lot of posts dedicated to us and how we should live as single people (especially females). So I wanted to write something for our married friends. On how to care for us, and how to continue to be our friend.
I love that we are cared for. No really, singleness is hard. Real hard. Especially when a majority of your friends are married. It’s not a secret to most that my life has entered that stage. For the first time in a while, I did not see one engagement the day after Valentine’s Day. I don’t even think it’s that people have realized there are more original times either, I honestly think that I have less friends that are not married or engaged.
That being said, life proves to be interesting as a woman that is 25 and single. How people relate to me, the advice I receive, the compassion people have and more. All of it is appreciated.
I would say a majority of my friends are gentle. Actually, most of them are above average, over the top, great. I am so blessed to have been a part of great friendships over the years. I’ve watched my friends go through some guys that were jerks, only to get engaged the next year to an incredibly Godly man. I’ve watched the cutesy stages of “I think we’re talking” to “He asked me out!” to “Our wedding will be in 8 months, will you please be a part of it?!”. And my heart has never been so full to witness these beautiful stages.
But with an increase in artcles about things that us “Singles” need to remember while we are stuck out here in the desert, I feel like there are some things that married people need to remember about those times that have quickly been documented as part of their past:
1. I am not incomplete.
I know. Marriage is great. No really, we have read about it and it sounds awesome. And yes, we’ve heard, it’s hard. But you have not found a new religion and you don’t need to convert us. We are still complete, even though we may be missing something great. If you remember from your days of singleness, it’s not always that easy. There are not guys waiting outside my door to ask me out and chances are that wasn’t the case for you either. But just because that’s not the case, doesn’t mean I’m half of a person. Help us to remember that we are whole, with or without the love of our life.
2. I respect your marriage.
Maybe I should have started with this one. I respect your marriage, though. You need to hear that, because some days I might sound jealous that I don’t get you anytime I want anymore. My respect level for you has not dropped just because you got the gift of marriage and I’m not there yet. But I am so happy you have found someone. I’ve prayed for your marriage to prosper and I’ve watched as you learn the art of being married. No “but”s, you just need to hear that I respect your marriage.
3. I’m not single because of my lack of faith.
Please don’t tell me that if I pray more, I’ll find a husband. And I don’t really want to hear about how it happened when you least expected it. Those comments are not helpful, nor are they true. God is not dangling my husband over my head until I look away and I’m starting to get a little worried that some of us single people are starting to believe that. Thank you for praying for my future husband. I’m praying for him too. But just because I didn’t fast for a week in my “waiting”, doesn’t mean God is going to withhold him from me.
4. While I respect your marriage, I still need to borrow you sometimes.
I get it. You exchanged vows with him, not me. And that’s great because it wouldn’t have worked out between us anyway. But sometimes I still need you. Not all the time, but there might be a night where I just need you to be my friend. And I know, dinners are reserved for your spouse because you really don’t get to see him all day. Again, I respect your marriage. But maybe you can go to dinner with me, or pick up my phone call at an inconvenient time every once in a while, because I really just need a friend.
Note: my friends are actually really good at this, but I know a few people who have had this struggle with their married friends.
5. It was just a date.
One date. Dinner was great and so was the conversation, but we didn’t decide right then and there whether we should spend the rest of our lives together. And no, I’m not being picky. You’re right, though, sometimes I’m picky, but right now that is not the case. We just don’t know each other and that’s OK because we just met and proposal on a first date is not how real life works. You suggesting that it is feels like a lot of pressure. I love that you’re interested and you care but please slow your roll, stop pinning stuff to a Pinterest board for my wedding and wait a couple of dates for me to share my thoughts on this whole thing.
6. Just because it’s my choice, doesn’t mean it’s not still hard.
Maybe I’m choosing to be single right now. It’s true. Maybe I have prayed about it and it has been revealed that I am just not ready to be in a relationship. That doesn’t mean that it’s still kind of hard to not have a date to your Christmas party, wedding, or whatever event I’ve been invited to that I should have a date for. Sometimes you spend Valentine’s Day with your parents watching Netflix and that’s not ideal, even if you hate the holiday. But either way, it’s not my time right now, and that’s OK. Just be gentle with your words because sometimes, even if I’m choosing it, it still sucks and sometimes I still want to just vent about it.
7. Sickness is lonely when you’re single.
I went to lunch with a friend yesterday and she told me about living out in California and getting sick (that is my nightmare, by the way…so props to you Jessica, because I would have died). She didn’t know anyone, so she has learned to keep her cupboards stocked with saltines, ginger ale, chicken soup, and Gatorade. Well, guess what? I didn’t learn that lesson before I got the flu last May. Luckily, I work at an awesome church and my coworkers dropped off all that I could ever need, but not every single person has that luxury. If you have a friend that’s single and they get sick, don’t wait for them to ask to bring you something. And if you ask and they turn you down, don’t be afraid to put ginger ale on their front porch. I promise, it will get used and we won’t take offense.
8. Singleness does not prevent me from using my gifts.
My friend Shannon and I have talked a lot about singleness since we met at our best friend’s wedding last fall (See! Your weddings are connecting me to more than just single men! New friends are still really great). I’ll just use her whole quote for this point:
It may be surprising, but it’s not always our #1 concern in every situation. Most of the time I’m just concerned with how to best use my giftedness to serve the people or situation I’m with or in. Singleness doesn’t have to prevent me from using those gifts. In fact, sometimes it helps me use them more.
I have heard of people claiming that it’s too hard for youth directors to understand youth ministry if they don’t have kids of their own. I’ve never heard that. But if you think that’s true, be gentle with how you say that because it’s a little hurtful.
9. We like to be invited
Confession: sometimes I feel left out. Like if I didn’t get invited to a bible study because it’s all married women. Or a few couples went to dinner, but it might have been awkward to invite me because, well, I’m alone.
If you don’t want to invite me because it’s me, or it really is just for couples, that’s fine. I’ll be a little less hurt. But if it’s because it’s a little weird that I don’t have someone, that pours salt in the wound.
And I can confess that I have done it to myself. I have complained about the awkwardness of not having anything to share. But sometimes that’s a cover-up. Because I do like hearing the trials you face and I do want to hear about your “wins” in married life.
So I lied. I do want to come to your couple’s event, I just need affirmation that it’s ok for me to be there.
Just don’t feel awkward about inviting me.
“I promise, I can function like a normal, interesting adult in a room full of couples. But if it’s a couples thing, I respect that too.”
The point is, don’t feel awkward. If you want us there, invite us. If it’s all couples, that’s fine too. Just stop making it awkward.
10. I still want to be your friend.
Maybe we’ve been distant since your wedding, but we don’t have to break up. I still love you and even if it changes our friendship, it doesn’t change you. Our relationship status doesn’t define either of us, Jesus does, so we’re good. Also, I am still able to be a supportive friend if you want to talk about married things. Even if I don’t understand those things, our love for you as friend, as a person surpasses everything that our differing relationship statuses might make difficult or awkward.
There will be adjustments, and sometimes I’ll be jealous of you, and you might even be jealous of me (I went to Target last night. At 9 pm. All by myself. And bought a dress and four other non essential items. And didn’t even have to check with anyone. JEALOUS NOW?). But I still love you and I hope you’ll still love me. Thanks for reading this blog post and most of all thanks for being my friend.
Please don’t think I’m representing all single people with this article, but I’ve represented a few. So just be aware and gentle. And stop thinking we’re the only ones that need self-help articles.