Are you a married woman with single friends? Are you finding it hard to meet with them or do you find that your relationship is no longer like it used to be before you got married?
I do understand. Marriage will always change the dynamics of friendships that existed before. But should you shut out such friends or not try to develop these relationships?
I hope not.
This is a two-part series, which highlights how our marital status affects our friendships. This first part considers what the married woman should know about her single friend.
Part two of this series will look at what the single woman should know about her married friend. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep the fire of friendship burning but we do have to try.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to keep the fire of friendship burning but we do have to try.
A big way of doing this is to understand each other, better.
You may believe that your friend will always be accommodating and that you don’t have to do anything more to nourish the friendship. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
You may have said or done a few things that hurt your single friend, it may not have been your intention to do so but life happens and sometimes we make a mess of it.
The good news is that there is another way.
You need to get to know yourselves again especially with these new additions to your life – husband and kids.
You will also need to find out what makes your single friend tick and some of the considerations she expects from you.
Are you ready and willing to commit?
Here are five things you should know about your single friends
(culled from my experience and those of a few other single women I know):
The fact that she is not married doesn’t mean she is always free or doesn’t have a lot of responsibilities.
Your life must be so busy, managing your work, your home, your husband and your children. You are definitely superwoman. But how about Lisa, your single friend who you think only has her work and home to worry about?
Do you ever think she should always be available or have some free time?
The truth is that we all have responsibilities and have to make the most of the time we have. Don’t forget that you are managing some of yours with the help of your spouse but she is doing most of the heavy lifting alone.
Be kind and considerate.
She doesn’t need or want you to introduce her to every single man you know
Marriage can be a beautiful and blissful way of life. You have found love and all those tingly things and it only makes sense that you help every single friend you have, find similar bliss.
But don’t do it!
If you feel the urge to introduce your friend, do it in a thoughtful way. Don’t make her out to be desperate, or hook her up with someone you know she would never like. Also, think about how she feels about this before you do.
Basically, you should proceed with caution.
She may choose not to babysit
She loves your kids, she really does but she may just not want to babysit and you should be willing to accept this. Some single women have mentioned that their conversations with married friends who have kids tend to tilt to requests to babysit.
A few that I know, myself included, wouldn’t mind babysitting but don’t want you thinking they always will.
Please don’t make them feel bad or guilty for rejecting your request to babysit and don’t play the godparent, aunt or best friend card here.
She doesn’t always want to meet you at your place or with your husband and kids
Yes, you are very busy and may not have time to catch up for coffee or lunch at that fancy restaurant you both love.
You should also know that your single friend may not always want to meet with you at your place or when you are with your kids.
Try and consider how you would feel in her shoes. That usually helps.
Don’t forget that she is your friend and not your child or nanny. Please treat her with some respect and where you can, make out time to meet with her in a neutral and ‘drama’ free place.
She doesn’t want to be shut out from your life. She cares for you and your family and will like to be involved, in the great and not so great moments
Many times, she doesn’t reach out because she is trying to give you space and not interfere. Deep down she is missing you and would love to spend some time with you.
She is still your friend and would like to be there for you in the great and not so great moments. Where you can, let her in. You may be surprised at the support and love you will receive from doing this.
What fuels your friendship?
From my experience, I have found that the biggest thing that affects our friendships is a lack of communication.
We have to make time for each other.
This doesn’t mean a call, text or visit is always required but if we truly want to build strong and lasting friendships, we need to let each other in.
We all need friends. Whether they are single or married and there is no law that says married women should only have married friends or vice versa.
What matters most is finding someone that truly understands us and loves us regardless of our foibles. We are all far from perfect and need to know that it is okay not to ‘have it all’ or ‘know it all’.
For the married woman, your spouse is paramount but there is always a place for your friend, even a single friend. We must nurture and grow our godly relationships ‘for there is a friend who sticks closer than a sister’. See Proverbs 18:24
“…a sweet friend refreshes the soul. Don’t leave your friends…”
Proverbs 27: 9-10
I’m sure there are a few other things we believe married women should know and remember about their single friends. Please share in the comments. Thank you.
You can read the second part of this series here(Five Things every Single Woman should know about her Married Friend).