Married and Single Friendships
My title is straight and to the point.
I attended Brigham Young University in Provo from 2010 to 2014. I, like many of my peers, started off college single, care free, and ready to embrace all that college had to offer. Fast forward to my graduation in April 2014, a great deal of my friends were no longer single. Fast forward to present day, the vast majority of my friends are no longer single. In fact, out of some of my closer friends, including me, I think only three or four of us are flying solo.
But my post is not a “woe is me!” post. No, I enjoy being single. I enjoy being able to take trips to different places without worrying about someone else. Over Labor Day Weekend, I took a spontaneous trip to Montreal and it was perfect exploring the city on my own and just being able to take the trip in the first place on short notice. And selfish as this may sound, I like having and being in control of my own money.
What this post is about are my relationships with my friends who are married (specifically friends I have known pre-marriage and are of a similar age to me; my relationships with older couples and couples from my family ward are a different story and not as complicated).
Just because my friends are married, doesn’t mean I want to stop being friends with them. Likewise, I would like to think that just because my friends are now married, they still want to stay friends with me.
For the most part, this has mentality is shared with my married female friends. There are a few women that I know of that have completely fallen off the face of the earth, opting to attend their husband’s every single intramural sports games instead of taking the occasional night to spend time with girlfriends. There are also those–– thankfully not in my circle–– who believe that once they’re married they have no need for their single friends anymore. No more calls or texts, choosing to “graduate” to likeminded couple friends instead, believing their pre-married friends to be simply placeholders until they find husbands and other married friends. But as I mentioned, I have very few–– if any–– of those types of friends. Those who I consider closest to me and those who I consider best friends do not share this line of thinking whatsoever. Spouses (and children) are their top and number one priority and come first, definitely and as they should be; but they are not the only priority. Friendships and other interests also have a place in their lives.
Male friendships, on the other hand, are a little more tricky. Granted, I don’t have as many male friends as I do female friends, but I value their friendships too. Still I have observed that when male friends get married, their female friends are no longer friends–– they become temptresses. Spending time with them becomes drastically decreased in comparison with female friends. Spending time alone is a guaranteed no-no. Which to a certain extent I understand, especially when exes may be involved.
However, if a man and a woman are simply friends, it tells me there is a lack of trust between couples if opposite-sex spouses are forbidden. I’ve read of instances online where even opposite-sex coworkers are viewed with suspicion by spouses. That is even more baffling.
Do I advocate going to movies alone or having clandestine dinners or secretive conversations? No. But I see nothing wrong with an occasional lunch or museum trip (or something else innocent along those lines), as long as significant others know ahead of time and give approval. From a singles perspective, I don’t even care if spouses come along, as long as I get to see my friend! And when it comes to online chatting or texting, I would never say something or would want a friend (male or female) to say something that a spouse couldn’t see or hear. I want to be trusted by a friend’s spouse as much as the spouse is trusted and trusts me. I want to be just as open–– and even friends!–– with both husband and wife.
But perhaps this is too unrealistic, particularly for Mormons. I realize I am still single and have no firsthand experiences regarding marriage. So here is where I turn to you all.
What do you think? Can married people still make time for their single friends? What about with opposite-sex friendships?