It finally has arrived—the first part in a two-part series designed to delve into the “behind the scenes” thoughts that go on between two categories of people.
No matter your age, gender, or race…you will be in one of two categories- married or single. It’s so easy to get so caught up in your own “category” of life that you overlook or forget what others are experiencing. This series is to help us “walk a mile in each others’ shoes”.
Not everything applies to all singles or marrieds, but usually the things mentioned are a tendency for a lot of people in general. Please do not be offended in any way; instead take what is said and use it to understand what other people are going through so you know how to reach into their lives!
Next Monday will hopefully be Part 2: Things Married People Won’t Tell Singles. Stay tuned! There’s still time to add in advice for Part 2. You can email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the blog contact page with what you wish to tell singles.
Thanks to all that took the time and shared such wonderful tid-bits of honesty and wisdom. You will find names after some of the shared comments; my thoughts are marked afterwards by “MarJ”; and “A” stands for friends that wanted to share their nuggets of gold anonymously.
Part 1: What Singles Won’t Tell Married People
1. It really hurts when you drop our friendship after marriage in exchange for other married people’s friendships. We are glad you can expand your social circle and relate with people in the same place of life as you, but we feel unimportant and forgotten when we are dropped. -A
2. Our friendship will have new dynamics because your marriage has changed us both, but don’t be scared to keep our friendship. And no, we don’t mind hanging out with you and your spouse together. It’s not as awkward as you think it may feel for us. We actually enjoy it! -MarJ
3. Don’t be exclusive and only hang out with your married friends. Still do stuff with your single friends. – A Guy’s Perspective
4. Singleness is not a disgusting spot in life. We are not of less importance or value than you. Actually at one time, you were single too. So do not act like we are embarrassing, there is something wrong with us, or we are too low on the social scale to continue a relationship with us. -A
5. Please do not be offended if we pull away at first after your marriage. We feel like we lost a close friend to an outsider and wonder how we fit into this new way of life. We have been hurt too often and left behind before; so we separate ourselves to spare more pain. We want to keep our friendship, but we question if you do. All it takes is an email, a coffee date, or a party invite from you to us to say that our friendship will continue….and we will be back to our old selves=D -MarJ
1. People often laugh at how singles have all the answers on children and marriage until they are married and raising a family. But sometimes we can see things from our viewpoint on the outside that can’t be seen from the inside. Don’t be afraid to ask for our advice at times. -A
2. We love to hear about your kids’ nosebleeds and husband’s snoring problems, but not all of the time. Ask us about our life once in awhile (and truly listen). MarJ
3. We detest when you are talking with other married people about marriage-related things and then pause, look at us, and say with a smirk, “I’m sorry. I forgot, you wouldn’t know anything about that.” Kudos to making us feel like the oddball. -A
4. What is the reason behind comments such as, “If you had a husband, you wouldn’t be doing things like that.”? It is often said in the tone of ….”Well, I’m married. The things I do are so important compared to your trivial hobbies, pursuits, and jobs because I’m taking care of a husband and family. If you were married, you wouldn’t be doing such unimportant things.” -A
5. Stop asking us if we’re dating yet! You most likely will know if we are. Especially as women, we really can’t do anything about getting a boyfriend; all that comment does is make us feel like we still aren’t “good” enough to achieve to your standard. -A
6. Marriage doesn’t make you suddenly all-knowing and wise. It’s okay to be human and ask for help, advice, and counsel from your single friends. -A Guy’s Perspective
PARTIES AND EVENTS
1. It means so much for me to have married friends who let me sit with them at weddings and funerals and other places I don’t enjoy going to alone as a single woman! -R.
2. Please invite us when you invite other families. We need and long for that family environment and the interaction with both male and female. Pursue us! Invite us on a special event when you go somewhere without your children. It meant more than words can say when my brother and his wife invited me to a concert with them one Sunday afternoon. -R.
3. You don’t always have to have parties and do stuff as a married couple. Sometimes it’s fun to have a night where the guys hang out and the girls do their own thing. -A Guy’s Perspective
HOW YOU CAN HELP US
1. Do not assume that we enjoy your matchmaking antics—-BUT do not assume that we don’t! Everyone has a different personality. Some of us love “blind dates” and getting to meet new people; yet some of us detest them and find it awkward. Just ask us if you don’t know how we feel about your help in our social affairs. We will honestly tell you if we appreciate it or don’t. You may know two of your friends that would go well together, but you have been too afraid to try getting them acquainted. It never hurts to ask what they think of the idea. -A
2. Be respectful. Don’t be lovey-dovey all the time; because it is extremely awkward to be near a situation like that. -A Guy’s Perspective
3. Thank you to those of you who are honest about the struggles of married life. It helps us realize that we are all in the same boat as far as disappointment, loneliness, and needing God. Validate our loneliness and longings as singles. I’ve had a married friend shrug off my longing for a daily hug, by saying that when you are married, hugs becomes so routine it really doesn’t do much for you. But I wanted to say, “What if your husband or wife dies, and you suddenly don’t have that anymore? Would you miss it?” Even if something is routine, it is doing more for you than you realize. And those of us who don’t have that are missing something. One of the most comforting things my married friends/families do is to validate my feelings in times of loneliness and longing. Don’t brush it off by telling us what a nice life we have. Although reminding us of our worth in Christ and pointing out the impact we are having on others is a big encouragement. I love my married friends and feel so blessed to be accepted as one of them. I love that we are all one in Christ, and in many ways singles and marrieds are more alike than different. We struggle with the same things just in a different environment. -R.
4. Please don’t view us single people as incomplete. We are not any less of a person without a spouse. We are not irresponsible youths just because we are single. We may not be able to relate to the marital part of your lives, but we are going through the same things in life as pertains to growing up. We have struggles, we have victories, we have insight, we have life. It is different than yours but it is not less in meaning. In fact Apostle Paul said it would be better to be single to serve God more effectively. So please allow us some respect and value while we are traveling alone. -Monica Yoder (http://wingedfaith.wordpress.com)
A LOOK INTO OUR LIVES
1. When the only time you contact us is when you need a babysitter, it makes us feel taken advantage of and questioning our worth. Please don’t think we have all the time and energy in the world because we don’t have families. Often the Lord calls singles to special ministries that take a lot of energy, besides needing to support ourselves through full time jobs. Remember that we have limitations just like you do! R.
2. We love to be your kids’ adopted aunts and uncles, but make sure they are good kids! It is stressful on us to have to pretend that your hair-pulling, skin-pinching, house-wrecking, obnoxious and awkward-question-asking, disobedient child is our favorite angel. -A
3. Please do not assume that our reason for singleness is to serve you. We will gladly babysit, clean house, mow lawn…; but do not expect it. Also be willing to pay (most likely we won’t take anything or much of anything, but it makes us feel like you appreciate our work). Remember that we have a life and job too; so don’t call on us to help you out every day of the week (remember that it was your choice to get married and accept those responsibilities). -A
4. Don’t act like your problems are of more importance than our “trivial life”. We may not have dirty diapers to change and a family to support, but we have mortgages or rent to pay, parents and family to care for, cars that need repairs, jobs that are demanding and tiring, and big decisions to make—-plus we are doing this all on our own. -MarJ
5. Yes, we know you miss your husband when he is on stay-away, but please don’t whine about it to us. It’s okay to miss him and we certainly don’t mind you telling us so, but remember that some of us dream of being in your shoes. Be thankful that you have a husband. -A
6. Many of us wish to be married and not have to face things alone, and we realize our singleness with each wedding, each birth announcement, each major decision we have to decide upon; so be considerate. No, you don’t have to tip-toe around us and pull away because of being afraid that you may offend us; but don’t purposely try to belittle or remind us of our singleness. Focus on the good that we do through our singleness. Often times, we accomplish great things for God and have a lot of potential; but it is never recognized by married people because all they see is our single status. -A
ADVICE FOR YOU
1. We are glad that you and your spouse have such a cozy relationship, but great shows of affection are slightly awkward. While you are massaging, whispering, kissing, etc…we fidget, try to find someone to talk with, and can’t help but wonder if you are always this affectionate to each other or if it is only to say, “Attention, please, notice that we’re married.” That is probably not your intent, but we can easily come to that conclusion. -A
2. You and your spouse do become one, but you can still be yourself. When we talk directly to you, please do not look at your spouse and have them answer or reply for you. -MarJ
3. When you and your spouse are at parties and events together- please mingle and talk to other people. When you cling only to your spouse as if he/she would vanish if you left his/her side, we feel really bad for you. You are missing out on making new friends and renewing old ones, and people often judge your actions as insecure, snobbish, or proud. We hate to see people think the worst of you! -MarJ
4. Accept your responsibility. You made the choice to take on a wife and family (or for girls, you made the decision to say, “I do”); so now grow-up. Nothing bothers me more than when a man or woman makes a commitment, but then does not accept the responsibility. I feel very bad for your husband or wife that is relying upon you. There are a lot of struggling marriages because the husband or wife focused so much on marriage that they never matured themselves (in Christ and in general life responsibilities) before taking their vows. -A Guy’s Perspective
Thanks for reading! Remember to check back next week for Part 2.