Married and singleI’m typically not a banner-waving advocate for single people’s rights. Every once in a while, I’ll run across something biased against folks who have yet to say “I do,” if they’re interested in saying it at all. Like when an RSVP allows married couples to come together but doesn’t give swingin’ singles the option to bring a date. That’s pretty presumptuous. The man of my dreams is out there, and he might show up just in time to make it to the party.

Also insulting: a word of advice dispensed at a friend’s bridal shower that left me with the wow-did-she-really-say-that? face. This chick stood up, toasted her sister — who was the one getting married — and made one simple suggestion: “Surround yourself with married friends. You’re a married woman now, so let go of anybody who might distract you.” 

Welp, I’ve been found out. That sure enough is my ulterior, underhanded motive. Single gal leading my married friends down the low road like the vampy Pied Piper, ruining holy matrimony one union at a time. It is, no doubt, my diabolical plot. (Cue my sinister laugh.)

I’ve heard some ridiculous stuff when it comes to matters of the heart but c’mon. First of all, whether they’re single, married, shacking up, or completely asexual, no external person should wield that much relationship-affecting influence over you unless you let them. You don’t need married friends to convince you to stay on the straight and narrow any more than your single friends should be able to lead you astray. Of course, they always come in as a handy excuse, but that’s part of the reason why unattached guys and gals get a bad rap in the first place.

Truth be told, not every married person is as gung ho about the commitment as folks would like to believe they are. I’ve seen dudes having a harder time letting go of their bachelor habits and more single guys 'fessing up that they’re not ready to take that leap for that very same fear of commitment. I’d much rather bump into the latter than the former, please believe that.
 
Nonetheless, it seemed, for a period of time, that my friend was actually adhering to her kooky sister’s even kookier advice. She went MIA for weeks. Initially, her gal pal circle and I attributed her missing-ness to being all tangled up in love and enjoying the wonderment of being a newlywed. Up until the time they tied the knot, she and her boo had been engaged in a super long-term relationship — he in Los Angeles, she in New York — so not only was she adjusting to being a married woman, she was getting used to having him at her disposal every day, whether she felt up to him or not.

But after a while, I couldn’t help but wonder if she was in fact trying to distance herself from her dead weight single friends for a new band of homies who were hitched like she was.  

I have a real problem with marriage elitists, folks who think that having a ring on their finger or a photo album full of sappy pictures makes them the end-all be-all when it comes to people who lead happy, full lives. And there are plenty of them running around, trust me. They shower you with pity because you’re not where they are — and really, isn’t that where every sane person wants to be? Wrapped up in the arms of the one they love every night?

It’s no secret that I’d love to be married somewhere over the rainbow. Some single folks don’t have that desire; I hold a candle for it on my list of to-dos. But if it never happens, I won’t jump off a bridge wearing concrete sneakers. I will still be a viable, valuable individual. And a darn good friend, even in my singleness. I can still listen to exciting news and ranting vents and offer the best advice I can give. Far as I’m concerned, you don’t have to have a rock on your finger to listen objectively or give level-headed input into a situation.

Should married people maintain close relationships with their single friends? Or should they leave them in the past?  



Image via banoootah_qtr/Flickr