Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Singles Vs. The Marrieds

Not too long ago, I blogged about friends with significant others ditching their single galpals. The post prompted a friend of mine to mention she’s experienced the reverse phenomenon – single friends shying away after she got married.

I couldn’t help thinking, does it really have to become an us versus them dynamic when you no longer have the same marital status in common?

Another friend, D, recently experienced a rather extreme take on the idea that singles and marrieds don’t mix. Her aunt assembled a collage of all the cousins’ weddings. She used pictures of each bridal couple together, and then group photos of all of the girls at each wedding. All except D, who was literally cut out of every group shot. Why?

“Because,” she says. “I’m the only single one and don’t have my own bridal photo and therefore, do not count.”

Her aunt’s cutting move is a good example of the self-segregating that often happens between singles and marrieds. What is it that makes this peculiar pattern take place? Do singles resent being around the type of committed relationship they have yet to find? Are married folk uncomfortable with reminders of the footloose and fancy-free days they’ve left behind?

Perhaps, most simply, it’s that singles and marrieds often end up traveling in different circles. Most recently, I noticed this when I attended last month’s BlogHer conference, and most of the Mommy Blogger contingent seemed to travel in packs, veering away from those of us who are child-free.

Yes, it’s all too easy to keep your distance from peers with a different relationship status. The thing is, there’s much to be said for keeping the lines of communication open. Because, when it comes to navigating the tricky terrain of relationships -- married or not -- the larger the conversation, the better.

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