When my wife and I were dating in college I had some good married friends who were a little further along down the road of life. They were there for me when I was single, dating, engaged, and then married.
Now, almost five years into marriage, a lot of how we try to love our single friends is a direct result of how they loved me, and then us.
I have written about this before but our home group is fairly diverse. We are far from the level of racial diversity I desire but we are also not a cookie cutter “married 40’s who have dogs and like football, etc.” We have single people, divorced people, married people, adoptive parents, single parents, doctors, carpenters, etc.
One of my favorite things about our group is seeing single people and married people foster genuine friendships with one another. They are not just interacting for a few hours but are connecting in a way that constantly spills over our normal weekly gathering.
I remember what it was like to be single and some of my closest friends are single. I asked several of them from a wide age range what they felt they needed from married people and the following were the 4 most common answers. I have included direct quotes from the single people polled.
4 Things Single People Need from Married People
1. If you’re married, stay married.
Disclaimer: This assumes you’re not in an abusive or adulterous relationship. Both are more than sufficient reasons to end a marriage.
Single people have no reason to desire marriage for themselves if their married friends are constantly getting divorced. Marriage is not a contract. It is a covenant. Honor your covenant.
Don’t get divorced. We need to see that marriage is a legit thing, something we could and should actually want.
2. Remember what it was like to be single.
Marriage is a game changer and it should be. God designed it that way. It totally changes your life, viewpoints, motivations, etc. One of the unfortunate by-products of such a significant change is married people can simply forget what it was like to be single.
Single people need married people to remember what it was like to:
- be unsure if someone you care for actually cares for you
- have your heart broken
- battle with the feeling like you’re not good enough because it seems like nobody wants you
- wonder if you should buy a house or keep renting, buy a small car or an SUV, take a new job or stay put – all because you’re unsure of what those decisions mean for potential relationships.
My best married friends have simply forgotten what it’s like to be single. Half of my close friends are married and one of them invited me to dinner with some of our friends. It ended up being six married couples and me. My married friends just saw that as them hanging out with their friends while I felt like a 13th wheel all night long.
3.) Don’t stop being “you.”
While marriage does definitely change your life, it does not need to take it away. Your true identity is not found in being married. Friendships are often temporary but they don’t have to immediately eliminated when you get married. (See: Accept the Temporary Nature of Friendships)
We need to see that marriage does not mean you disappear. We know things will change, even change a lot. But we need to see that if we follow in your steps and get married that does not mean we have to stop camping, or cheering for our favorite sports team. We need to see that we can still cultivate our unique passions even if our potential spouses do not share them as long as they support them.”
Every single person I asked mentioned this, and several only gave one answer. Single people want to be friends with married people. It’s that simple. Real friendships.
We just want their presence in our lives, letting us into your circle of friends even though we aren’t married. Most of the time married people seem to only hang out with married people. When you let us in we can get a glimpse of what a good marriage [hopefully] looks like. We need married people to listen to us, to pray for us. Being alone can be tough when you see everyone else getting married and start having kids. We need prayer that in this moment we find fulfillment, contentment and a strength against the temptation that becomes easier to give into the older we get, when things don’t go as we had originally planned.
Single people don’t need married people to still live a single lifestyle. Quality conversations can happen in the morning or over coffee instead of late at night or over dinner. (See: The Single Struggle)
I don’t want to get rowdy or anything, but it just seems that a lot of good, fun guys get married and then quit hanging out with people. Every time a friend gets married, I lose a friend. We still see each other occasionally but they just aren’t interested in having serious discussions with non-married people anymore.
Questions: Single people, what else do you need from married people? Married people, can you remember what it was like to be single?