Thursday, May 29, 2014

9 Reasons You Should Have Single Friends

This weekend, D and I enjoyed a much needed weekend  getaway with some of our amazing friends. We enjoyed sunny beach days, cocktails, a shrimp boil and lots of laughs and catching up. On this beach trip, D and I were the "token married couple" as we have been many times in the past year.  And, although we would always love to meet a few more married couples, having so many great single friends is a blast!

I must admit, I am naturally drawn to hanging out with singles because I only recently got married, so I still relate to the good and bad aspects of singleness. I also remember what it felt like when some married folks didn't want to hang out with single folks anymore (and how much I adored my married friends who maintained solid friendships with me), so I think that makes me extra cautious about entering into that "marrieds only" group. But, in general, I think many married folks drift away from single friendships - either by choice or circumstance or convenience - and honestly, those folks are missing out because singles make GREAT friends.

9 Reasons you should have single pals

(1) Singles are more flexible with their free time.  First off, notice that I didn't claim that singles were less busy, just a bit more flexible.  As a single person, I was busier than I am as a married woman, BUT now I have to account for two people's schedules, so I'm less flexible.  As a single, I was able to invite friends over for wine or meet up for last minute dinner plans of grab a bottle of wine and take it to a married friend's house to drink and talk while the kids slept. I didn't always have time, but when I did have time, I was usually up for anything. Single friends are a great blessing because if you need to change the date of dinner plans due to your husband's work dinner or switch your plans from girls night out to girls night in due to sick kids or have a last minute free evening, single friends are typically flexible and accommodating.

(2) Singles are service oriented. Now that I am married, the first person I go to with a problem is my husband. I am glad to have that built in support system. As a single, I also had a support system - a community of (mostly single) Christian women (and men). These folks served as my local family and were willing to care for, serve and encourage me in numerous ways.  We didn't have our own spouses and kids to invest in yet, so we spent our time serving and loving each other.  Single friends will drop what they are doing to help you move, bring you a meal if you are sick, go out to celebrate your promotion or new job, take you  to the hospital, be your shoulder to cry on after a break up, etc.  Singles also use their extra time to volunteer or become involved in ministries.  They throw baby showers and wedding showers and bring you gifts and food when you give birth or have surgery. Today's singles get a lot of accusations about selfishness and an unwillingness to grow up and honestly, I think its an unfair and untrue attack. Most singles I know invest in their community and their friends' lives in amazing ways.  When used wisely, singleness lends a lot of time towards service and concern for others.

(3) Singles represent an important part of the Body of Christ.  I think one of the biggest reasons to get to know singles in your community is because singles are a part of Christian community.  It is important to know people with a different background, race, gender and yes, even marital status! Not only are we called to love all types of believers, diversity is beneficial because singles add different perspectives (see 4)

(4) Singles bring a different perspective and wisdom on many issues.  On a lot of topics- work, faith, decorating, exercise, politics - singles don't differ that much from their married counterparts.  But, when it comes to specific challenges, singles have a lot of wisdom to add. Christian singles have a lot to add on faith during times of waiting, making friends and building community during adulthood, living with disappointments, finding ways to plug into the church, etc. Find yourself facing a big move and terrified of making new friends? Ask a single friend for tips. Waiting on a pregnancy and needing someone to talk to and pray for you? Single gals can relate to the ups and downs of waiting and will actively listen and pray for you!

(5) I'm about to ruffle some feathers, but quite frankly, singles are more fun and social.  I was more fun as a single and luckily I still have a lot of young single friends to keep me fun and social.  When I want social interaction, I can spend time with friends or time with my husband (or both) -- having this option is quite a blessing, but it is easy to just rely on your spouse for your social interaction and not plan nights out with each other or others! Singles don't have the built in marital buddy, so they are always being social and planning outings, parties, trips. Married folks plan fun events too, but they don't do it as often as single folks do. That's why its great to have single friends who are always suggesting new exciting things to do!

(6) Single friends are still the same cool people they are always were. Singles have not changed at all since you got married. Marital status doesn't change the type of people they are! If you are recently married and never see your single friends anymore, shame on you. Seriously, these are still the fun people you once hung out with on a weekly they are cool folks! You may not see them as often, but keep on hanging out with such cool folks!

(7) Due to singleness, you can now have friendships with members of the opposite gender with no pressure!  Don't misread this, you do not need to have one on one intimate relationships with someone of the opposite sex when one party is married. However, one of my favorite things about my friends in DC is that I met most of them after I got married. So, when D and I hang out with a good male friend, it is a cross gender friendship free from worry or analysis. I'm not flirting with him, hoping for more, trying to catch his attention.  I am not worrying if our friendship has other men thinking I am not available. I am not having to try to read his signals and let him down easily if I am not interested. We are just friends and I am free to tease, converse with, pester him about who he is dating with no worries! D feels the same way about several of our gal pals.

(8) Single friends provide you with an opportunity to minister.  It's easy to just invite married couples over for dinner or cookouts or game nights. It's the right ratio of men to women. It ensures that both spouses have someone to talk to and it's fun to relate to someone else in the same stage of life. But, as I have already stated, Singles are a lot of fun and have a different perspective to offer. Friendship with single adults also gives you the chance to minister to them.  You can ensure he or she doesn't sit alone at church, you can include a single at holidays when he or she might not have plans, you can introduce a single friend to another single person you know, you can just kindly listen to your single friend's stresses, you can send a single guy home with leftovers or be the man that fixes a single lady's flat tire, etc.  There are ways that most of us are served and serve through marriage and by befriending singles, you have the opportunity to be an avenue of service in a single person's life!

(9) Singles are loyal friends.  I had the best friends in my 20s. We invested in each other's lives- for the good and bad moments. We celebrated and cried and worried and laughed together.  We essentially formed a little family and I would have done anything for them. I feel fiercely loyal towards D and our new little family, but before I had him, I invested most of my loyalty and devotion to my friends.

I benefit from (and hopefully benefit) my single friends. Honestly, I didn't set out to find single friends as opposed to married friends, but I didn't limit myself  to only looking for other couples to hang out with. I kept my pre-marriage pals (both married and single) and am making new friends here in DC. However, most of our friends are single (DC is a mecca for young single 20/30/40 somethings so this is not surprising) and looking back, making and maintaining single friendships has hugely benefited us.

So, there you have it -- 9 great reasons to make and maintain friendships with single men and women!

No comments:

Post a Comment