Should women in relationships have single friends?
Somehow this topic keeps rearing its head. Last week, Clutch, my other favorite women’s lifestyle site, ran a story entitled, “True or False: If You Want Your Relationship to Last, Stop Hanging Out with Single People.” Writer Risa Dixon was on the fence as to whether single ladies and in-relationship ladies had anything in common.
“Once a person gets into a serious relationship, subtle things begin to change. For example, if you are the only single person going out with a group of single girlfriends, what each of you expects out of the night can be very different,” Dixon wrote. “Even in conversation with your friends about the opposite sex, they may be complaining about how hard it is to find a good man or woman, but you can’t relate to those issues anymore because you have someone. It can be a bit awkward.”
Maybe I’m alone on this, but I don’t base my friendships on my girls’ relationship or marital status. Whomever they are with — or not — is not why I keep them around. They’re hysterical, loyal, mostly logical and have common sense. They keep it real (when asked), and look out when I need them most (or sometimes, just because). We also enjoy the same activities; weekend brunches, mentoring girls, loving Brooklyn, and laying on someone’s couch on weekend nights talking about nothing and giggling over sangria.
We talk about men and relationships, of course, (not as often as one might expect), but there is a plethora of other topics — work, travel, a new restaurant, whatever’s trending on Twitter, the unintentional comedy of Herman Cain, whatever. When the dating ladies need to vent, I listen. Being in a relationship hasn’t given me some sort of amnesia about looking for love or enjoying the thrill of the hunt. And when I need to talk about my relationship, I call my man. Not because my single friends, or even the ones in relationships don’t have any insight, but because he’s the one I’m in the relationship with, so what’s the point in talking to someone who’s not a therapist or a fellow life coach about issues only we can resolve?
As for the single friends with different expectations of a night out… you learn early on who’s an otherwise great person, but loses it around men. You don’t hit a house party or lounge with her, you do brunch and shopping. You don’t dead her, only to replace her with a random new friend just because she has a boyfriend, or husband. (And if that friend with a significant other breaks up or divorces, does she get kicked out your life too?)
Friends are called such because they know you well and accept your flaws, and most importantly, they’ve been there, likely before you got brand new when you got a little lovin’. If you’re ready to dismiss them because they don’t share your dating/marital status, perhaps they are better off — without you.
Demetria L. Lucas is a life coach and the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk