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Friendshit June 17, 2009

Posted by Onely in As If!, Look What Google Barfed Up.
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imagesThere are two strains of singlism: Type A, where the singlist actively disses single people, and Type B, where the singlist doesn’t even know they are commiting an “ism”. This CNN.com blog post, by a woman who mourns the inevitable death of her single-girl friendships now that she’s coupled,  falls into the latter category. Yet somehow the author’s naivete doesn’t make the article any less horrifying–in fact, I would argue that her post is all the more horrifying because the assumptions she makes about single vs. coupled people are so insidious and (to her) unquestionable. She says she’s getting married a couple months, and:

. . . the days of “romancing” my friends — of luxuriating in their company all weekend long and most weekday evenings is (SIC) over. Given the choice — which, thankfully, I have now that my relationship is not a long-distance one — I’d rather spend most of my free time with my fiance.

And soon that fiance will be my husband, and one day he’ll be the father of my children, and as we continue building a life and home together, I’ll have even less time to devote to other relationships.

I still plan to maintain my own friendships, of course, bonds I hope will help guide me through various transitions my life is bound to make, but I’d be fooling myself if I thought those friendships could ever be like the ones I made when I was single.

. . .It’s a romance, really, that only fully blooms in the absence of a romantic relationship. It’s a romance I’d never trade my fiance for, but a romance I think part of me will always yearn for just a little bit. . .

She praises single-people friendships to the moon and back “Life was filled with wine-drenched, late-night talks, long bike rides along the lake, picnics in the park, afternoon shopping frenzies, potlucks, brunches, and impromptu sleep-overs — all with my single friends”, but she always makes sure to point out that her relationship with her fiance is better, is worth giving up her single girlfriends for, is the right “choice”.

But it’s a relationship, not an abortion! For goodness’ sake .

Copious Readers, why does she assume she has to give up that kind of friendship with her former friends?  Why does it have to be one or the other? And honestly, if you were friends with this woman, wouldn’t you be secretly relieved that she dissed you for her fiance? Because I have to agree with Sarah, who commented on the article saying, “This chick sounds like a succubus to me.” Check out the other comments on the site to experience The Attack of The Sensible People.



1. Alan - June 17, 2009

I’m not sure she’s talking about dumping her single friends. She seems to be saying that she’ll maintain those friendships, but that the new ones she makes won’t be as close as the ones she made prior to being married.

Of course, her talk of her singlehood friendships being a “romance” is overwrought and ridiculous. And it would be wrong of her to lessen her friendships with any of her existing single friends just because she’s getting married.

But if I remember correctly, hasn’t Dr. DePaulo mentioned the special bonds singles have with their friends? Therefore wouldn’t it be expected that post-marriage friendships would be of a different character? Not necessarily inferior, but just different?

Of course, frequently this doesn’t happen; all too often married couples drop their single friends and associate only with other married couples. It was interesting, in the comments section, how the European commenter pointed out that in Europe singles and marrieds mix freely, unlike in the US.

2. Lauri - June 17, 2009

Well you know what, if this woman feels this way it’s a big loss for her. The problem is that major outlets such as CNN publish this nonsense and people take it as gospel.

3. autonomous - June 18, 2009

Oh I have dumbchills for this woman- did she really write this outloud?

It doesn’t at all sound like she intends to maintain her old friends with whom she shares special bonds, rather, she says she’ll maintain her “own” friends to help her through. It implies to me that because she is marrying, she’s cleaning the slate and starting over completely. GAAHK. It’s hard enough to build a friendship and maintain it over time, let alone make new friends. If I were her husband, I’d be a little concerned that she could give up her old friends so easily. That’s a lot of pressure on the dude. He’s going to have to be her girlfriend and husband.

The “romance” bit is just weird to me. I’ve always believed that my good friends will be in my life for decades or even for our lifetimes, but it’s the romance that comes and goes.

I’m so grateful my best friend M doesn’t think this way: I can’t count how many “wine-drenched” evenings and late night talks we’ve had over the last 10 years. Her husband hasn’t given up any of his old friends or golf, or fishing and beers at the bar afterward, why should she give up her friends and concerts and evenings out? Even with kids, the social balance means that everyone is happier.

Because where’s the rule that when you marry, you give up everything and befriend only your husband’s friends’ wives or make friends with other ‘moms’? That I have seen all too often, especially amongst women, as well as have been on the dumpee side, and my personal observation is that it often leads to miserable people, even more miserable couples, and divorce.
Well hey, job security for me.

Ironically, the first friend to dump me when she married was someone who always had told me that no one person should ever be our end-all-be-all.

onely - June 18, 2009

From now on we have to all incorporate the word “dumbchills” into our conversations at least once a week! Yay! = ) CC

autonomous - June 19, 2009

I am glad to spread some sweetness and light!!!

4. singlutionary - June 18, 2009

Sigh. This is typical of the divide between single and coupled people. Once coupled, the couple relationship does become primary usually due to practical matters like sharing living space, etc. But it doesn’t have to be this black and white. In fact, if coupled people would join the Singlution and see their partner as one of many excellent and valuable relationships in their lives, not only would their lives be richer but being single would be a far less fraught state. There can be continuity between a person’s single life and their coupled life. But we tend to see coupling as such a major coming-of-age moment that it is typically percieved as a “real life” beginning and even longstanding friendships become the mere playthings of childhood.

5. onely - June 18, 2009

This is such an interesting convo, everyone. And I just got back from shopping for wedding cards at Target (for the most recent wedding I was in and for an upcoming wedding). Reading all those hokey “Beginning a new life” messages nauseated me, and I finally chose two blank cards, because that’s the only thing I felt comfortable with!

— Lisa

6. (no)sexandthecity - June 19, 2009

Wow. She was lucky to have that kind of friendship with other singles. “Given the choice,” like she says – MOST women put their man first. Maybe no one learns until the man disappears and we have alienated our friends. But hopefully her vision of husband – father – life & home together…will all come true for her. It would be interesting to read her boyfriend’s vision of the future. I wonder if it involves dumping all of his friends. Hopefully she won’t have to learn the hard way that there is something female friendships provide us with that no man can.

7. (no)sexandthecity - June 19, 2009

oh, by the way, “friendshit” is a very satisfying description for this bs!

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