The Wild Life

Recently, at yet another baby shower within my circle of friends, I began to notice a subtle change in our relationships. After all of my girlfriends arrived and were seated, I observed that we were divided into two distinctive groups. One group clustered, rather uncomfortably, around the couch. They discussed parties and current boyfriends, while cautiously nibbling on carrot sticks. Other topics included who was dating who, and who had changed since high school. This was clearly the singles group. On the opposite side of the room the other group casually gathered. This was the group that I had recently joined, the married group. We sat and laughed while talking about such topics as our new husbands, houses, or even children. The whole situation seemed bizarre, even when the party games began the conversation seemed forced.
Afterwards, on my way home, I realized this problem was not uncommon. There are vast differences between the lifestyles of single people and that of married people that make it unmistakably difficult to remain close friends. Single people live in a world of spontaneity, filled with chaos. Everything is up in the air. They have no idea what day it is much less if they have plans for the next weekend. Married people operate on plans. They have such a full life a schedule is necessary to fit everything in. A couple of weeks ago I ran into an old friend, an old yet single friend. We talked for a while, reminiscing about high school and past boyfriends, and decided we had to get together some time soon. She and I tried to set a lunch date, or even a dinner date. After I offered several possible days and times she concluded that she would have to get back with me. She had no idea what plans she had already made.

Married people often think back to their single days as being days of freedom and individuality. But what about the loneliness and constant fear of rejection? I can think back in the recent years of many times, being alone, lying on the couch in my first apartment feeling like a complete loser. When you are single every day is a constant trial of acceptance. Which club you should join, will people there like you? When someone marries they find their 'place.' Singles do not have anyone to depend on, to love and care for them. Just like me on my old couch, they are utterly alone.

Another major difference between singles and married couples are the amount of alcohol consumed. Drinking is an integral part of a single person's life. They go to an endless stream of parties to meet more people to fill their empty lives. They drink to loosen up, to feel confident, and to look cool. Let's face it when you are single you have to be cool. A single person always has their game face on and never let their guard down. Singles spend any money they earn on this recreation. It's a way of life. They actually save up for beer money. I remember a time in my single days when I put off my car payment for a week just to have enough money for beer. All of this fun; drinking, partying, puking, just to wake up with a hangover the next morning. How much 'fun' can one person stand?

Singles spend their entire unattached life searching by any means for that special person, married people already have that. Married couples are stable, reliable, and responsible because of that. You never hear a married person say 'hey, let's put off the mortgage payment so we can buy a keg this weekend!' We do not have to be cool and drink all the time. We can let our guard down, just be ourselves, and still have someone who loves us for that.

In a marriage, there is companionship. There is not that constant feeling of loneliness. Now if I am lying around on the couch feeling down, I have my best friend beside me trying to cheer me up. We do not feel alone. Married people have a life partner at their side, someone to share a life with.Eventually, all my friends will marry