It’s Saturday and, as I mentioned last week, on Saturdays I’d like to share content related to singles. This post originally appeared on SingleMatters; married or single, I hope you find it helpful!
Why is it that once some (not all) people get married, they seem to have all the answers for their single friends? They are now success stories, automatically qualified to share dating advice, suggest possible matches, and impart wisdom, for they have “arrived”.
Some will even happily preach you a sermonette about how to find the partner God has in mind for you. (Which assumes marriage is God’s plan for everyone and that there is such a thing as a soulmate for you out there – a topic worthy of much deeper discussion and that was recently addressed with great eloquence here. But I digress.)
In their enthusiasm, they usually mean well. And to be fair, not all their suggestions are unwelcome. Some may even be helpful.
But if you’re married, here’s one way NOT to help your single friends “put things in perspective”:
Seriously, how is that helpful?
Someone once said that to me and I can tell you, my first reaction was not to immediately be content with my freedom and autonomy as a single. (Imagine the sound of birds chirping here!)
I wasn’t grateful to them for enlightening me nor was I instantly relieved to realize,
“Oh, isn’t that wonderful! My life may have already peaked! It’s actually not going to get any better than this!”
No, I did not thank them for that insight.
Instead, I was deflated and defeated.
“I mean, if marriage is going to be such a let down, what the heck IS there for me to look forward to?”
Then I went to a place of denial:
“Well, it may not be great for you, but I’m not you. When I get married, I won’t be all negative and pouty; I’ll be happy. I’ll work hard and my marriage will be stellar!”
And my next stop was to feel a bit resentful toward them for generalizing their experience across the entire married population.
They may have intended it to be funny; after all, marriage-bashing humor is a lot more common than I’m comfortable with these days. Or maybe it was intended as a reality check, perhaps to protect me –
Hey, don’t get all starry-eyed about marriage; it’s not necessarily the happily ever after you may think it will be.
But what I heard was –
Hey, don’t get all hopeful about life; either way, you’re going to be disappointed.
Did I overreact?
What has been one of the most “discouraging encouragements” you’ve received as a single? If you’re married, what “reality check” have you been tempted to share with your single friends (to protect them, of course)? Please share in the comments.
(Photo by freeparking on flickr.com)
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- I’m Firing Olivia Pope - January 24, 2017
- I’m crossing some things off my list this year - January 11, 2017
- I learned a new word - November 30, 2016
- The best question I’m asking myself these days - July 18, 2016
- A tragic story with a tender twist - May 17, 2016
- Gosh, people are a mess - May 12, 2016
- I’ll take the red carnation, thank you – revisiting an odd tradition - May 2, 2016
- The surprising thing about “weakness” - April 20, 2016
- The holiness of a four-way stop - April 13, 2016