Okay, I have a lot of catching up to do. With this past weekend alone, I have a lot of catching up to do. But for now, I’m going to have to leave you with just this.
I tune into CNN.com everyday. Not because of their amazing new reporting, but because of the other nonsense they cover. For example, there often are these little pieces on the seven things you should never do at work, followed by the seven things we should always do at work, articles on relationships, friendships, etc. This is the type of puff piece I really enjoy in the middle of the day.
While eating lunch today, I found this article. Normally, The Frisky is something I enjoy. Again, it’s not changing the world or anything. But it’s the mindless silliness that frequently touches on interesting topics like how to break up with a boyfriend and how to know if your boyfriend is crazy.
Today’s piece, unfortunately, was not the candy I’m used to or wanted. Instead, I am so fucking pissed at the woman who wrote this piece that I’m actually considering sending her an email.
Okay, I’ll put it in here so you can read it for yourself.
Mourning the death of single-girl friendshipBy Wendy Atterberry
(The Frisky) — I’m getting married in a little over two months, and though this is a happy, exciting time in my life, there’s a bittersweetness. It started when I moved to New York a year and a half ago to be with my boyfriend.
Up until then, our relationship had been long-distance; he was in Manhattan, and I was in Chicago. Through daily phone calls and frequent trips back and forth, we fell in love while still maintaining solo lives in our respective cities.
It was a unique experience to be in a fully committed relationship, but continue living the same single-girl life I’d known since my last serious relationship (minus all the unsuccessful dating, of course).
When I wasn’t in New York or hosting my boyfriend in Chicago, my weekends were filled cultivating other relationships — those with my closest friends. 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. The Frisky: From set-up to making the move
Now that I’m fully immersed in “coupled life,” I realize I’ll probably never have friendships like those again. The Frisky: Getting through friendship breakup
It’s not that I haven’t tried to cultivate new friendships here — I have, and I think I’ve been pretty successful. There’s the group of girls I get together with for brunch every other week or so, and the handful of old college friends I stay connected to with the occasional dinner party or happy hour meet-up. My boyfriend’s friends have also embraced me and I’ve managed to form individual relationships with some of them, friendships that have become quite meaningful to me. The Frisky: His friends are hateable
But the days of “romancing” my friends — of luxuriating in their company all weekend long and most weekday evenings is 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.
There’s a freedom that comes when you’re unattached to any one person, a kind of freedom that seems to be almost magnetic. Other singletons and I found each other in a way that doesn’t seem to exist among those of us who are coupled. There’s a kind of kindred spirit-ness among single women (and gay men) that I haven’t found anywhere else. The Frisky: When does a couple become a family?
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.
Now, I absolutely appreciate her use of words like “cultivate” and “romancing” when talking about a close friendship. Anyone who has had a close friendship knows exactly what she’s talking about. Finding a person you have a connection with, cultivating that connection, spending time truly getting to know and understand each other – it is closer to romance than not.
But is it that this woman’s view is that marriage means that you and your spouse do everything together every single day and that all that togetherness doesn’t leave time for you to make close friendships? Because that’s alarming and really problematic.
I get the time issue. Your partner (and then kids) takes up a lot of your time – and that’s (hopefully) a good thing. And I get that you can’t spend everything night and every weekend with a friend (not that I think that’s healthy regardless… cause it isn’t). However, it baffles the mind to think that, just because this woman is now getting married, she can all but forget about making another close friendship.
Granted, I’m not married – a point that was used time and again this weekend to remind me that somehow my relationship is different from my married friends. (No, I have no idea what this means or why people take such an interest in my marital status, but I plan to blog about this more later.) But I have been in a relationship with the same person – continuously – for the past 10 years. I have friendships – very strong, important ones that I rely on daily – that predate this relationship. But some of the most important friendships I’ve made in my life have come after HC and I started dating. Hell, some came after HC and I lived together for years. And while the idea of making a new friend right now is not something I’m feeling particularly open to, I can’t imagine the possiblity that I might not meet someone in the future who I connect with. Just can’t be.
And I am personally offended by these notions of “couple life” and what it means for your own life. Being in a relationship does not mean that you can’t spend time – significant and meaningful time – with friends. It also does not mean that you always have to do everything with your partner OR that your partner should do everything with you. Okay, so you might be more inclined to hang out with couples than you might have before. But just because there’s another twosome for you to hang out with does not mean that you actually like these people and want to spend time with them. I mean, couples are annoying. Really annoying. I swear, there I people who I love who I love a little less either because of how they are around their partner or because of how their partner is around my friend.
At its root tho, this woman’s view – that marriage equals the end of close friendships – seems to come more from a bridal magazine’s description of marriage is than from reality. Life is about choices. You can choose to surround yourself with family AND friends. Or you can choose to throw yourself into your romantic relationship at the expense of all others. You get to choose. Just make it a choice you can live with.