Marriage. Its a life changing and beautiful step in a person's life. Everybody talks about learning to live with each others weird quirks like the toilet paper roll that feeds over vs under, rolling the toothpaste tube vs not, even to who sleeps on what side of the bed. Its often those kind of big changes that we focus on, but the one change that isn't truly talked about until well after you're fully ensconced in wedded bliss is:
What Happens To The Changing Friendship of Married Friends
Its a nice idea to think that your relationships with friends who aren't married won't change once you've tied the knot. But in reality it does change and really it has to. Gone are the days when either you or your spouse can just head off to party & play with your single friends. A lot of people probably try to slide back into how things used to be, but find that its not so easy to fit back in. (I am sure there are those that manage, but really what kind of marriage would you have? Not that I'm judging, to each there own)
I found that while we still enjoy doing things with the few friends we have who aren't married, how often we actually do has dropped drastically. When we make trips into town for Dr's appts and to run our errands, my Hubby & I often decide last minute to go to a sit down restaurant and usually ring up my Hubby's best friend, who has a girlfriend, but still claims bachelorhood. And while one might think that he'd be a lot more flexible then we are, usually has plans. I honestly thought married life would be more planned out date nights and outings with friends, but since we have four kids finding a babysitter is so difficult. If we can't family to watch the kids, then our kids come with us. Which isn't always bad, but its nice to have a nice grownup evening out once in a while. Plus living at least two hours away from a decent place to go to the movies and to dinner, travel time kills it for us with local babysitters, who are mostly teens still in high school. So we try to go out when we already have plans to be in town, but that really does make for more last minute dinner plans then planned ones.
While we do last minute things and drag our kids along, I'm not so sure that our single friends enjoy us always wanting them to come hang out with us and our family. Especially if they are alone since we outnumber them and can make them feel awkward or if they bring a date, they may or may not like kids. I also find that conversations kind of lag with other adults when we have the kids. I mean when we're constantly telling the kids to eat their food or quit playing with it or don't touch your sister/brother. Its easier to plan ahead to hang out with our single friends, since we can arrange for a babysitter and plan to be just couples. Then no one feels left out or awkward at being the odd man out.
We still invite them to our parties, but they have to endure a party where kids are welcome most of the time and we tend to do less 'partying' since we have to be responsible for more then just us. I know a lot of single people who really live for partying and being able to drink to excess, which makes us no fun since we don't do that even when our kids aren't around. I think sometimes they feel we're boring and I often wonder what its like to be able to be so care free. I love being a mommy and wouldn't change it, but we're not as flexible about dropping whatever we're doing or not doing to run out to see a movie at 9 o'clock at night or go have a movie marathon all night long. We have to worry about kids getting enough sleep and trying to find a sitter for that kind of short notice is nonexistent.
We still try to include our friends, but we often go months in between get togethers because its just easier that way. We love our single friends and while we still love them, its a whole lot easier to hang out with our married friends, especially the ones with kids. So, don't let anyone fool you if they say nothing changes after you get married when it comes to friends, because in the end it really does happen and its usually the best to reevaluate & try something new.