Thanks to Beyonce for making this phrase popular and oh-so-catchy. But, I know what you’re thinking. Michelle, you’re not single anymore.
Somehow it seems that once someone “crosses over” to this other world called marriage you lose the right to speak about awkward first dates, lonely nights at home or being single. However, in my defense I have spent more of my adult life single than married so I think I have something worth saying. I remember well- very well- what it feels like to be single. So, single ladies- here me out.
I have been married all of 3 months. Just enough months to realize that marriage is wonderful in so many ways, but it takes work. A different kind of work than other relationships. And in these 3 months I have also realized that marriage is no replacement for female friendships. (some of you are saying, duh, obviously not) I have listened to married friends and mentors and wise women three times my age always tell me this–
but maybe it’s like most things in life, you don’t always believe it until you’re in it.
Since being married I have probabaly enjoyed my female friendships just as much if not more than ever-– a 2 hour skype sesh with one of best friends in California. The kind where the topics change quickly, interspersed with laughter and “wait, wait, do you remember when____?” A long email exchange from a friend who is honest about where she’s at so it gives me permission to do the same. And an afternoon walk with a friend here where you lose count of how many times you passed by the same street because the conversation is that good.
I have learned these are the kind of relationships that are so important. And I think all too often dating couples, newly engaged and recently married people forget this. Or when we’re single we think– well, I’ll hang out with these girls for now, but once I’m married my husband will fill this role. wrong.
It think it’s safe to say your husband or your future husband will never, ever be one of your girlfriends. It doesn’t matter how caring or thoughtful he is, he will probably never want to sit in on the couch in his pjs and gush about how great that movie was or discuss what color nail polish you should paint your toes. In fact I’d bet money on it.
I sometimes wonder if we place too many expectations on this one person- in this case one man. One person cannot be your best friend, your sole supporter, your lover, your counselor, your partner, your advice-giver, your empathizer, etc. It’s just not possible people. And I don’t really think it’s healthy either. Don’t get me wrong G is a wonderful husband and we’re enjoying figuring out marriage together, but I think he would agree with me. He can’t and doesn’t want to be all these things for me. In fact he knows, as do I, that I am a better version of myself when I have time with girlfriends.
I mean there are some things that only a girlfriend is going to get. And it doesn’t matter if you’re single or married, divorced or dating. Something about having those female friends who have experienced similar stories of cramps, uncomfortable gyno appointments, hilarious waxing stories and painful birthing stories. Those female friends who know you and your heart and have seen you at your best and at your worst and can tell you when you need to change. Those are the kind of women you want to keep in your life- it doesn’t matter what you’re marital status is.
Do you agree? Married Ladies? Single Ladies?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.