The Social Lives of Single Parents (Or, Do We Actually Have Them?)

real friends I can’t think of one time in nearly 10 years of single parenthood that I’ve been invited out with a couple. Even couples who socialized with me when I was part of a couple don’t socialize with me now that I’m not.

What happens when we’re no longer coupled? Why do couples drop us as friends? Is it because they or their partners were actually friends with our former or late spouses and not with us?

Or does the half of the couple that’s the same sex as us fear that we’ve suddenly turned into spouse stalkers? (I hope that’s not true, because it’s insulting. Why would I suddenly want someone’s spouse now when I didn’t want him before? I can get my own man, thank you very much.)

So since we can’t socialize with couples anymore, we can still see our friends whose spouses we don’t really know, can’t we? Sure we can – if we can find one who can squeeze us in when they’re not busy doing something with or for their partners.

I don’t know if my experience is the norm or not, but I don’t have any single friends. Maybe it’s because of my age. It’s a lot easier to find single friends when you’re 25 or 30, I think, than when you’re pushing – I hate to say this – 50.

The divorced women with whom I’m acquainted seem to be a lot younger than me. Maybe, if your marriage is going to end, it usually happens when you’re younger; so that by the time you make it to my age, you’ve since remarried.

Fortunately, I do have a few married women friends with whom I get together on a fairly regular basis, although this generally happens on weekdays in the daytime; evenings and weekends are for spouses (not that anyone ever says this – it’s just understood.)

But that’s OK; I do understand that. What matters much, much more to me than the day of the week or the time of day is their friendship.

Of course boyfriends or girlfriends (for you single Dads out there) are wonderful! But speaking as a female, there’s something special about a heart-to-heart conversation over lunch or coffee with a woman friend. (I even went out for an early dinner recently with a married woman friend – that was a treat!)

Friends may have been more plentiful when I was half of a married couple; I like to think, though, that what I have now is quality, not quantity. Friends can be harder for single parents to find, but at least we know that the ones we do find aren’t with us because their spouses are friends with our spouses.

They’re with us because they’re friends with us. And that’s such a good feeling!

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