It must be a sign of the times. Or my age. No, the times.
I just found out about the first divorce amongst my friends. Not between friends, thank God, so I don’t have to pick a side or anything. I’m only friends with her. But still, it’s my first friend who is getting divorced, and that makes me sad.
I mention this because I got an email from a reader recently (obligatory side note: If you have topics you wish I’d write about, please, email me!) about how the majority of her friends are divorced, and it’s weighing on her friendships. See, she’s been married for over 20 years, and suddenly her newly-single friends are only interested in going out on the town and scoping the scene for eligible bachelors. Probably not your first choice outing after 20 years of marriage. I’ll admit, it’s not my first choice after only two years (almost).
While this reader says she has plenty of friends to spend the days with on weekends, her nights have gotten much quieter. Couple friends for Saturday night dinner are no longer. Her single friends don’t want to go out with her and her husband and feel all third-wheely, and apparently they’d rather go out with other single ladies. What’s a married girl to do?
My vote would be to try and make girl-on-girl dinner dates with these friends, perhaps for a Friday night, but it may have to be during the week. Unfortunately, this is the way things are right now. Those divorced friends are going to want to go out and meet potential mates. and that makes sense for them. It also makes sense for this reader, she married of 20-odd years, not to want to do those things. So, my advice, is either to accept how things are right now, as frustrating as that may be, or go out and try to make new couple friends. Maybe at a cooking class or some other couple-oriented activity. Or through a friend. Maybe invite a coworker and her husband out to dinner one night. Making couple friends is like making regular friends. It’s tough. It takes work.
Luckily I haven’t encountered this problem yet. I’m still mentally preparing for the whole babies-will-change-friendships aspect of adulthood. To think that divorces will come with their own set of problems? Yikes.
My first divorced friend, the one I mentioned earlier, will be moving to Chicago soon. I don’t think her new marital status will affect our friendship too much since she has plenty of single friends in Chicago to prowl with. I get the sense we will be more sushi-on-a-Thursday-night friends. Fine by me. I love me some sushi on any night.
Do you have advice for the reader whose friends are all divorced? Please share! And what do you think, does divorce change friendships?