The effect of weddings on friendships with single people

There are some things that make young single people go insane. One of those things is weddings. Like a Taylor Swift Instagram post, the number of Likes on Facebook skyrockets whenever a young couple announces that they are engaged.

In the time leading up to the wedding, people are constantly intruding on the couple’s life, asking about the theme of the wedding, what colors are going to be used, who will be the photographer, and especially if the wedding will be big or small.

Then the invitations are sent out and the responses flow steadily back. The single people who decide to go are often elated, and in the front of their minds wonder when their turn will come.

On the day of the wedding people flood the venue and the ceremony is conducted as people sit and witness in amazement and bliss the bride gliding elegantly down the aisle, the exchange of vows, and the uniting, long-awaited kiss. Soon afterward the reception begins and it is a raucous and rapturous event: people dance in glee, music fills the evening air, and desserts are downed without any second thoughts. As the night concludes, the guests depart one party at a time, and the single people smile because they have once more been reminded that it is possible that they will be married at any time.

Following the wedding, the couple goes on the honeymoon, and the photos from this vacation are met with several Likes on Facebook and some conversations.

And then there is silence. Daily life has begun for the newly-married couple and they realize that they are, unfortunately, separated from many of their friends, especially those friends who are single. This may be the result of busy schedules in the couples’ lives, or it could be that the single people have simply assumed that the married couple won’t have time or any interest in hanging out anymore. It could be that the couple is isolating themselves from their single friends or that the single friends are separating themselves from the couple.

Either way, the two groups are separated when they were previously inseparable.

This has happened to several couples that I know at the start of their marriages, and the number of singles who stay in touch with newlyweds steadily decreases as time goes on. This is especially true of those who moved to a new, far off location soon after their wedding. And it doesn’t need to happen.

From what I see, most people (specifically single people) delight in weddings, but not those who are wed.

This is tragic. And it is absurd. Why do we (single people) stop making effort to hang out with newly married couples? Because it is uncomfortable being alone in the company of a couple? Because their schedules often don’t align with ours? Because we can’t do the same things with them that we could when they were singles? These reasons do not justify our lack of effort to connect with newlyweds.

And, after all, there can be much joy in spending time with our friends after their wedding. We single people have much to learn from the newly united couple, even when they have hardly been married for a month. Living with another person constantly on your heart and in your home makes an enormous change in a person’s character, and that can be visible to outside eyes very quickly, I assure you. Also, they still love to have fun and they still enjoy many of the same things they enjoyed before their marriage; and with busier schedules, fun is more scarce, so they’ll likely welcome chances to have fun even more than they did as a single person.

This is not a reprimand. It is a plea to persevere in friendship. Single people: let’s spend time with our married friends and learn from them what marriage is like. Don’t bother them. If they are busy, accept it. If they are spending time with other married couples, rejoice: newlyweds have much to learn from couples who have been married longer. But if they have time and a desire, visit with them and have fun with them!

A note for the church: we are called a family numerous times in the New Testament. Let’s live in freedom and act like one. A marriage does not invalidate two people’s statuses as children of God, nor as our brothers and sisters. If they are still our spiritual siblings, let’s continue to spend time with them and grow more spiritually mature with them.

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