During my single years, I watched friend after friend get married. I was thrilled for them. Truly. But as the date of their wedded bliss grew closer and closer, I always began to wonder,
“Will I lose my friend?”
Will she forget about me? Will she hole up in her house with her new husband for a month, three months, a year… before remembering me? Will our friendship continue at all? Will she ditch me and all the rest of her single friends for new married couple friends?
Only time will tell.
As the stubborn girl I am, I was determined to not lose my girlfriends to married life. My method of attack was a continual pursuit of their time and attention. I would give my newly married friend a week post-honeymoon and then begin the texts, phone calls, and emails to stay on her radar. I did try to be sensitive to her new schedule and new priorities, but I also wanted to maintain regular quality time as just us girls.
Now that I am on the other side of the equation, it’s been interesting to consider my method of attack as a single gal and watch some of my currently single friends do a much better job of staying up with me.
So, for all you single gals wondering how to maintain your friendship with your newly married girlfriend, here are some things I wish someone had told me.
1. Pursue her.
It’s easy to sit back and feel like she should pursue you! After all she is the one who just got a husband– she needs to be intentional about not forgetting her single friends. But no matter what the circumstance is of a friendship, the truth is that if you want it, you have to pursue it. The number of deep, quality friendships you have is completely up to you. You cannot be passive about this. Swallow your pride and pursue her. Keep reaching out.
2. Invite her husband.
One of my major pitfalls was not recognizing the importance of hanging out with my friend’s husband. If I am only trying to schedule girls night out or one on one time with my friend, I am trying to keep our relationship like it was in the past as two single friends. If I really want to keep this friendship for years to come, I need to fold in my friend’s husband. In fact, I need to become friends with him. Trust me. It’s really hard to stay BFF’s with your girlfriend if you are not friends with her BFF, aka her husband.
When I was single, I would often invite a married girlfriend to a group hang or dinner and her response would be, “Can my hubs come?” Every time it stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t want to say no, but I also just wanted girl time. Instead, I wish I had known to just make it clear. If you just want girl time– awesome, be up front about it. Or make it clear in the initial invite that her husband is included. Either way, don’t put her in the situation where she is wondering whether or not her husband is included.
3. Don’t be afraid to be the third wheel.
One of my brilliant friends wrote a short article about this on Relevant. I won’t try to say here what she said so perfectly in her article, but I will say as a married girl some of my favorite nights are when my friends are willing to third wheel it with my husband and me. I love my girlfriends, and I really love my husband, so when both of those come together for me– well it’s just a total love explosion. Yes, I love a good GNO and of course I love a date night with my husband, but there is something really fun about my favorite people all being together.
4. Have some grace.
Again, I think it’s easy to feel like the victim in this single girl and married girl friendship, but you are not a victim and she doesn’t have the upper hand. You are both simply in a different season of life when it comes to relationships. You can both learn and grow so much from one another. So have some grace for her.
I remember being so confused on why my friend “had barely seen her husband all week” when they live together and sleep in the same bed. It would frustrate me when a married friend had to cancel or back out of plans because she needed to “prioritize her husband.”
Now, I get it. Tyler and I can be like two ships passing in the night some weeks. Days can pass before I feel like we have time to genuinely connect. If Tyler has had a hard week or isn’t feeling well and I can tell he needs quality time with me, I won’t even hesitate to cancel my plans. Why? It’s not because I don’t love you or our plans– it’s because he comes first. Every time. And while that may be frustrating or even down right hurtful to you, have some grace. Your married friend is doing the best she can to juggle her man BFF and her gal BFF.
So if you can swallow your pride, pursue her, befriend her husband, and have grace for her when she needs it– your friendship will easily carry on throughout this season, as well as many more future seasons to come.