I got to chatting online with a friend this week, a single, child-free woman in her mid-thirties who I think -- and you would too, if you met her -- is extraordinary. She's wicked smart, super attractive and she is dedicating her career to helping make the world a better place. She's a total catch.
But here's the catch: She's single. And worried, or at least feeling a gentle yet persistent tug, as if she's missing out on something because of her relationship status. My conversation with her affirmed something I've known for a while, which many of us married ladies will probably never willingly admit: We are betraying our single female friends in a really big way.
"Oh no, not me!" you declare. You love your single friends. You value the diversity they bring to your life. Who cares if they're married? Not you. You are a loving, empathic, supportive and non-judgmental woman who wants your friends to find happiness and fulfillment in life and that's it. If marriage is not in the cards for them, well, who the heck cares?
Ok, I believe you. And despite the fact that I believe you, I still think many of us, myself included, are betraying (or being less than forthright with) our single gal pals. To prove my point, I now present the top 20 ways married women suck when it comes to our single girlfriends:
1. We ask you if you've met "someone special" too often.
2. We tell our hubbies way too much about your relationship troubles.
3. We use your breakups to feel relief that no matter how bad our marriage gets, at least we're not dating anymore.
4. We don't share with you that some of our loneliest life moments have taken place during marriage.
5. We think you're better in bed than we are.
6. We're jealous of your freedom.
7. We secretly think you'd be more flexible if you had a partner.
8. We envy that you don't have to compromise all the time.
9. We wish we had time, like you do, to do whatever the heck we want.
10. We tell you awful things about our partners and then expect you to forget them once we've moved on.
11. We worry about you being alone. And lonely.
12. We put pressure on you to get married and have kids.
13. We're embarrassed that you see how we launder our husbands' underwear, give up our careers and take on other traditional gender roles.
14. We expect you to understand and immediately forgive us when we don't call, email or text you back.
15. We sometimes make you feel, intentionally or not, that your life is not complete until you find a spouse and have a family.
16. We think you're too picky.
17. We don't tell you that you should be exactly who you are when you meet someone, because he will see every good and bad thing about you eventually, so you might as well get it out now.
18. We don't tell you we notice that you keep making the same mistakes with the people you date.
19. We give you relationship advice even though we have no idea what we're talking about and haven't had sex with our husbands in months.
20. We don't tell you that getting hitched will not solve your problems or make you feel better about yourself.
If you're like me, you figured out pretty quickly that marriage is not a magic bullet. It does not take away your problems or improve your self-esteem. If you're like me, you know that attempting to blend your bumps and bruises with another person's is a lifelong project that requires infinite amounts of care, patience and forgiveness. So, why do we subtly pressure our friends to join us? And why do we encourage them to buy into the notion that we are not complete as women until we find a life partner and have kids?
To all the single gals in my life, I apologize for asking you too often if you've met someone special or for telling hubby about your relationship woes. I'm sorry I haven't shared with you that I think the guys you date have serious intimacy issues and will probably never give you what you want. I hope you will always tell me about your latest adventure in some far-off land, the awesome gig you just landed or a new, sexy move that I can try out with my honey. Our marital status might be different, but I can promise you this: We're far more alike than you'll ever know.