Monday, December 8, 2008

The ostracized 'taken'

Why do friends lose touch? Why does it seem to happen so drastically when one becomes married or engaged? Do taken people just smell worse than single ones?

I received an e-mail from a dear friend I haven't spoken to for a while that left me feeling somewhat puzzled. Part of it read "Don't forget about me just because I am engaged, that doesn't change friendship."

Wow, that stopped me. I haven't at all forgotten about him. Over time, we've just lost touch ... and now I wonder why. It certainly isn't because he's engaged. When I heard, I was so happy for him, and in meeting his intended, I found her to be fantastic.

I had a similar conversation a week ago when I met an old friend for drinks the night before Thanksgiving. I have barely talked to her since she got married.

Now, both these friends live in NYC, but that never kept us for catching up from time to time before.

Maybe singles and marries are like cotton candy and ranch dressing. You just can't mix them. Maybe both sides feel an element of jealously, and it is emotionally easier to lose touch than be confronted by it.

But what if your friend is coupled with a mate that you could see as a great new addition to your circle, like I do with both these friends? Shouldn't that motivate me to make the effort?
Am I lazy? Do I hate married people?

Isn't the whole point of that gold band they wear to ward off single-folk? I think you actually have to keep three feet away from them. Just one touch will shrivel up a single woman's boobs, or a single man's pee pee. I've seen it happen. It's terrible.

Then again, maybe my friends just had less and less time for old pals as they settled into their domestic bliss ... and as time went by, were in a sense replaced by new faces in my own life.

That sounds cruel ... "replaced" ... as if they aren't special and important to me. But sometimes thoughts are cheap, and I certainly haven't put myself out there to maintain contact. Maybe it's time to change that.


Anonymous said...

Hey...I enjoyed the blog... With blogs and facebook, who has time for actually meeting? Just kidding!!!! Let's do better...


An old married friend from NYC.... With stomach issues:)

Sten said...

Glad you enjoyed it ... and it is proof that I think of you and miss you!

I just wonder at how people get to the point where it's "OK" to go months and months without talking to friends they care about.

Anonymous said...

Do you mean "ostracized"?

Sten said...


Anonymous said...

i think as people's lives change, their priorities do as well. and unfortunately, married people might not have as much in common with their single friends as they used to...

Sten said...

I don't think "real" friendships are simply based on both people wanting to go out and collect numbers. But certainly, one friend getting hitched could kill a wing man dynamic.

Colin said...

As someone who is engaged and living in sin, I can honestly say that when you find that right someone, you just seem to lose a lot of that extra time you had when you were single.

Whereas I would go out to bars on a regular basis after work, or go hang out with my other single friends for Football or Hockey nights, I now find that when I'm done with work, I just want to go home and see the person who I know will be there for me no matter how good or bad my day has been.

Sten, if you remember my friend Andy (the one who dislocated his knee in the basement of my parent's house), he lives up in Baltimore. It would be the equivalent of Po-town to NYC in terms of how easy it is to just pop up there and see him. However, sometimes things get awkward now that I'm engaged. Andy, being single and looking, seems to suddenly feel as if he is a third-wheel sometimes.

Perhaps it is the fact that no matter how much you might think you haven't changed, when you're with the person you realize you want to marry, you DO change in subtle ways that your life-long friends pick up on. I know that causes some distance between me and my single friends. I'm not necessarily the same guy around them when Erin is with me. It isn't anything conscious and it isn't anything she's force me into or even asked for, but I am a different person when I'm around her. Well, unless I'm at a live hockey game and then it just all comes out.

It isn't that I've replace my friends in my new life as part of a team. It is just that I've re-prioritized my time and feelings and I don't get to see or talk to my old friends as much these days. I still make the effort to keep in touch and hang out, and we do! It just isn't nearly as much as we used to.

Sorry for the ramble, but it is 2:36AM right now and it's time for bed.