A couple of weeks ago I was web surfing and came upon an article on married vs. single friendship written by Demetira L Lucas. In it she posed the question: Should women in relationships have single friends?
This was not my first encounter with such a notion. Afterall, I’d been confronted head on after I got married about interacting with singles.
It was the day after my wedding and we have a traditional ceremony called ukushikula, which involves the families introducing their members to the newlyweds and giving them money and advice. Everything was going well, lots of laughter, dancing and the like. Until my cousin’s sister-in-law took to the centre and raised her right finger pointing straight at me. I remember exactly what she looked like and what she was wearing and how her voice pierced my insides. She stated, firmly, that I should refrain, ok, sever all ties with friends that were not married. That I had responsibilities now and I should not be on the phone, talking to my single friends when my house and my husband, needing tending to. Needless to say I was speechless or as I like to say mauless. I smiled awkwardly and steered clear of her the remainder of the day.
So what do I think about the whole thing? Firstly, I think it’s silly that one would sever existing ties with a friend simply because they are single. I mean it’s not their fault that they’re single! What status does one acquire in marriage that makes them better than a person whose single? A husband? Really? In short, I think it’s shallow. Secondly, if the advice giver had said, now avoiding bad mouthing your husband to your friends, keep your issues between you and your husband to yourselves and avoid neglecting your household duties, I would have thought, that’s fair. But tossing friends aside is not the answer.
As Ms. Lucas states, being married doesn’t mean that one suddenly has amnesia about what single life is like. And the topic of men, is not the only thing that women talk about!
Friends have been there during our past, present and most likely, be in our future if we allow them. Married or not, we all learn valuable lessons about life and friendship from these relationships.