Reducing Friendship Casualties After Marriage
I’ve also seen a majority of those acquaintances and friends seemingly drop off the face of the earth after they got married.
I think we can all agree that marriage inevitably changes the relationship between a couple and their friends. It can be difficult to know how those relationships will move forward.
I’m blessed with two friends who have included me in their lives post-marriage. In fact, I was surprised the first time I got my friend’s text inviting me to dinner at her new home not long after she and her husband got married. I appreciated their kindness and inclusion; plus, it gave me a chance to get to know them better as a couple.
Here are some suggestions to help you make it through that awkward phase that inevitably comes right after a friend’s marriage.
Don’t assume your relationship is over
This is directed toward my fellow singletons. Don’t assume that your married friends are done with your friendship. Remember this if contact becomes a bit sparse the first few months of their marriage. Be fair; realize that it’s natural and good for your married friend to nurture their new relationship. Assuming your relationship is over because your “selfish friend dumped you” only feeds an unhealthy mindset that’s going to damage your relationship down the road. Be patient and compassionate, which leads me to my next point…
Pray for your friend’s marriage
Prayer is an effective and practical way to support your friend’s marriage. Pray that God blesses their union and that He places wise people in their lives to help them navigate those early weeks and months of marriage. The enemy hates marriage, so be a prayer warrior for your friend against the devil’s schemes.
You might need to be the first one to reach out
This is advice for the newlyweds. Anyone can be the first to reach out, but realize that might be a little intimidating for your single pal to do. We know you are going through a significant life change, and it’s tricky trying to figure out if now is a good time to call or check in. We want to hear from you, and we care about how you are doing, but we don’t want to be intrusive. Help us out by reaching out and letting us know you are available.
Just check in
This tip is for both camps. A short text or email can go a long way. I think one reason we may hesitate to make contact is because we’re afraid that we will have to participate in an hour-long conversation that we don’t have the time or inclination for. While there is a time and place for that, most of the time a short check-in will suffice. Who isn’t happy to get a text from a friend asking how you are doing?
Invite them over
This is another tip for both the newlywed and the single friend. Invite your friend and their spouse over for dinner. If you’re afraid it will be too awkward with just the three of you, turn it into a mini-reunion and invite a few of your mutual friends. The same works for the married couple. Invite your single friend over for dinner or a game night. And hey, while you are at it, invite your other single friends and play matchmaker.
One on one
If it’s appropriate, enjoy some time with just the two of you. (By appropriate, I mean that your friend is not the opposite gender). Have a girls’ day (or guys’ day) and do some of the fun activities you enjoy together. It can be fun to have your friend back to yourself for an hour or two.
Maybe these ideas spark some other ideas. If so, share them below. It might be difficult to maintain a relationship after a marriage, but it’s worth the hard work. Don’t forget to extend grace on both ends, and remember to thank God for the friendships He has given you.