Are Married People Smug? Are Single People Hypersensitive?

Are Married People Smug? Are Single People Hypersensitive?

I’m a big advocate for healthy long-term relationships that lead to marriage. I believe in love. I believe in compromise. I believe in the generic vows: for better or worse, in sickness and in health, til death do us part. I never found any of this to be remotely controversial. Then I started writing a blog.

Upon which I was informed that my personal beliefs about the joy and transcendence of being in a happy marriage made me “judgmental” or “smug”. I find such claims to be somewhere between amusing and infuriating. I’m amused that my beliefs and lifestyle choices have the capacity to hurt you. If you don’t want to date online, date at all, open up to different partners, compromise, fall in love, get married and have kids, that’s 100% fine by me. If you want to work 60 hours a week, train for a triathlon, travel around the world with your girlfriends, that’s your business. You’re not wrong. But that doesn’t make me judgmental, nor does it make me smug.

So how is it that single people don’t seem to understand that married people’s lives change and that while we are less available, we still love you just as much?

I’m a dating coach for women. My job is to help those women – the vast majority of whom want to date, fall in love, and get married – achieve their goals. And yet, I can’t tell you the number of comments I’ve received suggesting that there’s something wrong with me because I don’t show proper respect to women who don’t want to fall in love and get married.

If you’re one of those women: I completely respect you. I just don’t have any idea why you’re reading my blog, which is inherently targeting women who want the kind of relationship that I have. So why am I leading off today’s blog post with this personal tangent? Because I read a juicy “Open Letter To Our Single Friends” on Clutch Magazine, in which the newly coupled up author tells her single friends that even great relationships are not cure-alls and that even women in couples really need their girlfriends. Amen. I love my wife more than anyone in the world, but I still need to hang out with other couples, play fantasy football with college friends, and go out for a guys’ night every once in awhile. Do I do these things as much as I used to? No, that would be impossible given that I live in the suburbs with two little kids, but it doesn’t mean I value my old friends any less.

Anyway, I thought this piece was well-written and non-controversial…until I read comments like this.

“Dear married friends, the phone works both ways. P.s. don’t just call when your boyfriend’s busy. Sincerely, your single friends.”

I know I’m biased, but I was single for 35 years. So how is it that single people don’t seem to understand that married people’s lives change and that while we are less available, we still love you just as much? This is a universal phenomenon and I think it shows a complete lack of understanding to guilt trip someone in a relationship for having a slightly different set of priorities. What say you, dear readers?


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  1. 31

    Yves 30 – That’s an interesting comment.  Particularly no. 1 – yes, I’ve known many lonely married women (and men).  Of course someone would want their own idea of marriage.  Why shouldn’t they? The trick is, is to make sure that your idea of marriage matches the idea of the other person, otherwise what’s the point? However, there are people who don’t know what they want, and then blame the other for not getting what they didn’t clarify in the first place!

  2. 32

    I have such strong feelings about this. The Clutch article was ludicrous at best. The main problem, as Lauryn and Michelle have touched upon, is that it is still wholly acceptable to discriminate against single people. So you end up being the person who always has to accommodate others, excluded from social events and expected to work longer hours, just because you’re single. It is tiring and depressing and patently discriminatory. Most smug marrieds do think they are special snowflakes – and most ignore huge warning signs in their relationships OR the fifty percent divorce rate.  It is crazy to me that the single person whose life has not at all changed must now accommodate the coupled individual. I have had longstanding friendships with women fall off because they can’t be on the telephone when he gets home or have to invite him out to every event. I’ve had longstanding friendships and those with men fall off because their new wives are worried I will seduce their husbands. Really though? Accommodating life’s changes is a two way street. Your choices are not better as a married person, they are just different. Many married folks refuse to acknowledge this. I wish them well, especially if they ever need to resurrect their social circles if they end up on the wrong side of the fifty percent.

  3. 33

    Explain to me how we single people know our married friends “still love us” if we never hear from them anymore? 
    What I find the most smug (or annoying) is how married people assume their single friends “have more time” and therefore should bear the responsibility of maintaining the friendship. That makes it very one-sided and causes resentment.

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