Married friends, please don’t believe the myth that you can’t really support your single friends—or that they don’t want you to. Hear it from me—a single person—we really value having married friends. So, if you want to know how to better support the single friends in your life, read on, friend.
First, let me offer some grace. If you weren’t single for very long in your adult years, you’re probably not sure what it’s like to truly navigate some aspects of life as a single person. Your single friends may not even really know how to describe their experiences or their feelings with you. That’s okay!
Not fully understanding their situations doesn’t mean you can’t still support your friends who aren’t married yet.
If you’re not even sure what it might be like for the single friends in your life, let me offer my experience. So, hi, my name is Jillian! I’m 35 years old and single. Here’s a quick picture of this season of my life for you.
It’s coming home after a bad day to an empty house. It’s suffering with an illness and still getting out of bed to cook yourself dinner. It’s driving yourself to the ER, or sitting at the mechanic’s shop alone for two hours on your day off.
It’s living vicariously through your Instagram friends who have babies or take trips with their husbands. Not to mention the courage it takes to put yourself out there on a dating app, or the confusion that comes when you meet someone you like, but they stop texting you out of the blue.
Singleness is complicated, and it’s different for each person who’s walking in it. But there’s one thing I can guarantee is the same for each of your single friends: you. One of the hardest parts about singleness is walking through difficult things on our own.
Over the years, as I’ve had stressful seasons at work, different conflicts, or a family member walking through an illness, I’ve learned more about the incredible value that my married community brings to my life—no matter the season!
There’s something special about the support of married friends. They’re the people who check on me when I’m sick, pray for me when I’m walking through something difficult, and process with me when I have to make a decision. In a world where single people tend to feel left out or not enough, I’ve found that it’s my married friends who empower me the most in my singleness!
If you’re looking to be an empowering and encouraging voice in the lives of your single friends, here are four easy ways you can best support them. And a quick tip for free: The more you’re able to empathize with your single friends, the better you’ll be able to offer comfort and support when they need it the most!
Here are four things your single friends want you to know.
1. They want to feel like a part of your family. Your single friends don’t want to feel like a third wheel; they want to feel like they’re family. Don’t just ask your single friends to babysit for your date night, ask them to join you on it sometimes! Invite them over for dinner and a movie night with your kids. Make memories with your single friends alongside your family and be inclusive in your conversations and activities. They will feel most supported when they feel part of the family!
2. They want to talk about it. It can feel taboo to talk to your single friends about dating or how they’re feeling for a number of reasons. But don’t let your fear or lack of knowledge keep you from asking those deeper questions. When you seek to understand what life is like for your friend, you’re cultivating a safe space where they can bring vulnerability and truth. Chances are, they don’t have a lot of those spaces in their life!
3. They need you to cheer them on. Never assume your single friends have a reliable support system in their lives. It’s easy for them to feel like their achievements pale in comparison to the engagement announcements and baby showers that they see all around them. When you see a single friend make a big decision or get a promotion at work, celebrate them! And please, don’t forget their birthday!
4. They need you to pick up the phone. Your single friends know that you already have a juggling act going as a spouse and parent, and that’s why they’ll rarely reach out when they really need someone to talk to. So it’s important for you to pick up the phone and give them a call! Your single friends don’t need you to drop everything to meet them for coffee—a thoughtful phone call while your kids are napping or your husband is watching football might just be the support they need this week.
Now that you have a little insight on how you can better support your single friends, what are you going to do first? Here’s a helpful tip: Simply shoot your single friend a text and ask them, “How are you doing?” or “How can I best support you right now?” That’s an easy place to start if you’re unsure.
And hey, if you’re reading this and you’re single like me, let your married friends support you! Challenge yourself to be a little more vulnerable. Let them know how you’re doing and how they can best support you. No matter what season of life we’re in, if we want to find contentment and gratitude to truly thrive, we must start by letting others into our world!