When you are married with children, your single friends may be feeling slightly out of touch with you. Instead of spending every waking moment shopping, clubbing or just hanging out, your single pals may feel as if they are now on the outside looking in and may possibly harbor some resentment against the life you've built with your spouse.
Although you have a family, there is no reason you can't hold onto the bonds you built with your single friends. In fact, with open communication you can strengthen those bonds with your single friends. Even as your family grows and children come into the picture, you can still maintain a soulful connection with your single friend:
Remember Why Your Are Friends in the First Place
What drew you to this friend? Was it her sense of humor or your mutual interest in a specific hobby? Remember where the friendship is rooted and focus on your early beginnings. If you simply share a lengthy history with the friend, recall your shared roots and revel in your past.
Make Time for Your Friendship
An important friendship is worth making time to maintain. Choose a day during the week or month that you and your friend will do something you both enjoy--just the two of you. During the activity, stay in the moment and avoid discussing kids or your spouse. Instead, make the day or activity about what you are doing at the moment.
Don't Force a Relationship Between Your Family and Your Friend
Ideally, your single friend would embrace your significant other and your children, however, if family time isn't her bag, don't force it. Trying to artificially make it happen will only create resentment for both parties, putting you in the middle.
Recall What It Is Like to Be Single
Priorities shift once you have your own family, sometimes making problems from your single days appear trivial. In order to maintain a connection with your single friends, put yourself in your friend's shoes before you had the spouse and children to avoid minimizing her issues.
Openly Discuss Problems
If you are dancing around the fact that your friend is uncomfortable hanging out with you and your family on Friday night, take the time to talk about it in private. Approach your pal in a private setting and, in a non-threatening manner, tell her you could sense tension last Friday and perhaps instead of Friday night with the family, you two could do lunch or spend Saturday afternoon together. Never point fingers or make accusations because both parties are approaching the same situation from different places.
Also, if the friendship has run its course and you are going in two different directions, bow out gracefully. Continue to be Facebook buddies or chat on the phone, but perhaps agree to reduce making plans. Even good friends can go separate ways.
Gina Ragusa is a freelance writer and mom from sunny (and sometimes not) South Florida. Her 15 year experience ranges from writing about banking to tattoo parlors. Read more about her adventures at http://blog.wahm.com/