The friendship divide we need to deal with
Some people are single, while others are in relationships. This shouldn’t be a big deal, except when it is. There’s a distinct dichotomy—egged on by media that focuses on one relationship sector or another. In the process, we’ve created a distance between ourselves. We have begun to focus on the benefits of being a part of one group or the other, rather than realizing that each individual — our mothers, our sisters, friends, and classmates — is on her own, valid path to happiness. Unfortunately, though, I’ve found that this reality, this separation between “the singles” and “the takens,” has created a separation between our fellow women.
As a recently engaged 23 year old woman, the fiancé to a military member and a new resident of a city 2.5 hours from my nearest friend (aside from the new ones I’ve made) or family member, some days I want to complain about how hard it is to live alone when you didn’t know you’d be alone and how much I miss having friends my own age.
I can’t complain to my single friends about these things because, to be honest, very few of them are in this situation to begin with. They tell me to be thankful for what I have, “You could have it worse . . . “ They simply can’t relate and, to be honest, when they present their problems (and joys) to me, it’s just as difficult for me to give the right reaction because our lives, over the past 6 months, have become so vastly different.
The truth is, we’re all struggling to adjust to living lives without set standard of success. In our youth and through college, it was easy to measure ourselves against our peers, but, for many of us, graduation has been the absolute marker of independence. There is no longer a definitive way to tell who is “winning” and who is “losing;” from here forward we are all on the paths of our own choosing. And we need to be more understanding of each other’s chosen journey, even if it’s different from our own.
Luckily, the solution is simple. Have confidence and solidarity in your choices. What you’re doing may not be what your best friend is doing, but that makes neither action right nor wrong. In turn, respect and do not diminish the choices others make and learning experiences others may need to get where they’re going – because, after all, where they want to go may not be where you’re headed.