Beyond Bravo

Surviving Your Married Friends When You’re Single

What's the third-wheel to do when they're always tagging along?

Diana has been best friends with David for years. But the married dad can drive her crazy when it comes to planning a friendly get together.

“He’ll often call me that day to come to his home later in the evening to hang out with his wife and kid,” says Diana, 36, from New York City. “They live about an hour away, and I have to travel to him since they have a child.” 

Diana admits that she feels she has to go since she knows his time is limited, “but I’m stuck shifting my weekend schedule to try to accommodate. I think he’s forgotten how we singles plan our weekends in advance.”

Diana also says the evening gets mapped out to his liking. “I’m all for a good game night, but when it comes with an impromptu slideshow of his child’s latest school concert, it can be a little draining.”

"Once you are married, you truly forget what it was like when you did not have a live-in date," says Fran Greene, flirting dating and relationship coach and author of The Flirting Bible. Fran suggests respecting your single friend’s time. “For all you married folks, those who are single really appreciate if you make plans with them ahead of time, just like you do with your couple friends. It will make them feel that they are not an afterthought." 

She also suggests meeting halfway, if possible, and figuring out a place and activity the entire group can enjoy.

Of course, singles can be just as guilty of sabotaging their married friends’ schedules. Rebecca and her husband John enjoy the company of family friend Loretta, but she’s no longer on their guest list for dinner outings.

“We’d plan to meet several days in advance, set up a reservation in one of the hottest spots in town and hire the babysitter,” shares Rebecca, 43, from Chicago. “And then we’d get a call that she has to cancel literally an hour before we’re supposed to meet. It got so frustrating, we just stopped reaching out to her.”

“Some single women feel as if they can’t spend time with married friends because they are not part of a couple themselves,” Fran explains. She advises single gals not to fear the dreaded third-wheel stigma.

“When married friends extend an invitation, don’t decline. See it as a perfect opportunity to reach out to your friends and do something you wouldn’t want to do by yourself,” Fran declares. “It enhances your social life. You never know who you may come into contact with.” 

And couple friends can make the best wing team.

“It almost gives you permission, if you see a guy who might be interesting, to do something crazy,” Fran shares. 

Just how crazy?

“Tell your friends, ‘I’m going to do something wild. He’s by himself, and we have a fourth chair here. I’m going to ask him to join us.’”

That just may be the way you go from single friend to fellow married couple.

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