Saturday, 7 April 2012

Living in a world of couples ….

When I was younger I did not notice the world was filled with couples and that one’s social group tends to be determined in part by one’s relationship status.  

Within social occasions there seem to be niches tailored to the target group, so if everyone is partnered, it’s hard to fit in without a partner. For example, if you are going to a wedding – you need to bring someone of the opposite gender, except if you are gay and then the same gender is acceptable.

Another key issue for a lady with mostly male friends is that once the male friends get married, they tend to be wary of showing friendship to a lady, let alone a single lady!  

So how do you avoid looking like a lone predatory seabird sitting on a rock? How do you avoid unsettling every married woman (or man) in the room? FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, THAT’S HOW! No, not that kind of benefit silly! I mean social benefits. You need a selection of socially acceptable people you can invite to partner you at weddings and other social events.

Awesome is very busy and often away on business, so I’ve cultivated a stable of male friends with social benefits. Billy may attend lectures and seminars if they are of interest to him. Ellis will attend social events and Nelson has specifically offered to attend weddings - after seeing my social plight at Ronaldo’s wedding.  FIXED!  

…..and as I write this I am reminded that the world of the older single is sooo different from the world of the married person. We should take this into account when arranging social functions so singles are not further socially isolated. 

Usually I don't photograph people - but on a recent trip to Moreton Bay I was struck by the beauty and meaning of the combination of people and landscape ... and as I look back at those photos I see the family groups, the pairs of friends and the lovers - and morose singles sitting alone ...  


  1. I just escorted a friend to her stepdaughter's wedding a few weeks ago. She was rather upset at the idea of seeing her ex, the biological dad again and wanted moral support.

    (It was kind of confusing that there was a biological mom and dad and a stepdad and 2 stepmoms - hard to keep everybody straight.)

    Also I offered to escort one of my married friends to a concert that her husband couldn't stand (that I wasn't really interested in), but since then she found some other friends more into hair bands which lets me off. :)

    It's nice if you can find some people among whom the jealously runs shallower, so you can shuffle people for social stuff more easily.

    1. Hello M - thanks for commenting.

      I'm glad you could support your friends. Even when I was married I was cool with my ex hanging out with and helping his female friends (and foster daughters) and I am glad some of them still keep in contact now that he is more alone.

      ....and yes jealousy is such a curse and so destructive. Awesome knows of all my friends and which activities I attend with them and is fine with it all - even a little releived! It's usually the new women in our social system that cause the men to act defensively.

      In some ways, I think the rules change with age - now we don't have children to care for and many of us are single again, we are being more liberal with where we go and who we go with.

      We've realised we need to think of the good of ourselves and our friends rather than blindly following someone else's social rules, rules meant for a society where everyone has a partner and a family.

      Now that I am alone a lot myself I realise how singles must feel and have decided to take more care to make them feel one of the group and included, even as far as inviting a second single person to make sure they are a in a "pair" if all the other attendees are partnered.

      Thanks for the comment! I look forward to more comments in the future. I want to write about libido and mid life crisis soon and really need a male perspective.

      :-) C