So this might seem a little random but over the last few months I’ve wanted to write a post on the greatest myths many married people have about being single.
1. Myth #1- “You’re single so you get to hang out with your girlfriends whenever you want”. Sometimes I think there is this illusion that the singles life is Sex and the City without the sex (well without the sex for the Mormon singles!). Me and my 3 galpals hanging out and gallivanting around town at our hearts content. The truth is about 80% of my friends are married with kids and most of the time I’m so exhausted from work and other responsibilities that watching TV or heating up a microwave meal is all I can do. I would say I get 1-2 (maybe more in the summer) nights with friends in a month, which may be more than those with small kids but still its not like I’m partying it up all the time.
2. Myth #2- “You don’t have kids so you must have lots of extra money”. I found this attitude pervasive with recent events. The attitude seems to be ‘well, you’re single so you must have money to hire movers’. In reality married people statistically are wealthier and healthier than their single counterparts. Even if you don’t have a two income household, in most marriages you have two people managing the budget and making decisions. Plus, everything is more expensive for just one person. Food is more, taxes are more, rent is more etc.
3. Myth #3- “You must have tons of free time because you don’t have kids”. Well, this may be marginally true but between work and other obligations my time gets full, and I usually can’t skip off at a moments notice just because I don’t have kids. I try to help where I can and working from home makes me more available than some singles, but my time seems to fly away as fast as anyone else. I’ve actually had people sign me up for things without asking me first- assuming I can do them because I’m single and carefree and can easily find the time. Not always true.
4. Myth #4- “You must get tons of sleep because you don’t have kids”. I deal with insomnia and on a few occasions when I have mentioned being tired to my friends with kids the claws come out. I have no right to be tired because they have kids and are up all night. I totally get that, but I sincerely do feel tired. Really. Can’t we all be sympathetic of eachother’s tiredness? This one is more in humor as I know I’d be a total grump if I had kids and was up all night.
5. Myth #5- “You’re single. You must travel all the time”. Now I do travel more than most of my married friends but it isn’t as easy as one might think. First of all, as a single you have nobody to travel with which means you must either go alone or corral someone to go with you. The latter can be easier said than done. A couple of years ago I had tickets to Hawaii and everyone bailed on me so instead of going alone (I had never been before so was nervous about going alone) I visited family.
Going alone is certainly an option but not for everyone and it wouldn’t be my first choice (I’ve traveled alone on several occasions and its fine but a little drab). Also, you can pay more when traveling alone as single occupancy is almost always more expensive than double. The other thing is that most of us are working and get limited vacation hours so traveling isn’t as accessible as it may appear. Last year I had to use my vacation hours to visit my family.
6. Myth #6- “You are so lucky because you get to do everything just the way you want”. This can be a big benefit to being single. For instance, I got to pick out my own wall color, furniture, light fixtures etc. If I wanted to have a big party with a cake I could without discussing it with anyone else. However, this has a bad side too. You have all the pressure of every decision on you. There is no partner to discuss situations with or lighten the load. Something like which loan to get or how much to pay in a down payment had to be made by me and only me. I had to do all the research and get all the inspiration. Any mistakes lie squarely on my shoulders. That’s tough.
7. Myth #7- “You must hate it when your friends set you up on dates”. Actually the opposite is true. I would love it if people set me up on dates. Its hard for me to meet people, especially since online dating is not my thing. I guess if it became an obsession and silly maybe that would be bad but I’ll go on one date with just about anyone. Nothing could make me happier than my friends helping me find good people to interact with and date.
Now, I had a roommate who’s mother would have a date waiting for her at any family gathering including Christmas and Thanksgiving. That is definitely taking it to the extreme. Being single does not define us. It’s a challenge that we may not want to be continually reminded of especially on holidays.
8. Myth #8- “You’re single so I should avoid talking about my family and kids around you”. No! I love when people talk about their family. In fact, I have some ideas that might be helpful. I may not have kids of my own but I helped raise siblings and cared for babies my whole life. I’m not totally clueless. I have opinions on education, homeschool, parenting and child rearing just like anyone else. Once my friend Adrienne showed me her cloth diapers and how they work and I was actually kind of grateful she didn’t shy away from including me in her life. You are my friend, so if it is important to you, its important to me.
9. Myth #9- “You’re single because you have chosen to be single”. Not true. I’m not actively avoiding marriage or dating. I’d love to meet someone and fall in love. I need no encouragement or convincing on that level. I may have issues about having kids but getting married absolutely. I’d love it. Maybe this myth is true for some singles but nobody I know.
10. Myth #10- “You’re single so you should be treated like a college student forever”. Ok nobody has actually said those words to me but sometimes I feel like that impression is out there. For singles that are over 30 we resent when it is assumed we are still the same as 20 year old singles. While I have friends of many ages I have learned a lot in the proceeding years and hopefully have become wiser and better. I loved my college years so in a way its kind of flattering to be looked at as younger than I am but it can also feel a bit patronizing. Just getting married does not make a person more mature or more of an adult than someone who is unmarried.
11. Myth #11- “You’re single so I’ll send important information to your parents”. What I mean by this is some still consider me as under the umbrella of my parents family group. I certainly am proud to be their daughter and perhaps am more dependent on them than my married siblings, but I feel like I am my own family group of me. Its sort of frustrating when I have to hear news or updates on things through my parents while my married siblings get notified.
The truth is whether you are married or single we all are different, unique individuals that don’t fit nicely into boxes or labels. Our lives may follow some vague patterns but even if they do we like to be understood for who we are not what category we fit into. We can all work on that, myself most of all.
So there you go. You’ve now been demystified. Now have a great day!
What do you think of these myths? Have I missed any? What are the myths singles have about married life?