Different worlds


Yesterday I happened to overhear a conversation. At lunch time, driving from the Netstar fitment place (it’s STILL NOT WORKING) back home at lunch time, I popped in at the bead shop to get something to finish off a present for later this week.

There are a bunch of women, wealthy, and who have never worked, with the free time to spend whole days together chatting and creating bead stuff. I’d heard about them from the woman who teaches. I’ve seen them there previously and their conversations were (from the bits I overheard) about husbands, holiday trips, children. The almost expected conversation of married women together.

I thought about it, and I find the time I sneak in to bead is quite rewarding, but doing it for a whole day every week, no thanks.

But there I go wandering off again. Butterfly mind needs reprimanding again.

Their conversation had me riveted. They were talking about women who are widowed, or divorced (I think it never occurred to them that some of us don’t actually get married at all!) and how difficult it is as friends start excluding them. They decided most do it because they are scared these friends will be desperate enough for a man to steal their husbands.

Their talk went on, and I realised they seemed to think that people HAVE to come in pairs. Otherwise there is something not quite right about them. Single women for them are a bit like insects to examine. Very different from themselves.

That conversation lurked in the back of my mind as I drove home. Then I realised they are very different. Each of them is a part of a pair, they think in twos.

A conversation last week with a friend surfaced in my mind. She and I are both single and have worked hard for what we have. I realised we each seem to have a clearer idea of who we are, separate from having another half to use to fill in gaps or cover up lumps.

I began to suspect that the ‘friends’ who have become single start to develop an independent identity and no longer fit in with the ‘couples’ mindset. They start to be an uncomfortable presence in that world, like a hard lump in the custard. Maybe that is why they slip outside of the circle?

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18 thoughts on “Different worlds

  1. Interesting observatons, Sidey. I suspect that you are right that the single women tend to get tired of hanging out with married women who are more focused on that union than on other issues in life.

    I’ve always mixed and mingled with singles and duos, rich and poor, old and young, parents and child-free. And I never worry about someone trying to steal BFF out from under my nose ~ he and I give each other enough freedom that neither of us is looking to break free.

    1. i suspect it differs in different social circles, i have single and married friends. some of the marrieds find it difficult when their friends all socialise in couples to include singles

  2. You are right in that I do think as part of a pair: if I am ever asked anywhere, my first thought is always ‘how will it affect my husband?’ Sometimes, because he’ll have to drive me 🙂

    But I think women in a secure relationship also manage to maintain their own identity. My writing and church and a lot of my friends – married and single – are almost completely separate from my husband, and we’re both fine with that. He has his own interests.

    At least it gives us something to talk about!

    Interesting post.

  3. I used to think that I know all there is to know about being single and being with someone but most of the time I get confused. There are so many interpretations.
    Having said that I really admire people who are able to maintain being individuals in a relationship/marriage. I also get irritated when I notice that a person life revolves around one person and forgiving if its one’s child.

  4. Himself and I both persue different interests yet we spend a lot of time together. Yes we are a pair, but we have single friends as well. After 30 odd years together I would be very frightened to be single.

  5. Fascinating post. I’m not at all sure that the conclusions you came to (or have so far) are necessarily accurate. However, on further “cloudy” reflections, I would imagine that the identity establishment of each single woman (or man) would be unique. I have known some single women who feel and always felt as though they were now left incomplete, and others who lived more than 65 years of their lives completely fulfilled and happy before getting married.

    Again, an absolutely fascinating topic to consider. While as a happily married woman for over 35 years I have never felt that were my husband to die before I do that I would be left incomplete as a person, although I would still feel bereft of my best friend, who never completed me so much as he expanded me, and made my “whole” a better one. I’ll be thinking about the topics you have raised in this post for a long time. I’ll let you know – perhaps via a post of my own, what conclusions I come to. . .

    Thanks, Sidey – once again!

  6. I wonder if we feel most comfortable with those with whom we have something in common.

    Thus, I have begun to pull away from my friends with families because a lot of them have no time to talk about anything else: rather, both single and married friends who have an inquiring, open mind have become fast firm friends.

    My inclination towards those with a certain mindset is just the same as others’ need to talk about a world that is familiar to them. We just have different tastes.

    1. I think you are close to the truth there. It’s the mindset of a specific type of ‘couples world’ that is difficuklt for any outsider.’

      I have married friends who have open enquiring minds, their conversations are interestinga nd they include me as a friend, not caring if i come as part of a pair or not.

  7. Each to their own balance and this is always a changing balance, depending on a million plus influences, including child rearing, earning need, and expectation….

    I aim to be both one half of a couple, and independent in my own right, whilst also being a mother, a nurse, and several other roles rolled into one (cief cook and bottle washer)

    I said AIM to be: I don’t always achieve it! But it is fun trying. I don’t personally feel a single woman is a threat, though I’ve often heard it said, but I do feel a lot of society is set up for couples so some single women feel on the sidelines. Sadly.

    1. It is definitely up to the individual. These women live a pampered life, in rather a cocoon of ‘sameness’.

      Like most women, you have multiple roles, and all these make a multi-faceted person, so others have different ways of reaching you and making friends

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