The married's and/or parents' "club"

It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single Forums Welcome The married's and/or parents' "club"

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  mariposa 2 months ago.

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  • #1661

    LoneStar
    Participant

    My friend (single, late 20’s) brought up something that she’s been noticing every time a friend gets an engaged: the “Welcome to the club!” line. As she mentioned it, I thought about all the different ways I’ve seen this “club mentality” manifest:

    – talking about married and/or parental life in front of me, without acknowledging that I have nothing to contribute on the matter (especially worse when it’s 2 married people and me).
    – the internal feeling that I don’t belong when I’m amongst a group of married people OR much younger singltons (or a combo)
    – People saying to “enjoy it while I can” as if it’s not really as great as people make it seem
    – forgetting about me when they make plans because it’s all couples and families (not sure if this is because they assume I have an amazing busy life or just don’t think of me)

    What are some ways you have seen “the club” mentality show up in your life/social circles?

    #1665

    mariposa
    Participant

    Thanks for this post, LoneStar. I’m with you for everything on your list. “Welcome to the club” is a line I hear a lot too, and while I know it’s said with nothing but the best of intentions toward the person sharing their good news, I don’t think people realize how those words can feel to those who are hearing them from the other side.

    Your second point especially hit home for me. I’ve been trying to put my finger on this growing sense of unease I seem to have at times in certain social situations, and I think it really just comes down to the idea of belonging. It’s not that there was ever one big change, but more like a series of little losses over time as other people’s lives changed. And I miss that feeling of belonging, especially with extended family and with groups of friends who have been part of my life for a really long time (and who I very much used to feel like I belonged with). To their credit, they still make lots of effort to include me, but like you said in your first point, the conversation just often seems to go to places that are difficult for me to contribute to, and that can feel pretty isolating at times.

    Something I would add to the list are comments along the lines of “Now your life really begins” or any comments relating to life only having a sense of meaning after someone gets married or has a baby. As if nothing they did before they met their partner/had their children really mattered or had any purpose. What does that say about my life right now? And possibly my entire existence, because maybe I won’t ever meet that person? Even if I know my own worth, sometimes it feels like our society doesn’t, and that nothing I do will ever be enough if I can’t clear that one bar. Some days I feel hopeful that things are changing for the better, other days it still feels like we have a pretty long way to go.

    #1670

    misstree
    Participant

    Hi Lonestar

    Thank you for being so candid in your sharing. I can certainly relate.

    For a long time, within my circle of friends, I’ve always felt like the inexperienced, clueless one when it came to dating and relationships. I was single for a very long time (I didn’t even go on dates), so I felt very “out of the scene”. Whenever my friends talked about sex or relationships, I could only contribute whatever I knew from magazines or past relationships from eons ago.

    And then, even when I started dating again, I felt like I didn’t know what it was like to be in a long-term committed relationship (still don’t, actually). While I still struggle with feelings of inadequacy and clueless-ness, I am slowly trying to accept everybody has a different path. As much as I don’t know what’s going on in their lives, they don’t know what’s truly going on in mine either. For example, I have friends who are terrified of being alone, whereas because of my circumstances, I’ve grown to be very comfortable with my own company.

    Nobody’s life is perfect. It’s just that we live in a culture that celebrates coupledom. And while being in a loving relationship can be amazing, it doesn’t mean being coupled up will completely erase all your feelings of insecurity, ennui, anxiety, depression, etc. All these feelings will continue to arise and dissolve throughout our lives, whether we’re single or in a relationship.

    I guess whatever I’m saying is what has been said many times in Sara’s book as well as in this forum – simply sit with your feelings. Be curious about them, don’t judge yourself for having them, be kind to yourself (this is SO important) and just hang out with your feelings. There’s a poem by Rumi that illustrates this so beautifully:

    The Guest House

    This being human is a guest house.
    Every morning a new arrival.
    A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    some momentary awareness comes
    as an unexpected visitor.
    Welcome and entertain them all!
    Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
    who violently sweep your house
    empty of its furniture,
    still, treat each guest honorably.
    He may be clearing you out
    for some new delight.
    The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
    meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
    Be grateful for whatever comes.
    because each has been sent
    as a guide from beyond.

    — Jellaludin Rumi,
    translation by Coleman Barks

    <3

    #1682

    mariposa
    Participant

    Love that poem, @misstree. Thanks for sharing.

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