Some of y'all probably remember the movieThe Wedding Planner (Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey). Whenever I reflect back on it (which I actually do more than I would like to due to being a marriage life coach), something that immediately comes to mind is a "rule" that Jennifer Lopez's character had when it came to engaged couples. She could tell, based on the first dance song they shared together, just how long their marriage was gonna last.
Well, over the years, I have come up with some other dead ringers that two people's marriage is headed towards some pretty bumping waters if they don't switch up their thinking a bit—thinking that sex shouldn't be a priority; believing that a difference in religions isn't "that big of a deal"; thinking that sucking at money management (whether it's one person or both) isn't gonna cause a ton of problems up the road; feeling like they don't "marry someone's family" (you don't but you do have to deal with them a lot and/or the after-effects of your spouse's family's influence on them); not discussing gender role expectations (whether you have some or none at all); overlooking triggers that already kinda piss you off about the one you're seeing (marriage only magnifies what already exists), and thinking that marriage means that you shouldn't have single and/or opposite sex friends.
Each one of these deserve a hearty "what in the world are you thinking?!" article; however, you can tell from the title of this piece what we'll be exploring today. As someone whose friend pool consists of mostly married people at this point, there are a few reasons why I believe it is very important for married folks to have single friends—yes, male as well as female ones, for husbands as well as wives.
Single Friends Offer a Different Perspective
Relational status-wise, "single" means you're not married (even tax forms cosign on this). I don't know what makes so many people think it also means that we as singles don't have any kind of insight, experience or common sense when it comes to matters of the heart. Good lord. And here's the thing—I often tell my clients that sometimes it's a good idea to have a single counselor/therapist/life coach and to see a married couple from time to time. The reason why is because it is very difficult for married folks to counsel without bringing their own marriage into the mix and the reality is each marriage is different—meaning, what works for one couple may absolutely not work for another. Not only that but based on how a married person feels about their relationship or spouse at the time that you seek them out, their advice could be great or really jaded.
Singles on the other hand—it's like there is oftentimes a very "detached approach" in the sense that we oftentimes just see whatever a husband or wife is talking about for what it is. Because of that, our perspective isn't so emotionally driven and that can actually be helpful at times.
Single people read books. Singles check out podcasts. Singles have (usually) had relationships before. Singles pray and meditate. Singles want to see the people they care about win. (Many) singles have great knowledge and common sense. Know what else? A lot of singles are single by choice, so them not being married shouldn't be seen as a disqualifier so much as a personal preference—one that is oftentimes based in profound wisdom.
Having single friends when you're married can help you to look at things from an "outside looking in" angle that you might not get any other way. That's just one reason to consider having them as friends, even if you are in a marital union.
Single Friends Can Give Married People the Opportunity to Do Certain Things That You Enjoy
When you're married, it's a part of who you are—a big part even. Know what? It's still not your entire identity, though. I can't tell you how many people that I have to remind that no one is—or should be—their everything. Believing that your spouse should be exactly that is not only a low-key form of idolatry, it will set you up to be quite disappointed, many times over. Because, again, no one is supposed to check every box and fill every void. This is another reason why having single friends can be a cool thing because the things that your spouse may not be interested or like to do, you can do those things with your single friends—and spending time with those friends can make you value your marriage all the more once you return home.
Now, what I will say on this particular point is hanging out with an opposite sex friend and no one else could get a little dicey simply because intimate time is well…intimate time. Yet even in this case, a good opposite sex friend is totally on the up and up and therefore, will have no problem spending time with you, even if it's at your house with your spouse present. Maybe it's to see a movie that your husband couldn't care less about or to have dinner with the both of you that features a dish that only they would appreciate. Bottom line, single friends can keep you from resenting your spouse if there are things that you like that they don't because you've got those friends to share those experiences with. It can actually take some pressure off of your hubby. That's always beneficial.
Single Friends Can Be a Great Support System to Married Couples
I have close married male and female friends. Their spouse knows I exist and most of them even have my phone number (the ones who don't, don't want it). The reason why is because I get the "two are now one" (which is biblical, by the way—Genesis 2:24-25) concept. Besides, if I am a good friend to my folks, this means that I want all that personally affects them to thrive—their marriage included. And you know what? I can't think of one friend whose spouse has an issue with my being friends with their partner. Now, I will say that a big part of this is because the spouse has met me and even had a few conversations with me before. Also, when it comes to my male married friends, none of them are someone I've had any kind of romantic or sexual history with (that kind of dynamic is another article for another time). And perhaps being a marriage life coach helps. Yet you know what I believe the biggest part is? My married friends and their spouse know that I am a huge fan of marriage and I make it clear that being friends with married folks means that I am an advocate for their relationship.
A couple of years ago, I wrote an article for the platform entitled, "Why Every Engaged Couple Needs A 'Marriage Registry'". When you get a chance, check it out because it touches on different ways that different people can support a marital relationship in some very specific ways. Any couple who's been married for more than a couple of years knows that it doesn't just take a village to raise a child, it oftentimes takes a village to support a marriage too. Healthy, happy and mature single people can be supportive in some pretty extraordinary ways from being a listening ear and prayer partner to helping to plan a special occasion with your partner or being willing to watch your kids. Every marriage needs support. Single folks can offer help and encouragement. Try it. It might just blow your mind how good we are at it.
Single Friends (Typically) Have More Availability
I don't go to a ton of weddings. The long-short of the reason is because I think wedding ceremonies are very sacred events and, like many officiants say, "It's a union that should be entered into soberly and not lightly." To me, it's a celebration, for sure. At the same time, it's not just a party or merely something to do on any given weekend. That said, the few I have gone to when a close friend is jumping the broom, I often get laughed at. It's because I'm sometimes crying more than just about everyone else. Why? I'll be real—I'm happy for my peeps yet I'm grieving as well because I know that the friendship is about to change. My newly married friend won't have the same kind of time they once did. They can't just "link up" whenever they want to because they've got other priorities. In short, their availability is gonna be quite different, moving forward.
Me? Not so much. Yes, I have a life—a full one, thank you very much; still, my friends can call me at 2 a.m. to vent or cry and it's typically a lot easier for me to drop everything and come their way, if need be. I can't tell you how many "talk me off the ledge" midnight hour chats I've had with some of my married friends when their spouse was out of town or how often I've rerouted on the way to one place to head someplace else when a married friend needed an ear or shoulder.
Married friends only having married friends means that sometimes, they have to figure things out without anyone being able to truly have their back because their married friends are unavailable. Single friends can oftentimes stand in the gap in a way that makes them a real lifesaver.
Married Couples Can Share Wisdom/Insight with Single Friends
Whatever stage we are in life, hopefully, we are open to sharing what we've learned in order to help others. So, this next point about why married folks and single people should be friends is actually a reason that benefits the single demographic. About five years ago, I asked one of my closest friends to record a video on why she felt that single women should enjoy their single season (check out "Rissi Palmer- A married lady's words to single sisters" when you get a chance). She was able to offer up some "Girrrrl, GIRL" points that you can quite possibly intellectualize before saying "I do" yet feels totally different once you actually are somebody's wife.
In many ways, I see singles being friends with marriage folks as a form of tremendous relational support for husbands and wives and married folks being friends with single people being a form of uncanny knowledge for the unmarried. You know, far too many single women think that being married is better than the season they are currently in. Hmph. Talk to some of your married friends before jumping to such large conclusions. Everything comes with its pros and cons. Being married is definitely no exception.
BONUS: If Your Single Friend Can’t Be Trusted in Marriage, They Should’ve Never Been Trusted
I'm gonna end this on a point that has never made sense to me. Sometimes, when a married person will challenge me on why there is no need for them to have single friends—especially ones of the opposite sex—my immediate response is "Why?" If they even hint at the fact that they don't trust that kind of dynamic, almost always my response is, "So if you don't trust someone, why were you friends with them in the first place?"
Listen, while it is important to safeguard your relationship and create mutual boundaries in order to make that possible, if you've got a partner that wants to cheat, they will find a way to do it. Besides, "friend" is not a word that should be used casually. If you trusted someone enough to be in your wedding or even come to see you publicly profess your love if you trust someone enough to watch your children if you trust someone enough to hold some of your confidentialities—how can you not trust that they will remain trustworthy now that you've got a spouse?
Yeah, the issue shouldn't be whether or not singles can be friends with married folks—it's if you are choosing the right friends, regardless of their relational status to begin with.
As I shared earlier, when people get married, things change. To a certain extent, the dynamics of their friendships, whether their friends are single or married, is included. What I hope is this all will buck the notion that single friendships are an automatic no-no. A good friend is good friend. Single or not. Period.
Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.
Featured image by Shutterstock
- Things Marriage Needs To Survive - xoNecole: Women's Interest ... ›
- 5 Ways Friendships Change After Marriage - xoNecole: Women's ... ›
- Unpopular Opinion: Men And Women CAN Really Be "Just Friends ... ›
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Many have wondered if one time is ever enough to see Queen Bey. Some argue yes. However, many of us on the opposite end of the spectrum, including myself, would disagree. Beyoncé's "Renaissance World Tour" is a universal yet varying experience for everyone who attends. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, the concert is "transcendent." For millennials, we have over two decades of her catalog that has served as the soundtrack for many of our lives and painted a personal portrait of our most coveted thoughts. Her music provides mental clarity and self-expression by serving as a universal language that has united fans from all walks of life through community, fashion, self-acceptance, and healing.
With a multi-layered approach to her artistry, just as she did on that winter day in December 2013 with the infamous digital drop of her self-titled album, she changed the game again on February 1, 2023, when she announced her world tour in support of Renaissance, her seventh studio album. Her cultural impact set the internet ablaze, with everyone trying to gather their coins, barter for presale codes, and figure out which cities to attend. The group chats were lit, and the Beyhive was stressed trying to get their hands on tickets.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
Unfortunately, I was in that number. As the concert dates passed by and the one in my city drawing near all roads led to disappointment. With time ticking on the day of the Miami show and less than two hours to spare, my wallet bit the bullet, and I purchased three last-minute tickets, costing roughly $700.00 a piece (including fees) for me, my 9-year-old and 16-year-old nieces in Section 121 at the Hard Rock Stadium. With 10 minutes before showtime, we eagerly awaited the Queen to take the stage. A sea of metallic fringes, cowboy hats, disco fans, and western boots were in full effect and filled the entire stadium.
As the lights dimmed, a flood of emotions instantly overtook my body. It continued with each note she belted, along with nearly 50,000 roaring fans. The reverberating sound of the music through the stadium transported me from one era of my life to the next. As a teen girl in her bedroom daydreaming about her first love to blossoming into an unapologetic Black woman who is still on a road of self-discovery while learning to lean into the power anthem of "You won't break my soul." For over two hours, and with each set, I felt joy, love, peace, and a commanderie with fellow concertgoers. It was therapeutic as I danced like no one was watching and sang as if I were alone in my bathroom mirror.
There were no bars held, and I realized at that moment, "Nobody can judge me but me." The "Renaissance World Tour" proved to be so vast, and my Black girl joy was re-invigorated. It was magnetic and liberating, and I had to attend again, but this time, I needed to be up close and personal; I needed to be on the floor. In the days that passed, I watched more social media clips in different cities and asked myself if I would really splurge again to attend another Renaissance show.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
After all, this would be my thirteenth time (maybe more because I lost count) seeing Beyoncé live, whether she was on tour with Destiny's Child, as a solo artist, or doing a live appearance. I contemplated for a while, but it worked itself out on its own. I was gifted two tickets and the next thing I knew, I was off to LA to attend another Renaissance show with floor seats at SoFi Stadium during Beyonce's 42nd birthday weekend! This time, things were different: no kids were allowed. It was adults only this go round.
Although the energy at the Miami and Los Angeles shows was empowering, infectious, and a celebration of life, happiness, and identity, they each provided their own unique experience. However, both concerts were what I needed for my well-being, leaving me with sore feet from dancing the night away, on vocal rest for the next few days from screaming at the top of my lungs, and on an indefinite high on life.
My introduction and love for Beyoncé began in 1996, while my older sister lived in Houston, TX, right before Bey hit the scene in 1998 with "No, No, No" as a budding R&B member. Her evolution twenty-seven years later as an international superstar and into womanhood has been an incredible journey to witness. As Mrs. Carter reminds each of us in the audience every night before the curtain closes, "I want you to remember this moment, where you're standing, who you came with, and take it with you. I hope you feel inspired."
I truly felt inspired, so thank you, Queen Bey. You awakened my inner child, and I will definitely remember these moments and take them with me.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood