Great Gripe-Off: Single vs. Married

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Gripes from Couples About Singles

Okay, so what are the specific gripes that couples secretly harbor toward their single friends? For the sake of friend education, we took a brief peek inside the master bedroom of that cute little house in The Land of the Married.

Those folks who are married sometimes gripe that singles don't do enough to help themselves develop healthy relationships. "They say, 'All I want to do is get married and have babies.' Yet they're hanging around at the same post-college bar, dating commitment-phobic, post-adolescent men -- gee, do ya think that's gonna lead to anything?" asks Genine, 29, in Cincinnati. "I try to give good advice," adds Sue, 38, in Falls Church, Virginia. "But they just repeat the same frustrating cycle year in and year out -- so after a while, I can't stand to hear them anymore." And the most damning indictment of all: "Hey, guess why you're still single? You're acting like an idiot!" says Chris, 28, in Spokane, Washington, soon to be married. "That bitter-singles routine is getting tired, and guys can smell your bad attitude a mile away."

Of course, that attitude can do more than hurt a single's chances of finding a healthy relationship; it can, perhaps surprisingly, make a married guy feel awkward sharing the details of his happy relationship. "A single woman will tell me about all her good and bad dates, which I don't mind at all," says Mike, 50, in Lexington, Kentucky. "But she does not want to hear about the romantic date I had with my wife. I guess people don't want to hear about the fun married couples are having if they aren't having the same kind of fun."

Scheduling conflicts are a major bugaboo for many. "My single friends always get pouty about not having enough time with me, but then they try to make plans on Saturday night -- for 'just the girls,'" says Celine, 31, married and living in Los Angeles. "I mean, hello, maybe we could make it brunch? Could you allow for the fact that it's normal to be with your fiance on a date night?" Or sometimes the disparity in availability for "going out" creates trouble, with singles having much more time for the bar scene or for a night on the town than those in committed partnerships. "Okay, so I met my husband at this one bar, the Gaf," says Jen, 33, in New York City. "But now that we're together, we've got, like, different priorities. And our old friends still go there -- not just once a week, but three, four times. It's like Cheers. And we're more like Mad About You. Sorry to be an old fuddy-duddy, but there's a big wide world out here."

Continued on page 3:  More Complaints from Marrieds


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