Are you surprised?
Have you ever had a close friend marry and start having kids, and then one day you realized you rarely saw your friend or spoke to them? It seems to happen all the time.
Married people spend time with other married couples, and people with kids spend time with other families, or they just spend time with their spouses. Sometimes, it seems like rather than opening up one's life, marriage reduces the social circle to a party of two.
It wasn't surprising to read that single people have more friends than married people do.
When people get married, their focus is on their spouse, first and foremost. If you're a single person, your focus is on yourself and you can do any social activity you choose.
And then there are complications if your friend's significant other of the marital kind doesn't like you. If your friend has a choice to spend time with you or their hubby, they're going to choose their life partner.
Sociologists have a name for the retreat from other people that many (though not all) married people exhibit — greedy marriage.
The married couple wants almost all the attention and resources for itself. There are couples who might view it as a threat if their partner wants to spend time with friends.
A study led by Kelly Musick and Larry Bumpass, which appeared in the Journal of Marriage and Family, surveyed over 2,700 American adults two times, six years apart. The participants were all single, not living with anyone, and under 50 when they completed the first survey.
The participants reported the time they spent with friends and the amount of contact they had with their parents at both points in time — when the study first started and everyone was single, and again six years later.
The results showed that people who had gotten married or moved in together fairly recently, or those who had been together for a while, had less contact with their parents and spent less time with their friends.
It's challenging to be a good friend when you're single, but when you're married with all the demands of a family, it's even more difficult. You may not even intend to lose a friend, but sometimes friends just seem to drift out of a married person's life, where a single person has more time and energy to devote to friendships.
For some single people, their friends are their family and they need them as much as a married person needs their spouse.