The Unspoken Divide Between Single And Married Friends (That Nobody Talks About)

Is marriage really what sparked the division?

friends hugging Andrii Nekrasov/ Shutterstock

Slowly but surely, my club-kid social circle seems to be splitting into two very different camps. In one camp are the people who have gotten married, and in the other camp are the ones who remained single.

We often hear of people who stop hanging out with single friends once they marry or have kids. It’s a known phenomenon and it’s something that is often discussed in more suburban crowds — that moment where couples divvy up and go among themselves.


This is a phenomenon that I’ve heard many people experience over the years. I just never thought it would happen to me, simply because I’m as far away from Johnny Everydude and Janie Everychick as possible.

I also try to avoid being the person who dumps friends once I get a partner.


Even so, I’ve started to notice a very wide divide between the singles and married in this crowd. While I am certain that this is not always the case, there is something to be said about how starkly different these two groups have gotten.

People often say that marriage will break up friendships. The strange thing is, I’m not sure marriage was what sparked us drifting apart.

RELATED: 5 Unsexy Truths Single People Are Afraid To Tell Their Married Friends

5 years ago, we were mostly the same.

Yes, it’s true. We were all club kids.

Most of us were in and out of jail, sleeping wherever we could, and also had crippling addictions. We often got fired from jobs, and those of us that didn’t have a certain bragging right among our friends — or just didn’t work.


There were two different camps of people in our group of friends. I’ll nickname both camps for the sake of ease.

The first camp was the "Highway to H***" crowd that just wanted to party and do whatever. They weren’t really looking for much aside from their fix of drugs, some music, and a good time.

These guys didn’t really look for relationships, per se.

Then, there were the people I call the Lost Puppies. The lost puppies were people who ended up there because they weren’t accepted elsewhere.

We often had bad home lives or were just street kids who wanted a clique. They often sought out the scene for food, shelter, or some semblance of stability.


Unlike the "HTH" crowd, the Lost Puppies were very invested in finding The One.

They wanted to have their rock. It’s just that it didn’t really work out very well for most of us, most of the time. Meanwhile, the Highway to H*** group was just there to wild out for the week and forget things.

RELATED: 7 Little-Known (And Incredible) Benefits Of Being Single

Slowly but surely we started to see a divide.

The HTH crowd stayed where they were, for the most part.

They still party the same way, wear the same clothing, have the same party aspirations, and listen to the same music. They have the same jobs but usually have more health problems. They still are also (usually) housing insecure and loners.


Some Highway to H*** folks eventually started to act like Lost Puppies. Their desire to keep partying dried up and they wanted to find someone around them. Or at times, they want a different career or lifestyle. They seem to be a middle ground between the two.

With increasing frequency, the Lost Puppies of the rave scene started to pair off. They also started to work towards more career goals that didn’t have to deal with music. Some even started to have kids.

The divide grew bigger.

Soon, the crowd shift started to get noticeable. It got to the point where we stopped hanging out as a full crowd unless we were at parties.

Things just got a bit too different. We couldn’t really talk about what we were doing anymore.


We’re all from the same group, but there was a clear class divide happening. Even then, there was a marked difference in how the Lost Puppies viewed the HTH crowd — even though the HTH crowd still saw Lost Puppies the same way they did before.

One crowd started to become increasingly alienated due to the fact that they just weren’t evolving. It’s hard not to notice, especially when you get sober. The divide started to bleed into every aspect of life…

  • Priorities: Most of the Highway to H*** crowd still prioritizes raves, drugs, and trying to clamber to the top of the rave food chain. Lost Puppies started to get other jobs, form their own business (sometimes in nightlife), and worked to be "family" people.
  • Jobs: Lost Puppies started to become employed by default, while HTH tended to either stick to nightlife or drop out of employment altogether.
  • Living Situations: Due to the lack of a job or just a focus on other things, most HTH people live in sub-par housing. Lost Puppies worked to try to create more stability for their partners. Most of them ended up in their own apartments and houses.
  • Drug Use: As the name suggests, HTH folks are still way more likely to use drugs and have serious drug problems.
  • Mental Health: After a while, most Lost Puppies realized that they had to better their mental health and lives if they wanted their family and relationships to actually blossom. The Highway to H*** group occasionally addressed this, but most just didn’t care enough to bother.
  • Relationship Attitudes: HTH people either shun romantic relationships altogether or end up in toxic partnerships that are primarily their own doing. People in that clique regularly got outed for being abusive or adulterous in relationships. Lost Puppies, on the other hand, often turned into martyrs, victims, or had happy relationships. Many had bad breakups followed by a marriage.

RELATED: 25 Ways Couples In Healthy Relationships Show Each Other Respect

Studies note that being married has financial and potential physical perks.


People often talk about how married households tend to earn more than households where people aren’t married. Men, in particular, tend to reap more rewards since their health can also improve when they’re in a happy relationship.

It’s safe to say that marriage, when done right, improves the quality of life people have.

But this made me wonder: is it a chicken vs egg thing? Correlation doesn’t always mean causality.


There are plenty of people out there who just don’t have a drive for a relationship — and they still have the stability that would be enviable for most of us. We all hear about people who are happy being single. It’s a real thing.

I think that stable people are just more likely to be able to be the partners needed for long-term relationships.

It’s amazing how much stability it takes to actually be in a stable relationship — and that’s something that only really becomes apparent when you work to become the type of person who can provide a good relationship.

Stability may not be what we think of as sexy, but it’s the backbone of a healthy relationship. We all need that rock, and the older we get, the more we realize that being someone else’s rock can make life so much better.


It takes a lot of growth to be able to be the support another person needs. So, maybe it’s a matter of the skills you gain and what you do to be attractive to the opposite sex — and therefore, the routines you build around the life you want.

So, which came first? The mentality that breeds a stable, happy home, or the relationship? Honestly, I don’t know for sure, but I feel like mentality had more to do with love’s beginnings than anything else.

RELATED: I Decided To Talk To People Who Have Been Single For 10 Years. Here's What Life Is Like For Them.

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others.