After I got married,my social life suffered. It took a while, but I got things rolling again with a (mostly) new group of friends.
Perhaps not unsurprisingly, most of these new friends were married. Sure, I had a few single friends, but most of them were out doing things that I had little interest in doing - like dating and finding girls to date. Single guys just seem to have a different mind set. It's not bad, I understand it. It's just different.
The weird thing is that it seemed like my married friends were more interesting. Instead of talking about that hot something-or-other, we were talking about politics, religion, kids, and literature. Different priorities, I suppose. It's not that I didn't talk about those things before, but it mostly happened in classrooms, not in living rooms.
Thebiggestthing that changed about my social life after getting married was thestructureof my socializing.Before I got married, I had friends that I could just call up and hang out with, or I could even just show up at their house. We could just sit and shoot the breeze or go grab a drink (a non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated, usually carbonated drink).
After marriage, everything became even moretask orientedthan it was before. Instead of just calling up a friend, I began finding excuses to socialize. There would be a new movie that my wife didn't want to see, so I'd find some other married guys to go see it with. A few of us started a regular RPG gaming group (If you don't understand RPG, that's okay - you'd just make fun of me).
I've been married for almost six years and I still do it. Perhaps I feel like I have to justify the time away from my wife. I'm getting together with a good friend this weekend to watch the UFC fight (btw, if anyone actually thinks that Forrest Griffin can beat Rampage Jackson, I've got some ocean front property in Arizona...) If there wasn't a UFC fight, we wouldn't be getting together.
Then there was the time issue. Initially, when I started hanging out with guys again after marriage, I would go out at 5 PM, for two to three hours, and I felt like I had to go home, or at least check in. I was that guy - the one that all of my friends rolled their eyes at, and, I'm just now realizing, this was probably the biggest reasons my single friends thought I was so awkward to hang out with. If you can follow that last sentence, you are very good at imagining what my tortured punctuation means.
After a little while, I went too far the other direction. I'd go out with friends and stay out until one or two in the morning without calling my wife at all. That didn't go over too well either. I'm happy to say that now my wife and I have struck a pretty good balance.
Now, all that said, what good did this do my marriage? Find out in the next post...