It occurred to me over the weekend, that if it hadn't been for a visit with a friend from Little Rock who was in town on Saturday morning, and church for me, MoBob and I wouldn't have seen anyone apart from ourselves. Not for lack of friends. It must be because we have so little time together during the week that weekends are exclusively for us. I'm sure it's not very healthy. Apparently we are pretty typical of married couples, as a recent study showed:
"Marriage: The Good, the Bad and the Greedy," a study published by the American Sociological Association in 2006, found that marriage can lead to a reduced number of social connections for couples outside of their relationship. In turning the marital bond into something of a social oasis, the recently hitched are less inclined to meet with friends.
Analyzing two nationwide social surveys, they found that married couples spend less time than singles calling, writing, and visiting with their friends, neighbors, and extended family. According to their research, married people are also less likely to give friends and neighbors emotional support and practical help, such as with household chores.
We were a lot more social when we were in Ouagadougou. People made a real effort to organize and attend social events since there was little else to do. We were also invited to every wedding, baptism, and funeral by our Burkinabé friends. We were also very social in Little Rock. Maybe because people knew we'd just arrived and were keen to entertain us. I wish I could say that we neglect our friends because of the exciting cultural offerings of Washington DC, but that's not the case either. Last weekend, we went to Target...and that was it.
I'm finding this true for un-married couples as well. I find that the longer I am in a relationship (going on three years now) the more I think of us as almost an island. My bf has definitely been like, what do you mean you want to spend three hours with your co-workers on a Friday night after work? That's our time. Can I come? Its great in so many ways but at the same time its something I am trying to be very conscious about for fear of getting to wrapped up in him and he in me. I mean, who knows what could happen with us and the last thing I want to be is stuck doing nothing if something were to happen.