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Being single isn’t easy.  It’s really difficult when you get wedding invitations galore, and then a few years later, baby shower invites.  Plus, while attending the weddings and showers you get the question of “Are you dating anyone these days?” Followed quickly by “Oh there’s someone out there for you” after shaking your head “No.”

Here are, in my humble opinion, five ways to connect with single people.

1. Please, please do not make them feel guilty for not having “the 2.5 kids, white picket fence dream.” Dating is hard work.  Not that marriage isn’t also, but finding someone who is really wonderful takes a lot of time and effort. Please do not make your single friends feel as though they have failed by not attaining the same place in life you are.  Be excited for them, regardless of the stage.

2. Ask what new skill they are learning. One of the perks of being single is getting to try a variety of new things.  Libraries offer free classes; singles can travel anywhere they’d like on a whim; any skill they are interested in can be learned. People are excited to share what is new. Be supportive. Acknowledge what a huge accomplishment learning a new talent is.  They have spent considerable time trying something new. Be happy for them.

3. Invite your single friend over for a meal. It isn’t very fun cooking for one.  Invite single friends into your home and share your life through a meal.  It’s a joy getting to live life together, messes and all.

4. Remember them during celebrations. Valentine’s Day, birthdays, 4th of July picnics and any others you can think of; this especially applies to some of the older single friends you have around you.  We all get really wrapped up in day-to-day living, but on the special days, remember your single friends who might not be reminded that someone cares about them.

5. Be invested. When you’re meeting up for a walk through the neighborhood or see your friend at the grocery store, ask them how they’re doing.  Listen and ask questions.  Singles don’t always have people to talk with when they get home at night. Sometimes we just need a listening ear of someone who is genuinely interested in how life is going.

What ways do you connect with single friends?  How can you support them?