02/05/2014 09:22 am ET Updated Feb 05, 2014

Stop Telling Single Women They're ‘Fabulous'

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I recently tried to schedule a ladies’ night with three single friends, and it quickly became one of those endless email threads that looped and circled for weeks. Amy has voice lessons on Monday. Angela is ziplining on Saturday. Jen is headed to Vermont to study with a Buddhist master, but she’ll be back a week from Thursday…oh, but that’s the night Amy ushers at the local theater! Play rehearsals, sailing clubs, volunteer work, art openings—these are the things that fill my single friends’ calendars. They’re busy working on the town board, serving meals at the local soup kitchen, and hiking by themselves through the Arizona desert.

My married friends are busy too; making time with them more often involves working around their kids’ school activities or dinners with other couples. They do cool nonfamily-related stuff as well—organizing benefits for Darfur, reporting stories on surfers and jazz musicians—but when you live in a house full of people you love (some of whom depend on you for their survival) there is naturally less incentive to take tango lessons or learn to scuba dive.

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