A week ago, I asked my Facebook friends for article suggestions. One recommended I share ways married women, like her, could support their single friends. It just so happens I created a list of do’s and don’ts for the married women in our lives not that long ago and put it in my book, Spinstered: Surviving Singleness After 40. This list shows up at the end of a chapter specifically geared toward the happily wed. Basically, it serves as a recap for the whole chapter, so if you want to find out more, follow the link to the book and snag yourself a copy.

Now, without further ado, here’s the list:

1) Don’t tiptoe around us like we’re fragile children. Treat us like adults who can figure things out and work through them. Singleness does not equal immaturity.
2) Don’t claim you know there’s someone out there for us. That leads to false hope. The only one who knows if that’s true is God.
3) Please don’t repeat clichés about singleness. We’ve heard them all and have already decided how we feel about each one.
4) Do let us be sad and offer us a comforting shoulder to cry on when we need it.
5) Do tell us about great single men you know. We realize it’s one of the best ways to meet new guys. Most of us are open to a set-up with a good man, but you need tell us ahead of time. Surprise blind dates are, more often than not, awkward for everyone. Just make sure—I implore you—that he is a good man.
6) Do encourage us to hope but not to obsess; help us through heartbreak and over bad days.
7) Do check up on us when we’re sick. Offering to pick up medicine or even a carton of orange juice would mean so much!
8) Do pray for us.
But why not do a little more? Take this suggestion, for instance, from writer Christena Cleveland (christenacleveland.com, “Singled Out: How Churches Can Embrace Unmarried Adults”):

If you get married and/or have a baby, Christians will pull out all the stops to celebrate you. That’s a good thing! But Christians should also recognize that many single adults never get celebrated with such fanfare. We might not be walking down the aisle or gestating a baby, but God is doing some amazing things in our lives—from the “monumental” (such as helping us obtain degrees, launch ministries/businesses, pay off college loans) to the “mundane” (such as helping us serve our neighborhoods, pray for each other).

We must celebrate what God’s doing in people’s lives, whether it’s similar to what God’s done in our own lives or not. So, find reasons to throw big parties for the single people in your community. And if you have the resources, feel free to buy them expensive gifts as well.

Single people use Kitchen Aid mixers too.

Married readers, have you ever considered hosting a shower like this? Single friends, do you have any other suggestions for this do’s and don’ts list?

Remember: we’re all in this together.

***This post first appeared at girlsnightin40.com***

Sharyn-headshotIn 2014, award-winning author Sharyn Kopf decided to take charge of her own writing destiny by independently publishing her first novel, *Spinstered*, which received a 2014 Bookstore Without Borders LYRA award for its category (women’s fiction). A few months later, she published a novella and, this past April, released a nonfiction book titled Spinstered: Surviving Singleness After 40. Now she’s working on the sequel to Spinstered, titled Inconceived.

Besides writing and editing, Sharyn’s career history includes journalism, public relations and seven years as a radio writer/producer at Focus on the Family. She also has almost two decades of experience as an editor and proofreader. In addition, she has taught English and speech at the high school and college levels and is developing a speaking ministry geared toward encouraging older single women.

During her spare time, Sharyn plays the piano, makes the best fudge ever, enjoys long walks and short vacations (or is that short walks and long vacations?), and watches too much HGTV. She lives in Bellefontaine, Ohio, just five minutes from some of her favorite people in the world—her family.