Are you struggling to deal with being the only single friend in your group? Been there. It can be a lonely place to be, but I can help.
It is one thing to deal with being single when you don’t want to be. But it is a whole other battle being the only single friend in your group.
Complaining about online dating or being ghosted doesn’t feel as relieving when your friends can’t complain with you. Although your taken friends are probably great, feeling like you’re the only person left in your friend group who isn’t matched up can feel incredibly lonely.
I was in that position for five years. I went through ups and downs of dating, but my friends, as hard as they tried, couldn’t quite understand what I was going through because they hadn’t been in my position. None of them had to deal with online dating, being ghosted, or staying home on a Friday night when everyone else was out.
It isn’t just the fact of feeling left out, but also like there is something wrong with you because you’re the only one. But, the good news is that you can deal with being the only single friend. And you might just find out that it has its upsides.
Before you make changes to your behavior and make the most of being the only single friend, rethink what that means. You tend to be hard on yourself when all your friends are happy in relationships and you’re unhappy alone. Facing that multiplies those feelings.
The feelings of loneliness you have when you feel like you’re the only one feeling them can be hard to handle. You dwell on it. But, thinking of being the only single friend as a burden is only weighing you down. If you can try to think of it from a new perspective, it can actually be a good thing.
Do you really hate being the only single friend? Do your friends try to set you up so you don’t feel alone when you’re actually fine? Or do you hear your friends complain about their relationships more than you do about being single?
Being single doesn’t have to be this horrendous curse on your social life. Being the only single friend means you have so much freedom. You can have self-care nights and indulge in that weird food concoction no one else likes. Plus, you can be an escape for your friends. You can be the one who plans events for your friends without the requirement of coupling up. You are the one that your coupled-up friends go to because you have a different perspective than them.
Being the only single friend doesn’t have to suck, and it might not. Rethink being the only single friend. How do you really feel about it? Sometimes society and even your well-meaning friends can make you feel lonelier than you actually do.
There is a lot you can do to deal with being the only single friend. Beyond trying not to be single, you can find the good in this time of your life. Make the most of it. Although you may want to be in a happy relationship, it doesn’t mean you have to be miserable until then.
#1 Perfect your alone time. Even the happiest relationships can get tense when you spend a ton of time together. While you have the time, make it for yourself. Do all the stuff you like. Eat smelly food. Wear those comfy sweats with holes. Watch garbage TV.
These can sound like sad single person things, but they’re awesome things that you get to enjoy. Just because the monogamy-centered world sees singleness as a failure doesn’t mean you have to. The whole thing about doing this stuff alone is that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks because they’re not with you. You get to enjoy your time with you. [Read: 30 inspiring quotes every single person must read and remember]
#2 Be selfish. Going to dinner with your partner’s coworkers? I don’t think so. You don’t have to compromise on the ballet, dinner with the in-laws, or work parties. You can say no to any event. You can put yourself first always. This may sound conceited, but it isn’t. Spend that time on you. Take a bunch of selfies.
#3 Date around. Casual dating is super underrated. Sure it comes with some faults, but you also get to experience so many new things. You get to meet new people and do things your coupled-up friends probably don’t.
#4 Make single friends. I know that making friends as an adult is hard. How do you meet people when you’re an adult? Well, the same way you did as a kid. You may not have school but you have work. Talk to your coworkers in the break room.
If that’s not an option, do activities. Join a gym, take some exercise classes, or even find Facebook groups that discuss topics you’re interested in. I know online dating has been normalized but there is no shame in finding friends online too. You can even find groups dedicated to singles. [Read: Have no social life? 15 ways to get the friends you want]
#5 Indulge. When you’re in a relationship, unless you’re a millionaire, you usually discuss big purchases but as a single person, you don’t need permission or even a discussion. You can splurge on spa treatments, weird kitchen gadgets, or anything else.
You get to put your money where you want to. The fun thing is that when you’re single, people expect you to be less responsible. For some reason, relationships and responsibility go hand-in-hand. When you’re single, people expect you to be more spontaneous so it is less likely you’ll be judged for spending a little carelessly.
#6 Share your experiences. Not only do you get the experiences of being single but you get to share all of that with your friends. Online dating horror stories or great first date, you get to give all the juicy details to your friends. And trust me, they will love it. They may be happy in their relationships, but they live for your single-person stories. [Read: The surprising and uplifting perks of being the third wheel]
#7 Observe your friends. Watching everyone around you in a relationship seems lonely on the surface, but you get the inside scoop. Not only do you hear all the gossip, but you see how they interact. Which of these couples seem to work and which don’t?
You can learn from their mistakes. You get to be happy for them while learning from their experiences. This prepares you for when that time comes, and you’re no longer the only single friend.