When You're The Last Single Friend Left
*originally written for thoughtcatalog.com*
I don’t know when or how it happened, but one day, I woke up and realized: I’m the last one. That’s it. It’s just me. I’m in this alone.
Slowly but surely, my closest friends dropped like it was hot, one-by-one, until I became the last single girl standing.
And yes – I’m not that unaware. I knew it was happening all along, right in front of my face. There was no stopping it. It was its own force of nature, with 80 MPH winds chockfull of emotions, romance, and commitment. It just forgot to sweep me up in its path.
One friend met her soulmate at 19, never having blinked or second-guessed it since.
Another met hers during a sporadic weekend trip to a different city, and they both just “knew” right then and there.
Another friend had just moved to Dallas, caught the eye of a mutual friend a few weeks later, and they’ve been together for three years.
Another had to go through a somewhat minimal amount of frogs, the last one being the worst, until she met her prince who moved in with her after six months.
And it’s not that I’m not happy for all of the couples out there – I am. But I’m not writing this to play nice and stay neutral to both sides. I’m writing it to say that
Being the only single one in your group of friends fucking sucks.
“But you get to play the field!” They’ll say. “Ugh, I miss that beginning feeling of something new,” they’ll moan. “Just knowing anything can happen has to be so exciting!” They’ll insist.
But they’re wrong. They’re so, so wrong. Because, in this day and age – this “hanging out” day and age – wherein no one under the age of 30 (and even that’s stretching it) has any desire to commit to anything but a Netflix binge, it’s hard to get excited about much when it comes to the opposite sex (or same sex).
Sure, “playing the field” is fun, but also rage-provoking and anxiety-inducing. No one plays games, yet everyone plays games. Everyone’s sick of the bullcrap that comes with dating, yet they’re the biggest part of the problem. Oh and that “something new” feeling that everyone seems to be so jealous you still get to experience? It lasts for about one date until the wondering and worrying when/if you’ll ever hear from or see them again comes charging into the front door of your mind, setting up shop for weeks on end.
As much as you love your friends, you know and they know it’s just not the same being social with friends who have boyfriends. At the end of each night, they’re going home to their partner. Even if they don’t live together, they’re going home to call them or text them or sleep easy knowing they have them. The mindset of staying out just to stay out isn’t one they can fully grasp any longer. So, because of this, you’ll be practically forced into “branching out.” You’ll try with every fighting effort to “put yourself out there” to find new girlfriends, and you will. These are not friends you have history with nor have taken the time to build trusting foundations with, so an underlying layer of side-eye will be ever-present. These new friends are not the type you can count on to check in on you at random or sit comfortably in silence while you watch a movie together. You keep each other around specifically for social outing purposes, and that’s usually where it ends. The first time two of you find yourselves vying for the same type of male’s attention, it’s over.
But, for a while there, you’ll feel somewhat better about your situation. You won’t feel as alone in this singlehood endeavor, and soak up any opportunity you can to get dressed, go out, and take pictures with your new, unattached lady friends. Your coupled friends and you will probably suffer a bit of distance, but this is normal. They know you’ll be back soon.
You’ll realize that your go-to in case of an emergency are your friends, and each of her’s is her boyfriend or husband. You will begin to realize you’re being “squeezed in” on weekends and weeknights while they save the bigger blocks of time for their loves. But you don’t blame them – you’d do the same damn thing if you had the chance.
Everywhere you turn, it seems everyone’s moving on without you. Moving in together, going on trips together, shouting to the world “HEY. WE’RE A SERIOUS COUPLE JUST ICYMI.” And, you swear to all that’s holy, if you see one more social media post about an engagement, marriage, or pregnancy, you may pull your own eyes out and be admitted to a psych ward.
Why you’re alone will remain a mystery to you. Some days, you’ll be super positive about it, knowing with every fiber of your being that it’s going to happen for you. It’s just a matter of time. “You’re a late bloomer,” one friend will say and you’ll whole-heartedly agree. But other days, they’re all full of shit and are clearly not telling you what’s wrong with you. You can’t imagine how the hell anyone actually gets together, and you can’t foresee any possibility in which you would be coupled up. Ever.
But then, you have one, maybe two, great dates with a new prospect. And, against every natural inclination, you allow yourself to get excited. You feel hopeful. Rejuvenated. Perhaps on your way to something great. And, for that moment (however long it may be), being the only single friend and having to have dated around for so long isn’t so bad. At least you’ve got stories for days.