Being The Only Single Friend Doesn’t Have to Suck—Here’s How to Deal

written by HAILEY BOUCHE
Graphics by: Kirra Wallace
Graphics by: Kirra Wallace

Whether you are choosing to be single for the foreseeable future or you are actively manifesting a soulmate, being the only single friend in your friend group can be challenging and… slightly annoying at times, if we’re being honest. Feeling left out, constantly being asked about how your dating life is going, and not being able to contribute to conversations that revolve around your friends’ relationships are just the beginning of the complications. However, being the only single friend in your friend group doesn’t have to affect the relationships you have with your friends or more importantly, the relationship you have with yourself. Ahead, we are sharing the tips, advice, and mindset shifts that can help you navigate your friendships and feel empowered as the only single friend.

Avoid comparing yourself to others

If you ever find yourself wondering “Why am I single?” after spending way too much time scrolling on social media and seeing photos of all of the couples you know, remember this: Comparison is the thief of joy. It takes our attention away from what we actually want and need in our life and instead, makes us think about what others have that we don’t. This is a slippery slope that can negatively impact your mental health, result in resentment of the people that you know and love, and cause you to be frustrated with yourself for not having what they have.

Take yourself on solo dates

Your most important relationship is the one you have with yourself, so you should prioritize it as such! Forget boring Friday nights and schedule solo dates that you look forward to like going to dinner at a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try or going to see a movie that you’re excited to see. Because the last time we checked, restaurants and movie theatres don’t have “For Couples Only” signs on their doors. You can do all of these things solo and enjoy them just as much—and maybe even a little more—when you go on your own terms.

Have fun in the dating scene

Dating horror stories aside, dating can actually be enjoyable—especially when you don’t put any pressure on finding your soulmate every time you go out. If you approach dating with a no-pressure, just-for-fun attitude, you can actually have a really good time meeting new people, trying new places and activities, and TBH, getting out of the house. So go ahead, open up the apps, start chatting with who catches your eye, and make the most of your dating years.

Take advantage of your single life

Instead of focusing on how tired of being single you are, shift your mindset to think about how much you can do because you’re single. I’m sure you have heard your friends complain a time or two about splitting chores with their sig-o, having to hang out with their partner’s family, and not having as much time for themselves. But you don’t have those problems. You can focus on your career goals, save a ton of money, start a new hobby in your free time, eat whatever you want for dinner without having to compromise, and more. Take advantage of your single life while you have it!

Source: @johndetochka | Pexels

Set boundaries

Have you ever made plans with a friend and they showed up as a package deal with their significant other? Same. It can be really, really frustrating to feel like you can’t hang out with your friends without being their third wheel. If this is the case with any of your friends and it’s starting to bother you and/or affect your relationships, it is time to start setting some boundaries with them. You can say something like “We haven’t had one-on-one time in a while, and to be honest, I miss being able to hang out just you and me.” Then, suggest some things that you two can do together that don’t involve their partner tagging along.

Embrace being the occasional third-wheel

With that being said, you can’t expect your friends to always leave their partner at home, and you shouldn’t want them to if their partner makes them happy! When you are together in a group, embrace being the third (or fifth) wheel. The best way to do this? Make friends with everyone. This way, it will be like you are hanging out with a group of your friends and not all of your friends plus their boyfriends. You’ll feel the difference.

Make single friends

If you are the only single person that you know, maybe it’s time to start making some more friends who you can relate to. A few great ways to meet new people are by joining a pick-up league, starting a new hobby, taking a class, or volunteering. Sure, there is a good chance that not everyone there will be single, but there is also a pretty good chance that there are people there who want to meet new people without a sig-o in tow. If you try this and are still struggling to meet single people, join a singles group!

Don’t settle just to fit in

If you are someone who would like to find a partner (we recognize that not everyone does!), make sure that you don’t settle for just anyone for the sake of fitting in with your friendship group. Being in a relationship won’t make you happy in general, but it especially won’t make you happy if you start to date someone just so you’re not the only single friend anymore. Not only is it a total waste of time for both parties, but it’s also not fair to string someone along and it won’t make you feel any better about your situation either.