Why being the single friend is both liberating and frustrating.


I recently read an article that stated that 47% of people (millennial) would end a relationship if it meant enhancing their career and/or receiving a significant pay-rise, and with my previous two relationships of roughly six months ending because my partner wanted to move to the USA to enhance their careers, it really had my worried and insecure about getting into another relationship. This hasn’t stopped the world of dating, but my trust in something long-lasting has really plummeted.

Therefore, I am taking the title of single friend, yet again. Now, there are many platitudes, many a wise word, and love stories that keep that glimmer of hope alive. However, the more I see it, the more I don’t know if I believe it. So, I’m probably going to be that single friend for a long time, either by choice or not.

There’s a point in everyone’s life where they will be the “single friend” amongst their group, and this is perfectly okay. It can just be really annoying. There are two ways to view and deal this, either putting yourself in a complete state of overwhelming lonely doom, or as invigorating freedom. Even though I have had a few little love affairs, being the single friend has been a title for roughly six years now. There are times where you long for some love, some attention and some gratification, and other times where you are so glad you are alone, unhitched and unattached and can do what you want.

Your friends being in the dating stage is the hardest, when they’re not as available to talk or meet up for dinner, drinks and when they have some spare time, they are too poor because they’ve been spending money dating their new love interest. This is where you can feel really lonely and it can get frustrating because sometimes you really need your friend. They’ll also be extremely excited and non-stop talking about how perfect this new person is and you’re happy for them but also disappointing for yourself, questioning why someone amazing hasn’t sprung into your life.

Parties and nights out then become a social drag because they invite their partner, and whilst that’s cool, if your friend isn’t cool and understanding, then you’d better have that third wheel look perfected and the confidence to talk to strangers because they’ll couple up and it can make you want to be sick. Then you’ll realise that events and plans you would usually make with your friends, they’re now making with their new partner. What really gets on my nerves is when they make the plans with their new partners friends, like excuse me? His friends but not yours? Oh okay, then. Bye hun.

However, when they become in a comfortable routine that is where you can notice little things that make you thankful you’re not in a relationship, but also make you want to be in one too. The one main one to make you want a relationship is that companionship, the friendship that is built, having someone to understand you and like you regardless of your suspect flaws. This is a very tight-knit way of love and it is built over years so please, never compare yourself to anyone or their relationship because behind the Instagram and closed doors you have no idea what is going on and in this you can take pride that when you are behind those doors you are completely free and yourself and that is not worth comprising. Don’t ever daydream or over think what someone else’s relationship is like, either, because you have no idea. Do not idealise anything. Then remember that there are times when they idealise your freedom, strength and independence – it’s true. So seeing these couples, everywhere, can frustrate the life out of you, but you’ve got to embrace the fact you’re holding all the shopping bags alone and skip down that street like the single, sweetheart you are.

Freedom is definitely the key happiness for singletons. Freedom to do whatever, whenever you want. Especially for someone like me, I cannot stand being told what to do. When people’s partners are controlling their time and energy it makes me so grateful to be single. Independence is also a key happiness. Recently a close friends has just come out of an eight year relationship, engaged, house probably getting a puppy was in the works, and watching her rebuild her life makes me so proud of her, but also so glad that I am not in that position. A position where I have to rebuild my complete independence and learn to be okay with being alone. Currently she is experiencing a lot of fear and frustration and has already said that she doesn’t want to be single, that she wants someone.

This worries me, because people should be with people just for the sake of it, or because they need someone at that moment in time. This is why sites like Tinder and Bumble are becoming a place for chance relationships, one where someone gets their kicks, that fulfilment and then moves on. Surely, you would want to be happy and comfortable with yourself before finding someone. Now if it’s just for kicks, then that’s fine, but both parties have to know this. Which a lot of people don’t like to speculate and admit, again out of fear.

Sometimes I do believe that half the relationships I see are only fixed together our of fear and routine, and for a lot of us “single friends” that you might take pity on, please don’t because we would rather be alone than be with someone out of convenience. Therefore, embrace learning what you want and need from someone before trying to go out and get it.

Whilst you’re living your best life, being the single friend also means some friends and family and friends of friends and family think there is something wrong with you – this is a favourite. There is nothing wrong with you. They also might imply that you have to change something about yourself, your job, your attitude, only do this, for you. I once knew a girl whose guy didn’t like her wearing red lipstick, so she didn’t, then when they broke up she went right back to wearing it everyday. I loved the fact she did, but shouldn’t she have been wearing it the whole time?

The single friend title may also make people think you have ‘issues’, daddy issues, commitment issues, work issues, family issues. possibly, but all people, single or in a relationship, have these issues, so it’s no big deal. Embrace those issues you might have whilst you can because in a relationship they’ll be double the issues in one room.

Having a relationship should not define who you are as a person, but if it does, make sure it is making you happy. I do not begrudge my friends for being in relationships, I am happy for them. Four are getting married, having children, and I love being part of it all. This is just a single girls rant because I’m trying to be Carrie Bradshaw.

So when you’re the single friend, even though your friends are less available, flitting between being completely in love and being alloyed, embrace this time alone to develop yourself. If you want a relationship, work on one, if you want to stay single, stay single. There is no time limit.

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