Has your newsfeed on Facebook and Instagram been bombarded with “newly engaged” posts lately? Mine sure as hell has. I may only be in my young twenties, inching my way towards the fabulous mid-twenties, but it seems that I’ve already entered that stage in life where everyone around me is starting to get engaged, married or at least really settle down with their significant other. Meanwhile I’m waking up every day to a cuddly yet annoying cat drooling on my face with all the leg room in the world.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not envious. In fact, for those of my friends who have settled down (as in moved in with their boyfriends already) or even gotten engaged, I am truly happy for them. After years of knowing many of them and constantly being their shoulder to cry on when shit hits the fan, I am happy that they are happy. Yet, when you’re single-as-fuck, you can’t help but really take notice at just how many people your age are advancing dramatically in their relationships while you’re still in your sweats watching Netflix on Friday night.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with still being single at this age, or any age for that matter. However, it does get tough and some people have a much harder time dealing with all of these changes. No one wants to be left behind and sometimes that’s exactly what it feels like when all of your friends are taking such big, life-altering steps.
So what’s a single gal to do? First of all, you should NEVER compare herself to others! You are your own person and you have your own path to carve. You are unique, so of course your life will be unique as well. Just because you don’t fit the “status quo” doesn’t mean you are worth any less.
As someone who is currently the designated single friend, I want to share some of my tips and advice on how to deal with this type of situation:
When You’re the Only Single Friend
Be Happy for Them
Believe me when I say I know how difficult it may be to actually be happy for your friends. You’d think it would come easy, being happy for someone you love and care about, but sometimes it really isn’t. We’re only human after all. It’s okay to have a hard time accepting these changes and finding a way to truly be happy for them. It’s not okay to be jealous or hateful. They are your friends and they deserve your support. If anything, you want good karma coming your way. And you sure as hell better believe you will get a ton of bad karma if you’re a mean-spirited bitch about their happiness.
Focus on the Good in Your Life
At times like these, when everyone seems to have what you [may or may not] want, it’s difficult to see what is good about your life. That’s why it’s really important that you focus on all the good things happening in your life so you don’t fall into that pit of despair. Make a list of all you have to be grateful for (and we all have something).
Don’t Shut People Out
This can be so easy to do, especially with your friends who are newly coupled up or engaged. You may think avoiding them is the best solution, but all that will do is harm your friendship. If you have a friend who can’t shut up about their significant other, perhaps let them gently know that they are making you feel uncomfortable and you’d appreciate it if you could talk about other subjects. If they get mad or can’t understand where you’re coming from, then that’s on them.
Change What Can Be Changed
You may not be able to magically order yourself up a boyfriend, but there are things you can do to be more proactive in your life. If you’re not happy about how something is going, change it. If there’s nothing you can change, don’t even worry about it. Feeling bummed about the extra weight you put on? Exercise and eat right. Not getting enough of a social life? Volunteer or join some sort of club where you can meet new people. There should never be any excuses. Learn to empower yourself.
This is a biggie. Lots of women may feel the need to settle for whatever comes their way just because they don’t want to be alone. Others may stay in a relationship that has run it’s course or is toxic. You owe yourself much more than that. You deserve happiness, but that doesn’t mean you need to have someone just to have someone. Your time will come, until then focus on yourself and how you can become a better person.
Whether single or not, we never really know what life has in store for us. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. One of the few things in life that we can count on, however, are close friendships. Friendships that stand true through all the good and bad. The meaning of friendship starts to change as we grow older, but if anything, it starts to mean so much more. So don’t resent them, or anyone for that matter, because they have something you want. Don’t be scared or worried that you’re the one left behind. Rather than fueling those negative emotions, use this time to focus on yourself and how you can improve your life. Before you know it, you’ll be the one everyone’s congratulating (whether it’s because of an engagement, or just for being your kick-ass self).
Have you ever felt like the odd one out, whether it was because you were the only single friend or something else?