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Surviving the 'Single Friend' Label

How to embrace being the only single friend in the group. 

Photo by Debby Hudson

It was supposed to be a fun beach trip, just me and my best friend. But then I got her text, asking if her boyfriend could come along too. Of course I wanted to be a good friend, so I said yes. Even though I was looking forward to having a girls trip, I figured one more person wouldn’t change anything. Turns out I was wrong.

Fast forward to three hours later where they're having a heavy make out session in the middle of the ocean. Me? I was left alone on a beach towel trying not to get attacked by a seagull and feeling more lonely than ever.

It can hit you out of nowhere. One day you’re hanging out with the rest of your single friends laughing about bad hookups and swiping through each other’s Tinder profiles and the next day you realize something’s changed. All of your friends are now in serious relationships...except you.

As someone who’s still (extremely) single, I’ll be the first one to say it: being the ‘single friend’ can fucking suck. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with not being in a relationship, but when it seems like everybody except you is falling in love and meeting their soulmates, it can be hard not to go a little crazy.

There are so many struggles that come with being the only single friend in the group. Trying not to feel insecure when you stay up till 2 a.m. scrolling through pictures of cute couples on Instagram or having to constantly rearrange plans because your friends are having romantic date nights, becomes a sad part of the ‘single friend’ routine.

But even with all the embarrassment, jealousy, and loneliness that can come with being the only single friend, there are still many ways to cope.

Get to Know Yourself

Being single means you’ll probably have a lot of alone time, which can be a great opportunity to do all the crazy stuff you want to do when nobody’s watching. If you want to sit in bed all day watching Netflix or teach yourself the latest TikTok dance with zero judgment this is your chance!

It can also be a great time to dig deep and do some self-reflecting. Before getting into any sort of relationship, it’s always a good idea to know yourself inside and out before you get to know another person.

Don’t Hide How You Feel

Like I mentioned before, being the only single friend in your group can stir up a lot of different emotions. But that’s definitely not a bad thing! It’s good to embrace our emotions and let ourselves feel whatever it is we’re feeling. Sometimes all we need is to put on our favorite Taylor Swift song and have a good crying session.

Even though it can be tough, it can be helpful to let other people know how you’re feeling as well. If you feel like you’re being left out or if you just need to vent there’s nothing wrong with letting your friends know.

Embrace Being the Third Wheel

This might be a little controversial, but in my opinion, it can actually be fun being the third wheel sometimes. If you do it right, it can be like hanging out with two friends at once!

While it’s not for everyone, as long as you keep an open mind and a positive attitude it’s definitely worth a try. After all, it’s always better when you, your friend, and their significant other get along.

So even though being the ‘single friend’ can be tough, it’s never the end of the world. The most important thing to remember is that the relationship you have with yourself and with your friends is just as important as any sort of romantic relationship. Get out there and rock that ‘single friend’ label!


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