In the past year, I have been in several very important, intimate relationships with the following things: cheese, writing, and my parents' HBO Go password. While stretching my commitment between these three things, dating a human has become less and less of a priority. And like a lot of people, the day inevitably came when I looked up my from my grilled cheese-eating, Girls-watching spree to realize that all of my best friends had significant others. I am not even exaggerating for effect here: When I say "all of them", I mean every last one. What just happened? It's like a girl can't take a few measly years off of dating to watch TV and eat food without everyone going out and getting coupled up behind her back! What is this world coming to?! I have no friends. They are dead to me. DEAD.
OK, they're not even remotely dead to me. Despite completely ABANDONING ME back here in the blissful single life, I still love my friends more than anything. And luckily, I won the best-friend-significant-other lottery, because all the people who ended up in relationship with my besties are genuinely awesome people. I even knew a few of them before they started dating my friends, so they were fully-vetted Rad Humans. Still, even if you have the luckiest of luck, there are some things that inevitably will happen to you if you, like me, look up to find yourself the token single friend of the group:
You will always be the third, fifth, and seventh wheel
Cheers to awkward odd numbers!
When you guys go out, the server will always be waiting for your date to show up
"I'll just take your order when everyone's here," they will say, eyeing the conspicuously empty spot next to you that is decidedly asymmetrical from all your coupled friends. NOPE, it's just me, sir, so feel free to park the cheese dip in front of the empty place setting next to me.
You will see Fifty Shades Of Grey by yourself
98% of the time, I am more than welcome to tag along with coupled friends on their fun times, but I think we can all gather without actually talking about it that if they're going to see it together, they probs don't want their snickering single friend making cracks about Twilight fanfic in the background of all the sex. I don't really know what happens when my coupled friends go see this movie, and frankly, I have no interest in finding out. Watching almost-porn with people who do IRL sex on each other just sounds... no. NO. I'm going to see it alone.
You will make a lot of jokes at your own expense
Honestly, being the single friend in your group is like being the Chandler 24/7. Even when nobody else feels awkward and there is no reason to, you will still feel the compulsion to fill even the slightest of pauses with your weirdness. Your friends are all too busy feeling comfortable, content, and cool in their relationships while you are just randomly flailing around the social atmosphere. It's actually kinda fun for everyone.
You will start to see your best friends as a two-person unit
Ideally, your friends, no matter their relationship status, will always make time for the two of you to bro-down. My friends are definitely good at doing this. But outside of designated "us time", I've started to realize that they are usually part of a two-person deal. Somewhere around the time that I start to feel like my friend and their significant other are going to go the distance and not break up, they go from "best friend" to "best friend and new friend," and it's sometimes even weird to see one without the other.
You will get way too invested in their romantic lives
Let's talk less about how mine is non-existent and more about the WEDDING I'M ALREADY PLANNING FOR YOU GUYS.
Believe it or not, your friends will not forget about you
I lived in mortal fear that once couple-dom happened to my mains, I would be tossed aside like Jessie in Toy Story 2. But that never happened. I guess it could happen if your friends are horrible people who only gain validation and fulfillment from romantic relationships, but if they're solid people, they aren't going to let you go anywhere, no matter who comes into their life. If anything, coupled friends are even more mindful about not leaving you out than your single friends are. (That's assuming you even still have any single friends left, which I do not. #ForeverAlone.)
You will make a ton of new friends
With new significant others come entirely new friend groups. Friends of people in couples tend to get a little mixed together, so if all of your friends are now linked with someone, you'll inevitably get blended into a big happy pseudo-family where you meet all kinds of people you wouldn't have met otherwise.
You will also learn a ton of new things
Once you're hanging out with your friends and their significant others on the regular, you all become chummy enough that you can swap advice or drop helpful knowledge bombs on each other. For instance, until last week, I was singing a line from "Wagon Wheel" so wrong that it transcended wrongness—until my friend's boyfriend corrected me, thus saving me from a future of shame. In general, most of the new ideas, new music, new books, and all that other jazz you learn in life comes from encountering new people who share what they know. Maybe some of those people happen to be boning your pal! Who knows. The world is nuts, you guys. Roll with it.
You will embrace the fact that most of your friends are now as lazy as you
I have been and always will be lazy. I never stay out. I am "that kid" who clings to any excuse to stay home on a Friday night. But now that my friends are all coupled up, they are less interested in going out partying, and have thus also become "that kid". We are now all collectively terrible at staying up past our bedtimes. Welcome to my paradise, friends. Pants are indeed optional.
People will constantly ask you if you're "okay" with hanging out with couples
Uh, YES. They laugh at my lame jokes and eat things with me and you can't ask for much more out of a friendship. I hate this stereotype that the "single friend" feels somehow less secure because of their other friends' relationship statuses. Our happiness for them and the fun we have with them is totally separate from any feelings we have about our own single-dom.
You will get adorable pep talks if you ever are feeling the single sads
Twice the pep talk, in fact, because now you have double the humans on your side than you did before.
You will acquire new #relationshipgoals
My friends are adorable and perfect and, unfortunately for all the other single people out there, my standards for what true love should look and feel like just got WAY higher after spending time surrounded by all these awesome couples.
Images: CBS; Giphy (7)