The Perpetually Single Friend
I’m the single friend of my friend group. I feel like most groups of friends have this person. The one who they all say “___, you need to hurry and get you a boo!” or “Ugh, i wish you had a boyfriend, so we can double date” or “Don’t worry, I’m going to set you up!” to. Yup, that’s me.
I'm 25 years old, and have not had a "bring them home to your parents" kind of relationship. I have dated, been on dates, have had intimate relationships, “talked” to people, etc., But I have yet to have a "Facebook Official" relationship.
So, since I defintley have some experience being the single friend, I thought I’d try to share a vulnerable and honest perspective of what it’s been like for me lately.
I’ve found that when you are someone who is often single there is a unique way you exist in society. Particularly When you near your mid 20s, it’s kind of comical how often you’ll get reminded that you’re single.
As a matter of fact, as I was writing this post my mother gave a great example of that. I was downstairs getting some chicken noodle soup because I was recovering from the flu. While I was standing there I was complaining about how i was feeling and my mother quickly retorted with a “well, If you had a boyfriend, he could take care of you.”
Gee mother, thanks for that reminder -_-
Now, I can understand my mother’s frustrations when she says stuff like this, your parents just want you to experience life in it’s fullest breadth, but sometimes I don’t think she gets mine.
Hearing things like that or “How are you still single?” or “how do all your friends have boyfriends, but you don’t?” can be hard. They abruptly put you in a bizarre position where You’re almost asked to analyze “what is wrong with YOU,” on the spot.
Loved ones — trust me when I say, the spinster in your life Knows they are single, your well meaning reminders aren’t always needed.
If you're single a bunch, You cannot move through this society, that expects you to hit relationship milestones at certain ages, without internalizing the implications of being “behind.”
Watching your friends experiences multiple great loves, hearing you parents’ disappointment when you say you’re doing something alone, third-wheeling with your friends and their bae on a fun outing, strangely becoming the go-to for relationship advice — You get to be a voyeur, a observer, a therapist… a conundrum.
Questions like: When will It be my turn? Is there something wrong with me? Am I too intimidating? Will I ever experience a deep level of romantic love? cross my mind all the time.
And because I model, It’s also kind of a weird space for me to exist.
I don’t want to sound vain when I say this, but there is a weird expectation of “pretty” people to be constantly sought after. So I find that sometimes people have a hard time conceptualizing my singleness.
I had a friend enthusiastically expressed this exact confusion recently. theorizing that my singledom, is due to the fact that i’m a “unicorn,” that perfect mythical like person that is just slightly illusive to their suitors, because they simply can’t handle all my amazingness.
I appreciate her optimistic outlook about the reason i’m single, but of course I know there is more to it than that.
The thing is, when single people hear stuff like this we know the people expressing these questions or confusion don’t actually want the real answers. Just like when most people ask you “How are you?” no one wants the answers that are the byproduct of your self-psychoanalysis.
The person asking “How are you still single?!”, does not want to hear “ Wellllll, I’m guarded, I unconsciously self sabotage, I like to stay in my house, I have social anxiety, etc.” That’s a little too real. It breaks the mythological facade of the magical Unicorn. So, I usually just shrug and say “ ya knowwww, i don’t know.”
Admittedly, these interpersonal interactions can be a little frustrating at times, but even still I don’t hate being single…I never have.
Yes, I know I said that like a reallllly single person.
I’m sure the fact that i’ve been single for so long has something to do with the normality of moving through life alone. But, there is a certain sense of freedom that comes with being single in adulthood.
I move through the world in a very independent manner, which perfectly suits my personality. And I’ve never been the type to wait for someone to do the things i want to do, out of the fear of being alone. I go to movies, out to eat, concerts, traveling, etc. alone.
Sometimes I wonder how much I have missed out on not experiences all the ups and downs of multiple relationships, but ultimately it is a perspective that is just not my truth.
Romantic relationships are a good way to learn more about yourself, but I have had to figure out who I am not through a relationship, but in solitude. And holding up a mirror to yourself in that way can be scary.
However, As much as I have been okay with being single most of my life, It’s actually only recently that I have reached the point where I genuinely crave a significant other.
I don’t believe any person is completed simply by having a partner. I don’t think being single is some destitute life sentence. But I’d be remiss not to acknowledge I want someone to share experiences with. I am human, companionship is important.
So, Hearing things like “If you had a boyfriend, he could take care if you,” remind me of that. Opening social media and seeing the “perfect couples” having the best time, remind me of that. Society and all it’s pressures, remind me of that.
I think most people know why they are where they are in life, reminders aren’t usually necessary. I think I am single because a combination of things, Things that I control and things I can’t.
All cynical memes aside, I get in my own way a lot when it come to finding someone; i struggle with social anxiety, guardedness, failure to express my desires properly. I’m alone a lot due to modeling, and being on the go. I don’t alway put myself in the best positions to meet people, and many other things I can control.
I also live is a society where dating has become infinitely more tricky with the introduction of social media. and sadly things like being black, being tall, and being a model remove me from many people’s radar, these are things I can’t control.
I won’t go too deep into the why, but i just wanted to express that I don’t think i’m single by magical happenstance, I acknowledge where my actions play into that.
I hope this doesn’t come across as placing the blame elsewhere or all over the place. But that is what it’s like being in the mind of a single person. It’s a constant struggle of loving being single and free and wanting to be boo’d up in the most obnoxious way.
We hear y’alls frustrations, because even if we don’t spend copious amounts of time expressing it, we have some of those frustrations too.
I struggle internally with people's perceptions, self perception, societal expectations, a desire to be heard, a lack of romantic companionship, my love of being alone, my stubbornness, my freedom…
…I paradoxically desire love and genuinely am perfectly fine with being alone, all in the same breath.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is people like me, who are single a lot, are painfully aware of our situation. we can’t give you a timeframe on when we’ll find someone or a satisfying answer as to why were single. We don’t always have the mental energy to explain to you our life story and it’s effects on our love lives, and sometimes the simple truth is we can’t spend our lives waiting on that special person.
We’re just trying to figure out this thang called life too. Wether that includes a lot of love or not.
Thank you for reading <3
- sincerely, your perpetually single friend.