It changes so quickly. You remember a time not too long ago when you still invited your friends over on a Saturday afternoon to relax on your couch and watch TV, and then went out to the bars like a united army, protecting each other from sleazeballs, and laughing all the way home together. If one of your friends happened to be in a relationship, you expected to always come first because chances are it wasn’t that serious anyway. So many changes were happening and the feelings could often be ephemeral. You bought into the fantasy of friendship first and then you bought into the love.
One night, however, you go to bed and find yourself waking up to a different reality. Almost all of your friends are in serious relationships now (they paired off with someone seemingly all at once) and you’ve become the weird loser that somehow missed the boat. All of a sudden, you’re thinking pathetic thoughts like “I think I need more single friends just so I can have someone to hang out with on a Saturday afternoon again.” This is something you never had to actively seek out before. Your friends were always just there whenever you needed them. Now, since they’re all in relationships, there seems to be these unspoken rules like “Don’t call this person at 2 p.m. on a weekend because chances are they’ll be at the flea market with their boyfriend or girlfriend. That’s their time now. It doesn’t belong to you anymore.”
So when is there a good time for single friends to co-exist with those who are in a relationship? Happy hour! Catch up drinks! Maybe a movie? You could hope for a mellow Sunday night meetup at some wine bar but don’t push your luck, okay? Meanwhile, the whole time you’re just sitting there and thinking to yourself, “WTF happened to my friends? What happened to going out with a big group on a Friday night and trading war stories the next day over salty breakfast foods? How did we go from spending so much time together to hoping and praying for a once-a-week dinner?”
Every friend group is different of course. Not everyone is finding themselves to be the only single person left when they’re still only in their mid-twenties. People who aren’t into settling down early typically form friendships with each other because they all enjoy the single person lifestyle. They want adventures, wild nights out, and midday impromptu hang outs. For whatever reason, they place less of an emphasis on being in a relationship which works in your favor. My friends aren’t like that though. Maybe I thought they were at some point but they all turned out to be serial monogamists. And you know what? I’m not surprised because I am too. I just haven’t been fortunate enough to find the right person. Deep down, I know that I prefer to spend a night in having orgasms with someone I love rather than getting wasted at a bar full of creeps. It was certainly fun for awhile but I’m ready to graduate to another scene. My friends have beat me, they’re already there, and I just feel like I’m playing catch-up.
Two years ago, I didn’t have to think about any of this. Some of my friends were single, some weren’t, but there wasn’t such a big divide. We all hung out together. We all were intertwined into each other’s lives. I didn’t have to think to myself, “Gee, I really need some single friends!” because we were all doing the same things, regardless of our relationship statuses. But now that no longer holds true. If you’re in a relationship, you hang out with other couples and have your own agenda. The cracks widen. The happy hours become labored. The love for each other doesn’t dissolve. It just takes more of an effort to maintain. Friendships take a lot of work and can easily fade away. A lot of them do.
It will only get worse as I get older and potentially remain single. People will move in with each other (some of my friends already have) and then there’s engagements, weddings, and babies. All the stuff a single person fears. I thought that I always wanted to be in a relationship because I desired to have a true partner in crime, and I still definitely think that. But now I also want one just so I can have someone to call on a Saturday afternoon. I want one so I can get invited to double dates with my friends and their significant others. I want one so I can feel included in the conversation and not feel like I’m missing out on some major growth. I want a relationship because everyone else has one.