5 Tips For Owning It As The Only Single Person In Your Friend Group

We've all been there. It feels like every time you log in to social media someone else is getting engaged, married, or having a baby. When you're not-so-happily single, it can feel like the avalanche of big relationship news just never stops being rubbed in your face. Of course, you're happy for all those happy couples deep down, but it can still dig up feelings of jealousy and resentment — it's only natural! All those feelings we'd rather not feel then often only worsen when it's your close friends who have all the big news, and you're the only one in the friend group who's still single.


It's easy to let negative feelings, not only about your friends but also about yourself, creep in when you feel like everyone has something you don't. But it's also important to acknowledge that you shouldn't beat yourself up over it. As sex, dating, and relationship coach Asa Baav told Metro, "Being surrounded with friends who are at a different life stage to us can cause us to feel left behind and leave us wondering why it hasn't happened for us yet, or if it ever will." 

And that's only natural. But there are a few things to remember when you feel yourself on that slippery slope. These can help regain ownership of your sassy singledom, whether you're looking for a relationship or not.

Remind yourself that everything happens in its own time

It's natural to set a timeline for yourself and compare yourself to others, particularly when it seems like everyone close to you is in a different place in their lives. But, let's be honest, there is no set timeline! Everyone finds happiness at different times in their life and there is absolutely no deadline for happiness. If a strong relationship is something you're looking for, know it will happen when it's supposed to, and it's always better to wait for the right one than waste time with the wrong one.


There are plenty of examples out there of people falling in love later in life and being happier than can be. Just look at Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor. Paulson was in her 40s and Taylor was in her 70s when they found love — and they've never been happier! "It's the most wonderful, extraordinary thing that could have ever possibly happened in my life," Holland even gushed to WNYC's "Death, Sex & Money" in 2015.

There are also plenty of benefits to waiting to meet The One, including using your time alone to get to know yourself better. "If the pre-marriage years can teach people to be great at self-defining so that they can walk into a marriage knowing what they want and how to ask for it, they will have set themselves up for success," relationship therapist and author Brandy Engler Ph.D. explained to Women's Health.


Know it's not just you

It might seem like you're the only person in the world without a partner when all those closest to you are coupled up and can't stop talking about their amazing lives. But it's important to remember that it's really not just you who's single. In fact, according to The Washington Post, a 2019 survey found that more than half of Americans aged between 18 and 34 weren't in a steady relationship. So, technically, you're actually on trend! It's also worth noting that the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the average age of women getting married for the first time has risen to over 28, proving most people are waiting a little later to settle down.


No matter what your age, though, being the single one in your friend group and waiting longer to find love has a number of big benefits. Having your friends go through things before you allows you to gain a better perspective of what you do and don't want from a relationship. You may even appreciate your eventual partner more because of that and have a better insight into how relationships actually work. That means you'll be better equipped when you do meet The One because you'll have your besties to go to for sound advice on things they've already been through. Even better, they'll probably be flattered you came to them, and your friendship may even grow stronger!

Make the most of your freedom

Of course, being in a relationship shouldn't hold you back from doing the things you want to do. But as a single person, you can actually enjoy a number of things people in relationships don't always get to. Fancy having your friends over for the night? If you live alone, the only person to run it by is yourself! Want to vacation in Italy this year? Book it — and bypass that time spent arguing about why somewhere else could be better. Being single comes with its own freedoms. What you may not realize is, you could be the only one in your circle who gets to do whatever they want 100% of the time without having to take someone else's thoughts, opinions, and feelings into consideration.


But it's not just physically being able to do your own thing where you can benefit. "Believe it or not, relationships are 'mentally' expensive," relationship expert and author Susan Winter told Time. "Intimacy and partnership takes up a lot of space in our heads. Even though much of this is happening unconsciously, there's simply a lesser capacity for individually focused thought," she added. 

This a major benefit to you. Plus, not having relationship thoughts taking up space in your head will allow you to be more present for your non-single friends. You have more mental energy to help when they're dealing with issues, whether it be related to their relationship or something else entirely.

Be open with your feelings

Be open with your besties about how you're feeling if being the only single one in the group is a struggle. Whether the difficulty lies in you wanting what they have or the opposite. Maybe they're always encouraging you to get into a relationship even though you're not interested. The best way to own your singledom is to be honest with everyone — including yourself. After all, as therapist Sally Baker told Metro, "It can be emotionally draining not being able to share the whole spectrum of emotions that being single entails." 


Not only will sharing your feelings be great practice for when you get into a relationship (if that's what you want), but it's likely to strengthen the bond you have with your circle. It can also wash away some of those feelings of resentment. Plus, your friends were all single at one point too, and may even be able to offer you some advice.

"It's easy to feel isolated when you aren't doing what others or doing — and it might feel isolating to be single, especially in social scenarios when everyone is all loved up. Remind yourself that these feelings are normal," psychologist Ash King explained to Refinery29. By making how you feel clear, your friends should be able to scale back how much they talk about their partners if it's becoming a trigger for you, or they'll know to stop trying to set you up if you're just not interested.


Know that only you can make yourself happy

Most of us are conditioned from a young age to think that being in a relationship is what's going to make us happy. We see it in fairytales, movies, on TV, on social media, and even through our friends. But it's important to remember that the only person on earth that can truly make you happy is yourself. Everyone else, be it your partner, your friends, or your family, can only add to that.


While your besties may seem happier than you've ever seen them before with their partners, adding a layer of joy to each other's lives, each had to fulfill themselves first. Getting into a relationship is not a magic way to make yourself suddenly more fulfilled if you're experiencing things like low self-esteem. The only way to become happier is to work on and become comfortable with yourself, as a relationship won't fill that void — at least not for long.

Knowing your besties worked on themselves to be happy enough to get into a healthy relationship should fill you with pride. I can also help you maintain the hope, that if you've done the same, your good vibes will attract good things. And, if it's what you're looking for, your next relationship may be right around the corner.