While discussing plans for the Fourth of July weekend, a friend of mine mentioned that she was invited to a cookout but that she wasn’t sure she wanted to go because she would be the only one without a significant other.
“But I’ll be the only single person there,” came out of my mouth so commonly when I was single people probably thought there was something wrong with me. It’s something that crosses everyone’s mind at least once, because being surrounded by couples when you are alone is something not everyone wants to deal with.
Even friends of mine who have been together for a long time who don’t even really speak to each other at social events annoyed me. Because they at least had the choice of talking to each other, and they were going home together too. I on the other hand, drove there alone and would drive home alone.
I didn’t feel that way about every event. A lot of times I decided not to let it bother me and I ended up having a great time. But there were other times when I struggled, mostly when I had just been through a break-up. But there’s no reason to let it get you down — nearly everyone has been through it before. Here are some of the ways I dealt with social events where I was the only “single and ready to mingle” guest.
Celebrate it! – Maybe you just broke up with someone who wasn’t right for you. Maybe you refuse to settle for someone less than what you are looking for. Perhaps you’re too independent to settle down. And maybe you are perfectly happy not dating anyone. Whatever the reason, own it and don’t let anyone bring you down.
Remember how fun being single can be — I had some of my best times when I was single. I could stay out as late as I wanted without checking in with someone, I could get as drunk as I wanted without someone being mad at me, I could talk to whoever I wanted to without worrying my S.O. would get weird about it. Not to mention — I could watch whatever I wanted on TV, I could choose whatever take-out I wanted for dinner and I could do what I wanted whenever I wanted to do it.
Bring a friend – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve brought other single friends, both men and women, to social events where I was in danger of being the only single one there. It’s just a nice buffer to have someone else there to hang with who isn’t part of a twosome – except your own!
Avoid it – Tell the host you have other plans, or that you can’t make it. Sometimes the best way to handle a problem is to ignore it. This is probably the best solution when you are invited to a party where you aren’t going to know many people, or it’s an event you don’t care much about attending. I would not recommend this for significant events like a wedding or grad party.
Don’t let it bother you at all and just have fun — This was probably what I did the most. I just made a conscious decision to not worry about it and yes, you can do that. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? It’s not like you are going to walk in and the couples will be lined up ready to throw rotten vegetables at you. More than likely they will glad you are there – they get to hear about your fun bachelor life instead of Carol’s inability to pick a wedding venue for the 90th time.
Emily Campbell is a perpetually single, 20-something girl-around-town who loves Shakespeare, old movies, Natty Boh, and of course, long walks on the beach. A sales manager by day and freelance writer by night, she was recently forced into a life of involuntary celibacy when her last relationship fizzled out over a text message. She’s tired of settling for second – or tenth – best, and she’s ready to find Mr. Right. Or, Mr. Nearly Right. No one’s perfect…which she has learned the hard (but hilarious) way.