I didn’t think much of it at the time. A group of us had migrated to the Cambie for a friend’s birthday and the night seemed on track to be as messy as any other. But while the evening was still in its early hours, people started to trickle off, leaving our table half-empty before even 10:30 p.m. I spent the majority of the night with two friends in particular and as we stumbled home later that night, I realized something: of our group of friends, the three of us were the only ones who were single.
It’s hard to write about this kind of subject without sounding like just another a-hole who’s bitter about not getting laid. When I first pitched this Lettitor to my roommate—who’s coincidentally dating my best friend—I mentioned how anxious I was about potentially offending every couple I knew. It’s not in response to any pair in particular, but rather a commentary on a trend I’ve noticed the more years go by.
Growing up it never seems like a concern. We’re instructed to focus on us before anyone else and make sure we’re comfortable with ourselves if we’re ever to be comfortable with other people too. Before you know it though, while you were spending all that hunky dory time alone, it seems like all of your closest friends found the Raggedy Ann to their Raggedy Andy or vice versa and aired off into cute, annoying pairs.
I used to get really frustrated when my friends started dating someone. Despite me being jokingly obsessed with setting comrades up—“This person’s beautiful. This person’s also beautiful. They’re perfect for each other!”—it also used to upset me from time to time. Even when the feeling of being a third-wheel was entirely self-constructed, I still found myself griping at the people I loved.
Several years ago, in one of those situations that mirrored something from a sitcom, two of my closest friends started hooking up without anyone knowing. When the whoopie-making came to light, for a reason I could hardly justify to myself, I was furious at the two friends. I was worried about what would happen to our group and I also feared for how the two of them dating would impact the group dynamic. Naturally, I called Momma Gibb and complained about it, but that’s when she snuck me some of the wisest advice I’ve ever heard.
“Do you care about your friends?”
“What? Of course I do.”
“Then here’s what you do: you let them do whatever they’re going to do and you support their decisions. Getting mad at them won’t do anyone any good and they’ll probably just resent you for it. If you really care about someone, all you can do is support them.”
What’s a single guy or gal to do? The reality is: not a whole lot. Everything in life seems situated around ensuring that at some point we all pair up with our ideal matches—like some kind of modern Noah’s ark, we focus on avoiding the flood and landing that significant other. It probably seems overdramatic because I’m relatively young and just starting to notice it, but it’s worth pondering. The worst thing you can do is get hung up about it though. Instead, try to enjoy all the upsides that come with not being attached to someone. Party more; mope less; partake in spontaneous events without having to make sure your boyfriend/girlfriend is okay with it; talk to members of the opposite sex without worrying if you’re being too flirty; and take full advantage of not being confined to a single side of the mattress.