Whether you’ve just ended a long-term relationship where all your friends were “couple friends” or your single pals are in serious settling down mode, it’s easy to feel like the odd one out when everyone in your crew is paired off. It doesn’t matter how you got there, the question now is: how do you avoid third wheel status?
Pass on Invitations
It’s okay to say no to invitations from friends. If your best friend invites you to a Halloween party with their boyfriend, suggests a three person costume (bun, hotdog and ketchup) and you kind of want to slit your wrists at the thought of it, it’s okay to say you have other plans.
Break that Last Rule
That said, if you’re looking to meet people – including single friends – go to any and all parties you’re invited too. Just don’t spend all night talking to your couple friends. Wear a great costume, bring an interesting bottle of champagne or sparkling wine, brush up on your conversation skills and put yourself out there to meet some new friends.
It’s a dinner party. Be wary in these situations. House parties, gatherings at bars and coffee shops, where you can mingle and meet new people are great for breaking out of the couple-dom rut. Dinner parties, not so much. You’ll likely be stuck next to someone’s sister (okay that might be awesome) as a set-up. Because friends in relationships live to set up their single friends. Which is fine, if you’ve agreed to it. If not, it can be a long night.
If your friends are all partnered up and you feel left out, the sanest thing to do is add a few more single friends into your rotation. Reach out to coworkers you like, join the softball team at work, buy a Groupon for a new class you’re interested in and grow your friend circle. It sounds cliche, but it works. Added bonus: you’ll be a lot more fun and cool on dates and have great ideas for fun things to do.
If you’re a guy and only seeing your guy friends with their wives at wine bars, you have a problem. Reach out and set up a men-only golf trip. Same goes for the ladies, hit the spa for a girls day. This will not only get you some quality time with your friends, it will likely help their relationships – spending all your time together can be suffocating.
Don’t Force It
Being around couples can make you want to introduce a new prospect to the group. Be careful here, this is almost as dangerous as bringing them around your family. If it doesn’t go anywhere, you’ll have to deal with them asking what happened for at least a month. Three months of solid dating is a good rule of thumb before bringing someone into your circle.
Your Life is Awesome
Don’t let your single-dom get you down when you’re around couples. They’re not trying to make you miserable with their seemingly happy relationships. Even money at least half of them are a teeny bit jealous that you’re out there playing the field and having a blast. Because you are having a blast, right?!
Tanya Edwards works for Food Network digital and writes for Glamour. She used to be married. Now she’s not. Follow her on Twitter @misstanya.