The Single Girl's Guide to Being The Last One Left
"'Cause I'm a little bit tired of fearing that I'll be the bad fruit nobody buys, tell me did you think we'd all dream the same?" - Scar by Missy Higgins
Did I just quote a Missy Higgins song in a blog about being a single spinster? Yes. And you thought nothing could be more depressing than the title of this blog!
Allow me to put my tiny violin away for one second and share with you my thoughts on being the very last single person left on planet Earth... okay so, at least in my own social circle.
Let me paint a picture for you: it's a Friday night. Due to the nature of my job, I spend most of my work week alone, working from home or at a cafe (if I start talking to myself more than usual). So, naturally, I'm excited for a few dranks with the girls! A big BBQ with some friends! Maybe even a cute little weekend away with the gang?
I send out a couple of messages. "What's on for the weekend?"
Eventually, because loved-up people don't sit on their phones 24/7 like us singletons do, the replies start rolling in.
"Mark and I are heading to Red Hill for the weekend! Sorry!"
"Just a quiet night in on the couch for us! Sam is cooking."
"Sarah and I are going to her parents tonight and then we've got her nephews 4th birthday party tomorrow. Next week?"
Cool cool cool. I didn't want to leave the house anyway. Looks like it's another hot date with $56 worth of ribs via UberEats and some true crime documentary on Netflix.
Saturday looks the pretty much the same, plus a bottle of wine. Come Sunday I'm fed up and suffering from cabin fever so might take myself to a movie. Large popcorn for one, thanks.
Cut. Copy. Repeat the next weekend.
Now listen, although it may sound like it, I'm not bitter. Not in the slightest. Truly.
Not only am I happy most of my friends have seemingly found their "other half", I also love them all as couples. I don't have any qualms in being a third, fifth or seventh wheel. I've lived with a couple, I've gone away with two...I'm often sat at the head of the table, end of the aisle. I've actually grown to like getting the room with the two single beds on holidays and I would absolutely love nothing more than to spend 30 minutes doing a photoshoot of you two lovebirds frolicking through the vineyards whilst I throw back my 9th glass of pinot grigio during our winery lunch. Honestly.
But I'll tell you what...it's really bloody lonely over here.
It's lonely watching all your friends leave the party hand in hand, only to have to go home to a dark, empty house. It's lonely being the only single person at the wedding table. It's lonely at Christmas, on your birthday...when something good happens, when something bad happens. It's lonely on long weekends and when you're sick or hungover. It's lonely going to sleep by yourself every. Single. Night.
And I've been doing that for the last 4 years.
So, if you're like me and are feeling like the last rotten banana left on the shelf at Woolworths, here are some of my tips to keeping yourself from watching 'Bridget Jones' Diary' on repeat with a tub of Ben & Jerry's 'Chunky Monkey':
- Get on the apps. You've got to be in it to win it and if all your friends are basically married and reclusive then how on earth are you going meet someone? It's not as easy going to a bar and chatting up some cute looking stranger alone, let me tell you. At least by being on apps like Tinder and Bumble you're still technically in the game. When all your friends are busy playing happy families, you could be lining up a dinner date with someone who, coincidentally, is also bored and lonely on a Friday night.
- Make plans. See, the thing with these couple friends is that they tend to be quite busy. Whether it's weddings or trips away or family functions; because there's two of them, their calendars fill up very quickly. If you want to suggest something like a group dinner or a trip to the snow, get in early. Set up a Facebook message or email thread and book them out weeks prior. Then send them weekly reminders. They'll be annoyed by your constant and overbearing excited messages but they'll feel so guilty that you're so desperate and alone, they won't say anything. Win win.
- Re-connect with old friends. Rightly or wrongly, you really do need a couple of single friends in your life. You need someone who is happy to stay at the club till close. Someone who wants to go bar hopping, be your wingman, get a little dressed up. Someone who doesn't have any prior commitments the next morning or who has promised their boo they'd be home by midnight. Scroll through your phone contacts or your Instagram feed and figure out who in your life is also single. Ambulance chase those going through breakups and reach out to the poor, sad souls offering a shoulder to cry on and a night out on the town to drown their sorrows. Make new (single) friends!
- Discover new hobbies. Is there something you've always wanted to do but just never got around to it? Well, lucky for you, your weekends have just suddenly opened up. In the last year I've enrolled in a pie making class, a floristry class, a meditation course... I've thrown myself into pilates and reading. Figure out what you're passionate about or interested in or inspired by and get amongst it. Who knows...you might even meet someone there who weirdly shares the exact same interests as you! (Full disclosure my cooking class was full of couples + one mother and son team but I'm now fully qualified to make a chicken and leek pie from scratch.)
- Do some work on yourself. This is probably my number one tip. Whilst you're busy waiting for Mr or Mrs Right, why not take the time to work on yourself? That way, by the time they come around, you are the very best version of yourself you could possibly be. Got some baggage? (Don't we all), find a good psychologist. Feeling a bit blergh with your fitness and how you look? Get to the gym or take up running. Always wanted to explore south east Asia but could never find anyone to go with you? Do it alone! Trust me when I say it will be a much richer and more rewarding experience when you're forced to get out of your comfort zones and explore a foreign country by yourself. Plus, think of all the new friends you'll be forced to make. Some of them could even be single...
So often when I talk about being single, people will jump down my throat about how much "fun" it is or how it's "good to be single", healthy etc. And they're right... it can be a lot of fun. Too much fun sometimes (if you know what I mean, insert smirking emoji here) and it's also healthy to be able to be independent; confident and comfortable in your own company.
But I think it's also okay to put your hand up and say you feel sad or isolated when you're single. Especially when you've been single for a while and especially when your friends, family and the others around you seem to all be happy and loved up; blissfully unaware in their own little bubbles.
Because it can suck. It can make you feel supremely lonely. It can make you question "What's wrong with me?" "Why does everybody else seem to find their person so easily and I can't?"
It can be a shitty time. No point pretending otherwise.
What's important however is to remember that you are enough, all on your own. You really are. And the sooner you realise that, harness it, and start portraying that to the outside world... your person will come.
And if not? Well, I've got two spoons and a tub of Chunky Monkey with your name on it.