Life

Being the token single

All my friends are in couples. When did this happen? One minute I’m happily bouncing around London – me and my single mingling friends frolicking and flirting – and then I turned around and they’ve all stopped, paired off and left me to keep skipping solo. It’s like when you’re shopping with your friend and having a good chat and then you turn around to ask them a question and realise they’ve fallen in love with a dress you passed and you’ve just been talking to yourself for a solid embarrassing 30 seconds.

It obviously didn’t all happen at once – the odd couple popping up here and there, but that’s how it gets you. It’s so gradual that you don’t notice until you’re the only one left thinking, “shit, did I miss the memo?”. You do a quick scan of your Facebook friends to find an potential eligible partner, re-install Tinder only to delete it approximately 5 minutes later, re-evaluate why all your past relationships ended, write a long messy drunk diary entry trying to convince yourself that you’re fine, and then settle on texting your one other last-standing single girl friend about how you’re the only ones left.

Social situations and meeting new people are very interesting when you’re the token single. It’s as if all your coupled up friends want to live the single life vicariously through you. They ask you a million questions when they see you talking to a guy at a party and when you don’t seal the deal it feels like you’re not only letting yourself down but all your friends who are eagerly observing your actions. Watching with binoculars from the other side of the room at a party. Do they actually do this or am I just extremely self-involved? I’m not going to answer that question.

Sometimes I want to yell, ‘JUST BECAUSE YOUR LIFE IS SO BORING DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH ME!’ but that’s really rude and I don’t actually think life in a relationship is boring so I never say that. But sometimes I think it a little bit. I hope that doesn’t make me a bad person.

I am 24 now. This isn’t like in school where there’s a wave of people getting together and then another wave of everyone breaking up. These relationships are getting real and intense. Some go on holiday together, some live together, some are married! It happens very slowly but in the last couple months I’ve been noticing and feeling it – the older I get the harder it’s going to get. I met 2 guys recently (at different events) who I thought were attractive and cool, took one look at their left hand and there was the wedding ring. And there’s only going to be more and more of those cropping up as I stumble through my 20s. Even though I love being single and I’m so happy it’s just hit me recently that I don’t want to be left behind.

Is anyone else going through a similar thing? Is this just a phase everyone goes through in their mid-twenties? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. As a perpetually single man, one thing I’ve learned a lot is how to function as a human being on my own. I sometimes feel like men are partially in relationships because they need to be to survive. I’ve never had that feeling. It’s come to a point where I don’t want a relationship to define who I am. I also don’t have a fear of being alone because I have a closeknit small group of friends who I love. I’m also super busy with school and work, as cliche as it sounds, so I wouldn’t want to subject someone to being second place to my career, which is really my top priority at this point in my life.

    1. Forgive me for speculating, but Ash Jarnicki, it sounds like you have never been in a good relationship if you say things like you don’t wanna be in one cause you don’t want it to define who you are, or that you don’t want someone to come second to your work…

      My girlfriend and I have been together 6 years, we both are independent people. Being together only defines us as much as you being single defines you. It’s not about ownership. Also, we are both artists / musicians with our own careers and have made no compromise with our work because we love each other and have each others backs, supporting each other and not holding each other back to be selfish, etc. Hopefully one day you will Find yourself with someone who gets you and won’t change you or ask you to compromise your work. Or find happiness alone. Whatever.

      1. On the flip side of what Louise is saying, my married friends are SO happy together, but one thing that makes them work wonderfully is that their dreams were so similar already. If you’re someone who doesn’t want to date someone with the exact same goals as you in life, than a relationship is going to look rather stressful. As someone who hasn’t had a track record of being attracted to people with the same goals as I have, dating is really stressful and I’ve recently given myself a break.

  2. I know I am only 19 (20 in a couple of months) but this is seriously happening to me. I think part of this is because I am a Christian and so a lot of the people who I am friends with are early to mid twenties and are either in a serious relationship, engaged or already married. I have been finding that my friends have been getting engaged younger and younger, one person I know got engaged just after their 18th birthday. I think another part of this is because I study Theology, a few of the students are older and again I am left in a similar situation as previously mentioned. I have become the token single friend and because I am asexual and demiromantic I find it increasingly difficult to find people who I am romantically attracted to someone because if I ever develop those feelings for someone, they are often already in a relationship, but just haven’t made it public knowledge yet.

    1. Dude. This is me exactly. I turned 20 this year, one of best friend’s just got engaged after dating her boyfriend for 6 months. My other best friend just starting dating a guy she has been desperatly in love with for the past year. The other one is dating a girl he is not allowed to date (for several reasons) and has completely forgotten about the people he used to call friends. I’m studying theology a 10 hour trip away from home, so all my high school friends have started their own lives as well. I got out of a relatively serious relationship last year and since then I’ve just been talking to God and in all the craziness going on around me I just hear him telling me to wait. All will be revealed in due time. Right now my focus is not to find the perfect man, but to become the perfect woman of God. Until I can be that for a man, I will continue to support my friends in whatever way they need from me.

      I’m just praising God right now for letting me find this. I needed to know I am not alone in the world.

      Thanks emmibobable…

  3. I feel this. So much. I’m only 20 but an awful lot of the people around me are in solid, long-term relationships and the odd engagement is cropping up here and there. It’s terrifying. I have never been in a relationship and often find myself very confused about my sexuality (I identify as bisexual but the confusion is still so real). Definitely the token single of all my friends!

  4. I have been going through this my whole life, it never gets easier, although now that I am in my mid 40’s I find myself surrounded by single mums who don’t want any more children and who think all men are S**T because they have been so badly treated for so long. This leaves me trying to date people in their mid 30’s who hopefully have not had the life sucked out of them. I have a lot of female friends (hardly any male friends) and loads of people think I am having a fantastic single life, but I really am not, I hate being single. I am RUBBISH at dating!! I really just want to find someone I Can relax and have fun with regularly (no not just that, I mean trips away, activities, sharing meals, movies, experiences etc) and ideally start a family too, while I am still young enough to keep up with them!

  5. I’m in my early twenties (22 in two months to be precise). I am not at that point yet where everyone is in a serious relationship but I see myself slowly getting there. I am not afraid of being single but I kinda am scared of the moment when every guy I fancy will already be in a relationship.

  6. I recently finished reading Spinster. I had some mixed feelings about the book itself, but I think you’d enjoy some of the thoughts that Kate Bolick shares. Here’s my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1588185679

    One of my fears as a man who is probably going to remain single is that I’m going to find it harder to hang out with my non-single friends in the way we were used to before they got married. I’m not one for bigger social situations; I like seeing people in groups of two or three. As my friends pair off with others, they naturally have less time to squeeze me into the schedule. I don’t like losing those connections, but it is also a lot of emotional work on my part to try to maintain them; I feel like I tend to do more of that work than they do, because they have so many other things to think about.

    One of my coworkers/close friends, who is 31, recently started dating someone after being single for the entire time I’ve known her. It was rather sudden, and amusingly he’s a devout Christian whereas she was a very cynical atheist. And now she’s hanging around with his church group and reading the Bible. She’s super happy, and I’m happy for her too, but it’s very interesting to see how people can change suddenly when they enter a relationship: whereas before she would never be on her phone, now she is always texting and messaging her boyfriend (and others). She was a bit of a hermit before and now she’s always spending time with her social group.

  7. I agree with this.. Does anyone else feel like the 3rd wheel when it comes to hanging out with coupley friends.. or they want to set you up with someone..NO!!! Or nothing is worse when you do hang out with another single friend the couples always hint that you should get together?
    I am comfortable being single i can enjoy my life as much as those couples enjoy theirs. As many other people i’ve had my fair share of being screwed over, for the last 2/3years thats all what seemed to happen so now L.O.V.E can wait..
    Being a bisexual female i still get the obvious why havent you found a nice man?! And when i say im not searching for anything particular here comes that dreaded look of disappointment.. being a single 24year old all i ever see is overly loved up pda couples. You know the ones who tag their partner in everything over facebook or constantly talk about relationship goals.. constant kissing and touching.. forever and always couples please f*** off and live your life..
    Im happy pleasing myself(not like that..a lil like that) but just ingeneral im happy having a sex on the beach cocktail/s sitting with my good friends who may or may not be loved up having and enjoying life and not taking it too seriously.. if you happen to be one of those people who wants to settle down early then please dont come complaining to me because i dont share the same responsibilties as you. If you are happy then be happy. Im happy being me i do sometimes feel that question when will it happen to me.? I now have come to terms with when it happens it will happen i dont want to push for it because it might not be the right/real thing..i think everyone feels this maybe its a good thing to not read into it and just enjoy life. Those couples who are loved up and those single people should all be doing the same thing and thats to be happy and just live☺

  8. I’m 24, one of ‘the married ones’, and I worry about this all the time. I love hanging out with single friends, with or without my partner, and I hate to make people feel like the third wheel. It’s harder when my partner and I have the same friends, for the situation not to feel like us vs. them.
    In any case, I firmly believe people find partners at their own speed–whether that’s “immediately” or “not at all”, and it’s important to cultivate all kinds of relationships. Also, life as a couple is not boring if you don’t make it that way.

  9. For me it’s more that everyone around me was being single and flirty and in and out of couples while I was just alone and never able to make a connection with someone to even do that. Now all of a sudden I’m 28 and everyone is in serious long term relationships and I’m still the perpetually single one. It’s like they’re all getting to the end of the find a partner race and I’m not even over the start line yet. Throw in the fact that it’s now so very hard to meet anyone and it’s all a bit sad really.

  10. I kinda know how you feel! So since hitting 22 (which in the grand scheme of things doesn’t seem to be that old, I know) I have felt a bit of an existential crisis and partly because of this exact reason! I don’t often talk to girls in a romantic manner nor do I ever attempt “to pull someone” as my mates often tell me to. But I recently started talking to a girl on Tinder and just instantly realised how shit I actually am talking to someone in a romantic fashion! Do I go straight in with the provocative flirtation or just play it cool and risk looking not interested? I think I’m straying a bit off your point but I think what I’m trying to say is after talking to a few friends my age as well I think its definitely becoming a thing. Im at Uni at the moment and hang round with people mostly a year or two younger than me and obviously I’m referred to a “Grampa” because of it so it definitely HAS has become a highlighting issue for myself. But yeah I think its probably just a matter of perspective. As bad as it sounds to say about your friends, a lot of them probably won’t stay with that person, just cause stuff gets to be more real cause we grow up doesn’t mean they stay that way, not to say they don’t either, some people will stay terribly happy and thats great. Im sure as time goes on you’ll probably see it happen but not notice it as much.

  11. I had a similar dry patch around the same age, which came to a sudden end when I met the lass who later became my wife. I wasn’t really looking when we met (at Huddersfield university jiujitsu club), but we have the obvious in joke about falling for her & sweeping her off her feet. ? My point is, when it happens it’s likely to come from leftfield, out of the blue, someone will turn up who shares a bunch of the same interests & attitudes, who you’ll end up having awesome conversations with long into the night, and who will look at you like you’re glowing golden.

  12. Hi Hannah,

    Really interesting entry and I really enjoyed reading. One of my best-friends is going through a similar situation as you! I’m recently in a relationship (that started this year) and my friend is currently single. For as long as I’ve known her we’ve been a bit of a singles duo, going out a lot, posing as each others extended-family as to not try and block each other from prospective singletons (one of the more difficult parts of a platonic friendship with someone of the opposite gender is going out without people thinking you are a couple) and the last few years both of us have enjoyed the full extent of the singles scene to the max.

    The relationship I am in is very early days (it is going really well :)) but I have noticed the dynamics change between myself and my single friend. From my perspective, I think there’s a particular etiquette of how people in relationships should come across and I’m not saying that it is wrong. It feels like you aren’t allowed too happy or smitten, not talking about your partner too much as to not make your single friends feel in a similar situation to what you are describing which is completely understandable. I hate to generalise but I’m referring probably more so to my single female friends from my experience (though actually not with me but in reference to discussions with the change in circumstance with female friends) are more sensitive to the subject of relationships, my male friends not really bothered.

    I think the reason might be that it’s quite an easy ‘go-to’ topic to talk to your friend about their single life because it’s a part you aren’t apart off. What I mean by this is that if my friend asks what I’ve been up to, most of the developments in my life centre around my relationship and I don’t want to touch on the subject for too long for worrying it might be insensitive to my friend. Though there a vast range of subjects to discuss, often developments of coupling tend to always tend to feature. In a relationship it’s easy to be excited for someones single life where as I think sometimes with people who are sensitive about being single it can be more difficult for them to be excited about your relationship status.

    I’m only a few months older than yourself and I also think it might be difference in perspective because myself and my friend are of the opposite sex. I actually feel that you get a lot more leeway as a male with female friends as actually from my experience they are are really supportive and excited about relationship developments. Maybe because they aren’t comparing where they are at in relation to you (I don’t know if that’s true or not, purely guessing).

    Anyway, I’ve waffled so I’ll conclude. I think it is the worry of anyone who is in a relationship (especially a new one) of their single friends feeling neglected or uncomfortable with the change of dynamics of their friendship. I’m not sure I can offer a solution but just the perspective that maybe by trying to being too excited in your single life they might be doing what they are trying to avoid which is to make you feel uncomfortable, but like with all things a conversation about how you are feeling normally helps.

    All the best,

    @JamieLeeBrett

  13. Hey Hannah. I’m 25 turning 26 this year. I’ve never been in a relationship but “all” my friends are in one so I understand what you mean by “missing the memo” and for me it makes me feel lonely. Everyone is doing things with their partners and I get to seem them les frequently than before. And while I’m happy that they are going forwards in their life it makes me a bit jealous because I don’t have someone who’ll be “waiting for me” when I get home. They all keep saying: Don’t worry you’ll find someone eventually but then again, they’ve been saying that since I was ~16ish.
    And I feel like it’s getting harder and harder to find people who I’m interested in. Not only that but I get more and more nervous for all the new stuff and kind of afraid that I’ll under perform (as in, kissing, seks and general “how the hell do I relationship” lol).

    But for you I think it’s more of a problem with “priorities”. When I read your blog or watch your vlogs I get the sense that you’re putting a lot of effort in meeting a lot of new people and your career. Which is fine. Why? Because you’re meeting a lot of new people and eventually you’ll find a boy, … uhm I mean man, who’ll crawl into your heart and mind before you know it. How do I know this? ;D Because you’re absolutely gorgeous, you’ve got an endearing personality. You’re smart … or are very good at pretending 😀 (which would make you a good actor). You’ve got an awesome wardrobe! Maybe you’ve only met boys who’re afraid of your strong personality?

    Ugh I suck at writing.

    Just don’t go focusing too hard on the fact that all your friends have relationships , it won’t bring you anything but heartache.

    Also you might be thinking too much about the whole “vicariously life living through you”-thing. They are your friends, they care about you. This is why they ask you these things, they want you to be happy. There is no pressure if you don’t seal the deal, they are hoping it will because they can see it’s bothering you that you don’t have anyone like they do.
    … Or not I don’t know you, this is just from “observing” you through a screen.

    Have a good night 😉

    Matthias

  14. One thing that does surprise me somewhat about this blog and the replies, is how young the people feeling this way about being single are.
    I myself am 47 and single but I am and have been very comfortable in my “single skin” and always have been, maybe too comfortable 😉
    If I am in a relationship great, and of course I’d want that relationship to work out and “be the one” but if not, that is cool also.
    I wonder where this “pressure to be in a relationship” comes from?
    It does surprise me that people so young etc would feel this way about being single and is something I would like to understand better if possible.
    When I was that age, last century (LOL) There was so much I and a lot of my friends at the time wanted to experience, that relationships were the last thing on our minds. Obviously, I am generalising here, so apologies, but is this a general shift in attitude about being single that has developed over the past 25+ years. Be interesting to know why? Any thoughts / ideas? Is in part because of how the social culture / scene has changed?
    I am very happy to go out with my couples friends, actually, just thinking about it , all my friends are part of a couple, but I never feel the token single or third wheel. I am also equally happy to go out by myself. It might be to see a film, a theatre visit, eating out, yep table for one please always gets an initial weird response from the maître d / waiters staff but people, when they think about it, why not, Even solo holidays.
    Is that to do with mindset?
    Is it that being single is seen, by society as a whole, as a weakness and if we are single that effects our self-perception and therefore our self-worth?
    But all that aside, it still does not mean that I would not rather be in a relationshiop but then we hit the other hurdle, the one of age. At 47 I sort of find myself out in “no man’s land” or should that be “no womans land” 🙂
    Because I don’t fit an accepted norm; never married, no children, I still like and enjoy going on crazy late night in Soho etc I am seen or rather thought of as to old for one age bracket, not ideal for another;
    A lot of it all seems to boil down to how we allow ourselves to be overly influenced by “societies perceptions of what should be” rather than just allowing ourselves as people and individuals to “just be” If that makes sense.
    This could be a special series in itself Hannah.

    P.S Only just dicsovering you, your show etc Hannah and loving it. Very thoughful, thought provoking, insightful, accesible and above all entertaining. Great work! Keep it up!

    Cheers
    Oscar

    1. Hey Oscar,

      I hope you don’t mind, but I thought I’d answer a few of your questions.

      I do think this pressure people in their 20s feel these days stems from the media. Everywhere you turn, you’re faced with films, TV, literature, even advertising, that presents romantic relationships as the be all and end all of existence. We’re being told that you’re not worth anything unless there’s someone who ‘wants you’ and ‘wants to complete you’ – implying that we’re not whole people, and the only way we can become whole is by sharing a life with a romantic partner.

      And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, when you’re in a good, committed, trusting relationship, it’s a great feeling. But because we’re constantly being told romance is the end game, that we need to lock down a partner and get married and have kids before we turn 30, otherwise ‘there’s something wrong.’

      I think a lot of it also stems from fear of being alone. A lot of people aren’t comfortable in their own company, so go on this never end search for ‘the one’ so that they don’t have to be alone anymore. Which is sad, because being alone is great, I think it’s important to learn how to live comfortably with yourself, prioritise your career/hobbies and be a little selfish sometimes. As I tell my single friends who complain about being single all the time – we have the rest of our lives to be in relationships, there’s no point wasting your time moping about being single, when the world is literally your oyster. Being single gives you free reign to do whatever you want to do without having to consult anyone else – you could literally drop everything and go travelling for a year, or focus super hard on your career or things you’re passionate about without any guilt.

      Of course, this advice goes over all of my single friends’ heads because I’m now in a relationship, and I can see in their eyes that they’re thinking, “easy for you to say, you have a boyfriend!” Still doesn’t make my points above any less true. I also used to agonise about being single as I watched my friends slowly pair up, crying at rom-coms thinking I’d be alone forever. But I’m glad I snapped out of that and realised that there are so many more important things in the world to think about and focus on. Being independent is really important, because it allows us to truly explore our values and what is important to us, rather than moulding it against whoever you’re dating at the time.

      I’ve rambled on, and have no idea whether I’ve actually managed to answer your questions, but there’s my two cents!

  15. This is definitely me now, which is weird because up until last summer I was one of the ones in a relationship. Now, five years later, I seem to have missed the bit where all my friends were single and they’re all in serious relationships/living together/engaged and I’m the perpetual third wheel. I definitely don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing.

    (I did leave a comment earlier via my phone, but not sure it worked, so apologies if I ended up commenting twice!)

  16. Hey Hannah,

    I’m recently experiencing similar feelings myself, and I think it’s normal for some folks our age (I’m 24 as well!) when friends suddenly get really adult and enter into more serious, intense relationships. I have a history of anxiety and mental health so I tend to latch onto these social changes in a big way and it becomes quite debilitating. I would agree with Matthias’ post above though- by concentrating on careers, hobbies and things that occupy our brains it doesn’t feel as jarring and then you get caught up in that wonderful world of discovering someone you really like purely on autopilot! A fair few of my friends are still single as well so we’re not too uncommon, thankfully. I also think some people can rush into the engagement/wedding stage too soon at our age because they feel this pressure to settle and do the whole husband/wife thing before it gets ‘too late’. Being single has its own perks anyway so TLDR; things will come together, mostly through pure randomness and no planning on our part, but they will 🙂

  17. Been. There.

    For everyone panicking in the comments about being single, don’t. Being single is usually the best place you can be if you want to leave a mark on the world: learn to be yourself, with yourself, for yourself.

    You only want to be in a relationship because the grass is always greener on the other side. Relationships are great, but no more or less so than being single.

    I’ve spent half of my life taken, half my life single, so I’m speaking from experience. At 24, being single is the right thing for me. If I don’t try to force it, I will know when I’ve met the right person.

    No matter who you are or are not with right now, enjoy it.

  18. Heyo Hannah,

    I’m 28 and a single dude. I have had the opposite “problem.” Rather, my life has kind of gone in reverse. When I went away to school (uni or college) when I was 18 I got into a relationship that lasted 8 long years. We talked about our childrens’ names, getting married, the whole thing, and then, very long story short, it all fell apart. It was “for the best” whatever the fuck that means 😛 but I’m glad the relationship didn’t go any further.

    To your questions, a couple things.

    1. After college/uni/school, opportunities to meet/mingle with other single people diminishes. You have to go out of your way to find single people after your mid twenties and onward. That’s just the way the world works.

    2. A large number of people get together in their early twenties, and then, there’s kind of another surge in the late 20’s/early 30’s (at least that’s how it is in the US). These are the people that typically prioritized themselves rather than a relationship. Also, women (and men) start feeling the pressure of getting into a relationship before getting too much older.

    3. I can’t speak for others in certain ways, but I can say that it’s definitely not just you. Around 26, after i got out of my (long) relationship, I felt the fear of being alone etc. even though before being a relationship I never even cared. So, you’re not alone.

    4. As I got older, I realized and started really feeling how little romantic relationships actually “matter.” They are great and I’m not saying I wouldn’t love to be in a good one, but they are rare and shouldn’t be forced. As trite and cliché as it sounds, it’s important to be patient and just decide what is important to you. If you’re lucky (and pretty, which you are), you’ll find someone to join you along the way. You realize as you get older that being in a relationship doesn’t solve anything, even if it’s a great relationship. It’s just a different part of/way to live your life.

    I guess, in short, eventually, perspective sets in.

    5. Most married people are bored in many different aspects. This is reality. So, in general, they are going to want to live out their “being single energy” through you. It’s totes mcgotes reasonable to tell people when they’re annoying you. I should mention, with this “boredom” comes “safety” in being with a person you trust. They still need to let out their monotony somehow.

    I wrote a lot more than I thought I would.

    I think I responded to your q’s….

    God speed.

    -Drew

    1. Hey just wanted to say thanks for posting this. As another Drew that is recently single at 26 after a long relationship, it’s nice to know there is another person out there in the same spot I am 🙂

  19. Being 19, I find it quite horrifying that I relate to this so much. Having always been a fairly independent person and always believed that having a boyfriend is a waste of time for myself as I’m quite content with my life etc, seeing all my friends get girlfriends/boyfriends in the span of a couple of weeks took me as a real shock. I actually found myself, for the first time in my life, saying the phrase “fuck I think i would like to have a boyfriend” and after a mini existential crises, doubting what I have always believed about myself, my friends just told me this reaction is just a part of growing up. The grass is always greener on the other side and we all always want what we don’t have. Obviously for you its a different situation as all your friends are in serious relations whilst mine are entering into their first ever relationship(which I actually find to sometimes be a bit more serious than relationships later on in life) but just think about this way- you are content with yourself at this moment in time, You’re doing well (i’m assuming since you’ve posted a decent amount of YouTube videos) and you’re in your twenties- probably the most exciting time of your life! Relationships come and go but you just need to make sure you’re happy with yourself. And I’ve always found that most relationships around me have been formed completely out of the blue, when no body expected them to. Plus, you have the freedom to sleep around and just go out and have fun without too many consequences so embrace that single life(and the added attention that comes along with all our ‘couple’ friends trying to set you up)

  20. I am 26 and I am seeing this happen as well. All my friends are paired off and generally in long term relationships, but I’m just over here, doing my single thing. The thing is, I wouldn’t mind a boyfriend but I just haven’t found anyone who I really work well with. Maybe I’m too picky? But I feel like I compromise on a lot of things but I’m never going to compromise on love. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. Keep trying to work on who I am as a person and if its meant to happen its meant to happen. I’m never by myself. I have family and friends. 🙂 I just need to be okay with being alone, and everything else is gravy. 🙂

  21. Don’t get married just because your mates are! I’m pretty sure you’re sensible enough to realise this anyway, but still…

    Divorce rates are highest amongst those who marry youngest and the last thing you want to happen is that you get to 35 and , “okay… What happened!?”

    Enjoy being young and hooking up; the right partner will come along when you least expect it.

  22. I’m 26 and two of my best friends have been married to one another for almost a year. Before that, they were together for seven years. On the opposite end of the spectrum, my other friend just broke up with his girlfriend of over two years. I realized recently that I don’t want any of that. As much as I would enjoy someone to cuddle, talk to, and care about in a romantic way, I’m not ready to settle, and if I’m going to get into a relationship, I’m not going to half-ass it. If I go into one at this moment I wouldn’t be able to give 100%.

    Don’t feel bad that you’re single and your mates aren’t. All that matters is whether you’re happy being single, and you are. If you’re happy, then you’re doing the right thing for yourself. You’re only 24. You have at LEAST good 76 years left.

  23. Lots of my friends married when I was in my 20’s. The rest seemed to pair up in my 30’s. It didn’t bother me at the time, but now I’m in my 40’s and have no friends to hang out with and I’m so very single. It wears on me at times. I actually like being alone, but I feel isolated these days. I doubt that will happen to you, though. You’re a people person. You’ll likely make the effort to keep people in your life. I would suggest you be in a relationship if you can’t stand not being with that person, rather than because you’re scared to be alone.

    On a different note, I’ve often thought you and Bridges would make a cute couple. (And this is as much meddling as I’ll do, as I’m really not a shipper. Lol) It’s a big world out there; don’t let it worry you yet that you’ve not found someone. I think this is a normal life phase many single people go through, unless they’re fortunate enough to have some close friends who also remain single.

  24. Look for all the good things you can do when you are single. Possibly it is easier for a single man (not that it should be), but even so, enjoy the things you can do. Even the simple things such as cooking only the things you like. The vicarious lives you mention is so true!

  25. OK folks I think we can stop trying to comfort Hannah now – she’s no longer the last single in her peer group. As of a couple of days ago, she was on Twitter & Instagram proudly brandishing her new engagement ring. 1st April was a week ago so it’s unlikely that was a prank – and assuming it’s not, I’m pretty stoked for her. Here’s to you & your love having a long & happy married life together, Hannah – congratulations to you both.

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  27. I can’t speak for how it actually feels to be in this situation (I’m 17 and never had a boyfriend so I’m still a long way away from thinking about all this XD) but my sister is in the exact same position except she’s 32!! Her friends have GOTTEN married and both of her BFFs are pregnant, with other friends trying or already having a toddler running around the house. However, she quit the job she hated with a vengeance last year and is now travelling the world. It’s quite disheartening when she sees a bunch of 18 year olds on their gap year, but she’s also met some people like her! Older, living the dream, happy and not in a rush to do anything. I think it helps to know that there are people all over the world like that, even if they’re not the majority.

  28. I went and I am going through the same thing. The feeling started a while ago, I think I was about 22. Same thing, all of a sudden, all my friends were in a relationship, and that just wasn’t what I wanted. I was too busy enjoying my single life and moving to a different country whenever I wanted. I wasn’t opposed to a relationship, it just didn’t fit for me at the time. But looking around, I did start to wonder, will I be “the only one left”?
    Then I moved to a new country, new friends, and most of them were single. There it was “the norm” to be single in your mid-twenties. The few of us that were in a relationship go actually teased by the rest of the group. I eventually met somebody, then years later broke it off. I thoroughly enjoyed single life again, then months later, back to my home-country. And it hit me. The friends that were in a relationship when I left were now getting married, buying houses, having babies… Of course I knew all of that before coming back, but it was another thing to be surrounded by it. I got confused again. And like you, I became “the attraction”. The single friend with her crazy travelling life and many juicy stories about potential boyfriends. It started to bug me too. Especially because, when a date would not work out, and I would occasionally feel a bit down, it felt like I wasn’t allowed to be sad or disappointed. In their eyes, I had so many occasions, and it was just a date, not a serious relationship, so it didn’t matter. I never said anything but I think my friends eventually understood.
    Since then I was in relationship again, it lasted for a year. When we broke up, I felt free and happy again, and then the same feeling came back, and I had to think about it. And my conclusion was – it is normal and I am not the only one feeling this way. Even my married friends felt this way before. It is part of human nature to sometimes feel lonely and/or compare ourselves to others. What is really important is – do not let it get to you!
    A friend of mine recently divorced and she told me that, in retrospect, she didn’t understood what “mariage” was. She told me she had no reason to say no, and the timing was “the norm”, so she said yes, not realizing she would have needed more than no reasons to say no and a socially accepted timing to actually say yes! And I have done that mistake myself – staying in a relationship because well, the relationship seemed ok and it was normal to be in a relationship. So I should do it right? Wrong. The result could only be relationship that would damage me and make me unhappy. Funny thing about my friend? When she divorced, her number one fear was to be “the only one left” – all the while knowing it was that precise thing that drove her into the wrong mariage in the 1st place.
    In the last years I have been on and off relationships, and so have my friends. Not all of them, but most of them. And I know that they have shared the same fears when single. We need to step away from the “norm”. It’s important to respect our own timing. Do what feels right, to us, not to others. And stop comparing. Now when surrounded by couples, I take the opportunity to do things I normally don’t get the opportunity to do. Because I know, in a few months, I might no longer be surrounded by couples, or I might be in a couple. What matters is doing what is right, for me. I know that if I do that, I need have no fears.

  29. Oh well, you speak to my soul!
    I am 27, almost 28 now and have been single for over 3.5 years after having one serious relationship and I feel you. Most of my friends and everywhere I worked so far, people had a partner and talked about getting married, buying a house or becoming parents. It feels so lonely when the only social events you are invited to are the couple-dinner-parties and you’re sitting there between all those people who have someone to turn to.
    Did anyone else experienced this on new years eve? I had the opportunity to be with 3 couples on that night so I ended up spending it all by myself ;D
    I don’t know about the UK, but in Germany whenever you turn on the TV there is a show about wedding dresses, wedding parties, wedding games, wedding this and that… can’t take it anymore haha. And I recognized that people would rather stay in a toxic relationship than being the ‘pity single’ again. Also I haven’t really met new people who were still ‘available’ everyone is already somebodies someone. Maybe I really think that something must be wrong with me or that I seriously have a problem with being too picky. And I do the same with tinder and other dating apps! Re-download and deleting it annoyed after few hours. Like those people online are the last single people we could turn to, aaaah I really gotta go look for my cat now. 😀

  30. I’m 21 and single and I have had this premonition that I’m only going to be comfortable being single for as long as the closest friends I have around me remain single too. Is that weak of me to think? That I am only a strong independent woman as long as I’m not out of place?

    I’d be very interested to hear you discuss being single more on your YouTube channel (I’ve already watched your video about being single) or on your blog. I don’t think it’s talked about enough within the YouTube community, which is my primary source of entertainment and recreational education.

    Love you Hannah!!

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