What It’s Like To Be The Last Single Person In A Friendship Group

Sometimes it feels like I’m the last singleton alive, says Hot Mess author, Lucy Vine, 32

bridget jones

by Grazia |

A couple of weeks ago, I briefly bumped into a boy I hadn’t seen since 2014. Back then we’d had a few dates that went nowhere – basically because he was a dick. He was a total breadcrumbing flake who spent most of his time explaining why he was smarter than everyone in his workplace and telling me how his friends all hero-worshipped him.

I also caught him picking his nose. More than once. MORE THAN ONCE.

I cannot overstate how wrong he was for me.

Days after this recent encounter, I laughingly showed one of my friends a text message he’d sent afterwards, asking me to go for a drink. He wanted to ‘pick up where we left off’. Remembering our final date three years ago – where he’d called me a ‘miserable b-tch’ because I said I didn’t think we should go out again – I thought the idea of meeting up again romantically was pretty funny.

‘Oh my God, you must be THRILLED,’ said my friend, beaming at me. ‘How exciting!’

‘What?’ I said, confused, adding, ‘Do you remember the guy I’m talking about? The dickbag?’ She nodded and went on, ‘Yeah I do, and I know he didn’t behave very well, but you might as well go out with him again. He might’ve grown up a bit! You never know! And if it goes well, then we can double date!’

There we go. This is what it’s like to be the last single girl in your friendship group.

I’ve been single on and off for the past five years, and in that time, I’ve watched all my friends settle down, move in with their partners, get married and have babies. There’s my best friend Sara, who’s been married 18 months. My other best friend Gina, who’s married with three children. Claire who recently moved in with her boyfriend and is already planning a family. Kate and Louise who are both pregnant with their long term partners. Oh, and both my sisters, who have managed to pop out six children between them, the prolific f-ckers.

I can’t remember when it happened; I can’t pinpoint the moment, but one day I woke up and I was literally the last single human being left alive on this planet.

It’s weird because I actually love being single. I’m really happy. Things are great exactly as they are in my life right now. My work as a writer is going well (please buy my first book, guys) and I just bought the cutest puppy called Ivy – and if you’re good I will reward you with a link to her Instagram profile at the end of this article.

There is so much fun and happiness in my life, and so many people to share that with. I don’t feel anything missing and I’m not lonely. But I think my friends think I am. From their position, I can’t possibly feel complete without a boyfriend. I must be sad because I haven’t attained Life Plan Level 10, like they have. And the older I get, the more desperate they become on my behalf.

And it’s not just that, there are so many undeniably weird things about being the only singleton.

I’ve become the token novelty act at parties and weddings, pointedly introduced to any single man who happens to be there – whatever his circumstances. At my friend Toni’s* wedding last summer, I found myself being forcibly set up with a newly divorced man who was quite literally 25 years older than me. He seemed keen but then he felt up one of my married friends in the cloakroom. So I felt super swell about that on lots of different levels.

I am also often regarded as the ‘entertainment’ when we’re together as a group. Relationship’d people have this dumb habit of looking back nostalgically at their dating days. They have forgotten the awfulness. Some of them have been with their partner so long, they missed Tinder altogether and instead of being grateful because ohmygodburnitwithfire, they think the whole thing sounds hilarious and wonderful. They want you to sit there recounting every detail of your last date with a guy who seemed great and very into you who then disappeared for no reason without explanation. And then they want to use your profile to swipe through men for the next nine and a half hours, screaming delightedly about all the ugly penises on there. They have no idea at all. None.

The other thing about being the sole single person is how apparent it is on group nights out. I never have any problem being a third wheel – I’ve practised and it’s fine – but there is usually a point in the evening when I am abandoned for snogging. Couples, it would seem, like to do that at about 11pm, after a few wines. It’s not that I’m jealous, it’s that it’s so boring standing alone at the bar trying not to look at your best friend’s tongue flying around. And you can’t even look at your phone because it’s in your bag underneath those two over there doing some under-the-jumper stuff in the booth. And I’m very aware of all those couple things I don’t get invited to. Couples’ nights. Couples’ cruises. Group couples’ weekend getaways. I mean, that all sounds dreadful, but I still feel a bit left out.

Of course, none of it’s enough to make me want to date someone for the sake of it. I’ve never been lonelier than when I’ve been with the wrong person, and just because I’m the last one left doesn’t mean I’m going to rush into something I don’t want or need. I’ll say it again, in case my lovely, well-meaning friends are listening: I’m happy. So, no, I’m not going out again with the nose picker.

Hot Mess by Lucy Vine is published in paperback by Orion, 13th July

Follow Lucy on Twitter @lecv

(and her adorable dog Ivy here @IvyTiberiusVine)

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