Gena Kaufman | Glamour
Last week at dinner with a good friend, I freaked out a little when she mentioned her boyfriend. I knew she’d been seeing a guy, but didn’t know they’d made it official. I was excited to hear things are going so well, but I also noted: She was my last good friend who was single.
When I moved to New York almost nine years ago, I immediately met a guy and started dating him. I also became very close friends with a group of girls (love you, buddies), and I was one of the only ones with a serious boyfriend. As the years passed, they all coupled up — three are married, and the rest are mostly in serious, on-the-brink-of-engagement relationships. Whereas I, as you know, found myself single after a long relationship. Now, as I’m working on my move back to New York, I’m thinking about how my life will be different.
Gone are the days when we would simply email the group with a “What are we doing tonight?” message, because it was assumed we would all spend the weekend together. Although we’ve continued for years with our weekly Saturday brunch tradition, it’s become the more common practice to stay home on Friday night with significant others/pets/babies. Part of that is simply getting older, but it’s undeniable that a big part of it is not having a gaggle of single girls who don’t have any other social commitments than to each other.
Please don’t get me wrong here. I’m not looking to remove myself from my friend group or set up unnecessary barriers between the single people person and the couples. I love my friends, and I’m so looking forward to spending time with them when I get back. Despite being in different places in our lives in some areas, we love each other and have the best times. Plus, I've even told you how sometimes I love getting to be the third wheel in their relationships! (Although occasionally I complain too.)
But it is different. So I’m just wondering how it will feel to be back here as a seriously, completely, not in an on-and-off relationship, but really, really single woman—and the only one in my regular social calendar. Will I feel alone on most Saturday nights? Will I be resentful that everyone has other priorities, but I don’t? Will I feel the need to branch out and find some women who are on their own, or will it be fine to always be the 15th wheel?
I’m not sure. I know that I will love spending time with my friends. I know we’ll have fun. I’m old enough to appreciate quiet dinners and calm nights in. But it would probably also be nice to have a few girls in my life who occasionally want to go out and flirt with cute boys, or who can actively moan about the state of their online dating inboxes, instead of the annoyances of living with their boyfriend. I feel weirdly guilty and disloyal for even thinking that I might need to branch out, but why? When my friend was struggling with the stress of a new baby, we encouraged her to make other new mom friends. Not because we couldn't still be her best friends, and not because we didn't want to hear about her state of motherhood, but because we understood that she might need some people in her life who were going through similar things. A little variety in the people in your crowd is a good thing, and it's no different for me—I mean, sometimes you need a little single solidarity, am I right?
I'm curious as to what the single ladies out there feel on this. Do you need single girlfriends to hang out with sometimes? Or do you feel no difference between your coupled-up pals and your single friends?