What It’s Like Being The Token Single Friend

I am a BuzzFeed Post.

Yep, I’m a Zooey Deschanel GIF and a still shot of Robin from “How I Met Your Mother” drinking wine under her desk and crying. I’m that one thing everyone loves to hate: the token single friend.

I’m not sure how it happened that I’m friends with almost entirely couples. It kind of happened with befriending a group of people who just so happened to be dating. Then some of my #singlegal girlfriends got boyfriends, my token bros were smitten by some amazing ladies, and here we are. I’ve suddenly become an anomaly with my friends and even acquaintances—not only am I one of the only single people in our friend groups, I’m horribly so—I don’t hook up too much and never go on dates—and I have the gall to write about it.

As much as trolls on the Internet would argue with me, I have not always been single. I’ve had several semi-serious flings and relationships and I guess I just never really thought about it. Now, since I’ve been single for this seemingly endless amount of time, it has become this marker that follows me around and defines me. Kristin is single, Kristin walks home from parties alone, Kristin needs a ride home because she doesn’t have a boyfriend to pick her up, Kristin needs you to be her wingman.

People love to create snarky posts about being single vs. not being single and how both are empowering and great and you couldn’t imagine being any other way. But, when you’re constantly surrounded by it, it’s a bit more complicated. It’s not like I’m sad all of the time, I really do love my life. It’s not like I hate couples—I think my friends are pretty great so obviously people are gonna snatch them up. Guess that means I picked well.

But being the token single friend goes so much deeper than not having a date to go pumpkin picking with. It’s a weird kind of creeping thing that doesn’t matter so much until everyone goes to bed or you try to pick a seat at the movies. It doesn’t really matter, but it matters a lot.

It definitely has its perks. For one, I have a whole band of brothers. My girlfriends have picked some pretty great guys and now I always have someone to do crazy guy stuff with, someone to help me move my furniture and someone to be my wingman, literally. I always joke that I got the protective dads and brothers I never got with all of these guys around all of the time. Maybe it’s a good thing that I’ve been single for a while because they’d have a lot of hoops to jump through.

For another, seeing all these different kinds of relationships up close has helped me think about what kind of relationship I want next. Seeing different kinds of approaches in action helps me put a lot in perspective. I feel like a kid wanting a love just like my parents have. Except in this situation, my parents are people I get drunk with.
In the same vein, it makes my taken or seriously hooking up friends really, really want me to find something like that too. I get a lot of text screenshots of dudes that would be “perfect for me.” They’re mostly bearded, so I’m never mad.

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It definitely has its pits. It makes me feel lonely a lot of the time. It makes me wonder why I’m the defective one. It makes me a jealous, needy person a lot of time which I always hate. It makes me ununderstanding when people cancel on me to hang out with their SO. It has made me stuck in my ways. It’s made me hate mushy romantic talk and want it all the same.

Being in a relationship seems to make you the best and worst version of yourself all at once. It definitely makes life more interesting and trust me when I say that life with these people is never dull. Being friends, well, more like family, with all these crazy committed people is something like living in the future. Everyone’s nuts and restless and laughing too hard and trying really hard to save face and feels really really strongly about so many things.

Life isn’t as easy as some witty listicle like “15 Thingz that r tru f your the single friend…” It comes and goes in waves. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a big kids club with all of these in love adults, sometimes it makes me feel like some kid who stumbled onto the adult’s table.

It’s just like anything. They’re my friends. I adore them. They adore each other. That’s the end.

View Comment (1)
  • I can completely relate to that. It’s a disease! Just like you, I am happy for them but the ordeal of the mushy talks is too much to bear. I think this phase will just pass like everything does. :)

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