Newsflash: Being The Only Friend In A Relationship Isn’t Easy Either

Everyone always talks about how hard it is to be the only single friend in a group of coupled up friends. And while I totally agree that that is difficult – I’ve been there many, many times! – I also have to point out that the opposite is true as well: being the only friend in a relationship when all of your buddies are single also sucks. Hear me out.

At the moment, the majority of my friends are dating people, but a year ago, things were completely different. I was one of the only one of my friends in a relationship and there were many times when it made me feel extremely awkward and left out – two feelings I don’t think any of us enjoy. You know how, when you’re the only single one, you can sort of feel like a total freak for not having a boyfriend while everyone else does? Yeah, well when you’re the only one in a relationship, you can sort of feel like a total freak for having a boyfriend when no one else does. Except you can’t talk about it to anyone because then your friends will automatically assume you’re being smug and whiney.

But I’m going to talk about it because I’ve just about had enough. These are the top six most uncomfortable moments of being the only friend who is in a relationship:

When everyone goes on about how “lucky” you are to have a boyfriend. A few weeks ago, I was hanging out with a group of friends who were all single and were all talking about how much they wanted to meet a nice guy. I was sitting there, being sympathetic and trying to console them, when one of them said, “Ugh, you’re so lucky that you already have a boyfriend. You don’t get it.” Then they all agreed and looked at me like they wanted to kill me and eat me for dinner. Maybe they meant it in a nice way, but honestly, that kind of thing just makes me feel really uncomfortable. Yes, there are benefits to being in a relationship, but having a boyfriend doesn’t guarantee instant happiness! Plus, just because I have a BF now doesn’t mean I’ve never experienced what it’s like to be single.

When you go out with your single friends and they leave you alone while they talk to guys. This is the main reason I have stopped going out with my single friends. They might all think it’s because I’m obsessed with my boyfriend, but really it’s because I can’t stand being left alone in a crowded room while they flirt with other guys. It’s the equivalent to a single girl being surrounded by couples. Of course I want my friends to flirt with cute guys, but I would also like to sometimes actually go out with them and hang with them and not my iPhone.

annoyed girl

What I feel like doing sometimes. | Source: ShutterStock

When you can’t hang out because of boyfriend stuff and they get mad at you. I know this might come off in a weird way, but I’m not trying to sound like I think all of my single friends are jealous of me because I have a boyfriend. I’m not conceited, you guys. It’s just that when you’re the only one in a relationship, sometimes your single friends don’t understand why you have to make that relationship a priority. I know this because I did the same thing when I was single – I judged my friends in relationships whenever they would stop coming around as much because of their boyfriends. The fact is, my friends with BFs are way more likely to understand when I say I can’t do something because of boyfriend obligations, while my single friends are way more likely to get annoyed at me for it. Then it’s hard to explain, because no matter what I say, they take it the wrong way.

When you complain to them about a fight with your boyfriend and they say things like, “This is why I’m single.” No, for real, this has happened to me on more than a few occasions. Most recently, a few weeks ago: I was crying to a good friend about an admittedly stupid fight I had gotten into with my boyfriend. When I was done, she literally rolled her eyes and said, “This is why I’m single.” It was incredibly rude and unfortunately, not the first time she’s done that… and she’s not the only one. Many of my single friends have said this. If you’re single, how would you like it if you told me a story about some jerk you met and I said, “Ugh, this is why I’m SO happy I have a boyfriend.” Probably wouldn’t make you feel great, right? Just because I have a boyfriend doesn’t mean I don’t have boy issues I need help with.

When everyone is talking about their exciting single girl adventures and you’re just like, “My BF and I got breakfast yesterday and it was yummy.” When you’re single, you can sometimes feel jealous of a friend’s relationship. Well, it works both ways – I get jealous of my single friends sometimes. I love my boyfriend and am very happy with him, but sometimes when they’re all talking about the exciting and crazy adventures they get themselves into with guys, I can’t help but feel envious of their freedom to do whatever they want. Meanwhile, I’m sitting over there talking about how my boyfriend and I started a new TV series and it’s amazing. Just not the same.

When you try to tell them good stuff about your relationship, but they’re not interested. Maybe I just have a few bad friends, but I think we’ve all dealt with this at some point: you try to gush to your single friends about your relationship, but they don’t want to hear it. I’ve literally had friends tell me to stop with the “mushy-gushy talk” because it’s making them upset. As a friend, you should be happy that I’m happy. You should support me! It stinks when you’re excited to tell a friend something and they dismiss it like it’s nothing because it’s something they don’t feel like hearing. I’m not trying to brag about my relationship, but don’t I deserve to talk about what’s making me happy even if it’s not something that’s making you happy?

My point? Don’t always assume that the girl in the relationship has it so much better than the single girl. And don’t do these things if you’re single and have a friend who’s in a relationship. None of us like to feel like the outsider!

Have you ever experienced any of this stuff? Have you ever been the only friend in a relationship? What did I forget that is uncomfortable? Tell me in the comments.


9 do’s and don’ts of being the only friend in a relationship

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  • Cassie

    It’s nice to know someone is actually bringing this to people’s attention. Thankfully, my friends are pretty nice and know I have to split my time among them, myself, and my boyfriend. However, I never feel like I can talk about how nice my relationship is. Sometimes I want to share the good things with my friends, but it”s tiring when all they do is bemoan being single and don’t want to listen to my feelings, but I’m suppose to listen to theirs. Why do people get so upset being single? Sure, it sucks the relationship didn’t work out and go ahead and feel how you feel, but maybe now take time for yourself? Single isn’t a death sentence, your existence isn’t dependent on having a significant other in your life, you can still have fun. Like being the only single one among couples, being in a relationship among singles can just be plain tiring. Especially the venting and it’s not like I can relate (I’ve only had one relationship and it is still going). Sometimes I want to talk about something I can discuss, which doesn’t include all the ex-boyfriends, unrequited loves, break-ups, and how much he/she wants a boyfriend.

  • Caleigh

    This is very true…. I live in a college dorm with two other girls and both of them are single….My boyfriend lives 1 1/2 hours away and I go and visit him every weekend…but during the week I make a point to hang out with the girls…And they don’t care. They constantly complain that I never stay on campus and then they leave me out of everything…now I’m trying to find roommates and I wanted to room with them but they keep excluding me and go apartment hunting without me..It sucks. They always wanna go out and party and stay at some guys house…and I’m too respectful to do that to my boyfriend so I always end up staying behind. Besides, all they wanna do is pick up guys so I end up getting isolated even if I do go with them..

    It sucks. I want to have friends of my own, but most of my friends at college are single and my real friends who are in relationships live an hour away so I never get to see them..

    This article is so spot on. It is really rough being the only girl in a relationship, because single girls don’t have respect for it.

  • rachel

    This is so spot on. I literally found this article after searching Google for “being in a relationship and having single friends” – I just needed to know if I was the only one that feels totally left out sometimes just because I’m the only one in a serious relationship. My friends sometimes don’t bother inviting me somewhere because they assume I’ll say no to hang out with my boyfriend, which I actually might do because they NEVER invite him to join us (even if they are inviting their own guy friends to come). It’s a strange situation. Then, when they are talking about how much fun they had later on and I’m around they’ll stop and say “oh yeah, where were you? what did you even do last weekend?” and in my head I’m thinking “what do you mean where was I? I wasn’t even invited!” It just sometimes feels like I’ll be punished for being in a relationship because they just assume I won’t come or would rather spend time with my boyfriend. And even if that is sometimes the case, it doesn’t mean that every. time. I’ll say no so they should just stop inviting me. I just wish they could understand that the instances where I do say no aren’t because I don’t want to spend time with them or would rather spend time with my BF, it’s just that as you get older and you’re trying to build a life with someone, they should and do take priority. I still want to spend time with my friends and be included, I just can’t run off to Vegas or spend every Saturday at the bars looking to meet guys! It makes me think we’ll just end up growing apart because we’re in such different places in life…

  • Donna

    This article is my life summed up. My friends are mostly single and I’m the one with the boyfriend, because of this my best friend no longer talks to me and we are barley even friends. Whenever i am not with them they constantly talk about me and my boyfriend and how annoyed they are at me. I still do go out with them but i feel the conversation always turns to them being single or how i can’t have an opinion because i am happy and taken.

  • Jenny

    This is all SO TRUE and it’s really annoying! When I was single but had a crush, I felt welcome to gush about any interaction we had or how he asked me to hang out, etc. Now that I have a boyfriend, I feel like any time I even talk about him around my single friends, they view it as gushing. I also get the “at least you have a boyfriend” response whenever I talk about a problem in our relationship.