Showing Some Love For The Odd Man Out
PROBLEM: Five of us have been thick friends since college days. We have been on trips together and have met almost every other weekend. We continue to do so, except four of us are married now. While our spouses join in occasionally on a weekend trip (not more than twice a year), our single friend visibly feels out of place on such trips. None of us, I am sure, acts couple-y. And it feels like a bigger group of friends hanging out, but for our single friend. How do we assure him he is as important irrespective of his relationship status?
LG: Dear Self-Consciously Coupled: Let it be. Your friend is probably living the high life on Tinder, trying to think of ways to assure the rest of you that you’re still important to him, despite the fact that you’ve all become boring married people. I’ve been to parties at which it felt like friends had written ‘PS – Reassure the single girl’ on everyone’s invite but mine. It’s the worst.
SH: Before any such trip is planned, let your only single friend know you are desperately hunting for a date for him. If he acts surprised, tell him, “Well, we thought this is the only way of getting you back to your crazy karaoke performances!” He’ll get the message.
KB: Dear Married, I love that you are convinced that none of you on these trips act “couple-y,” because there’s only one reason single people feel self-conscious around The Marrieds, and that’s when they act very, very couple-y.
Come to think of it, there could be another explanation: what you’re perceiving as self-consciousness over his single status is actually his extreme relief at being single when he spends so much time in close quarters with all you Marrieds. It’s a common phenomenon I’ve noticed among friends with varying relationship statuses… when they all get together, everyone walks away thinking, “Wow, I’m so grateful that I’m not [single/married] like [that guy/girl].”
So take heart, the awkwardness you’re reading is probably just him breathing a sigh of relief, and trying to allay the Marrieds’ envy at his relationship status.
MM: I think reassurance is the wrong approach here. Instead of plotting strategies to make your friend feel better, you should make it your life’s mission to find someone who can be his plus one at all these weekend getaways. ‘Cause if any of you start popping little humans into the world, there’s no way your single friend is going to stick around.
First World Problems is a funny advice column wherein The Swaddle Team weighs in on their own and others’ ‘problems.’ Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @The_Swaddle with a #firstworldproblems hashtag if you’ve broken a nail, felt a little blue, yellow or green lately, or had a strange encounter of the any-numbered kind. We’ll help you sort it out.