We’re not ones to brag, but it kinda seems like we have this whole adulting thing mastered. We’ve got our credit score in check, and we’ve leased our first apartment. Heck, we’ve even started saving for retirement! But even though we basically have our lives together, there’s still one thing that social media loves to remind us of: We’re single AF. Yes, there comes a point in every single lady’s life where one more engagement picture on Facebook might throw you over the freakin’ edge. (Don’t worry; we’ve all been there!) Lucky for us, #girlboss relationship coach Jessica Elizabeth Opert is here to give us her top tips on how to cope when all your friends are coupling off.
1. Focus on what you already have. There are tons of things that your singledom allows you that just wouldn’t happen if you were in a relationship, Opert notes. From not having to check in with your S.O. every hour on the hour to spending Saturday night out on the town (without having to rush home to pay the sitter), there are definitely a few perks that come with being unattached. “Focusing on the assets of that fab single life instead of what you don’t have yet is a huge shift and can make a BIG difference,” Opert says.
2. Don’t assume your coupled-up friends are lost causes. “The number one complaint of new moms (and newly attached women) is the feeling of isolation AND that they feel their ‘old single friends’ don’t want to be bothered with their new baby-fied life,” Opert says. “There we find ourselves, two women, operating on assumption, on separate islands, missing one another desperately.” Swallow your pride and make the first move. Odds are, your newly attached bestie will jump at the chance to talk to an actual adult again.
3. Consider it a learning opportunity. “I know, you want to give this latest engagement announcement by your bestie the eye roll. However, there is a feast of information YOU NEED, LADY,” Opert advises. Being in a successful relationship can be extremely challenging, so you should definitely take any chance you can get to pick your BFF’s brain on tips and advice to thrive if you want to meet someone down the road.
4. Show up for your bestie. “Sometimes in life, we need to suit up and show up for friends, career, and family, even on the days we really do not feel like it,” Opert says. “I never coach people to be anything but authentic. However, ‘acting as if’ in this scenario means bringing the body, so the mind will follow. It also helps us step out of our own head and worries, by being a good friend, colleague, or family member and focusing on their happiness. They deserve this happiness, and they deserve your love too.”
5. Embrace your inner third wheel. “Don’t miss out on opportunities to remain close with good friends who are coupled up because you don’t want to be the odd one out,” Opert says. “You may even need to reassure your newly coupled friends that you don’t mind being the third (or fifth) wheel in the group. They may sense (or assume) you feel uncomfortable, and stop inviting you out or on vacations, when in reality that isn’t the case at all.”
6. Spread your wings. “I find, for women especially, making new friends as we get older is super tough and yet, so necessary,” Opert says. If you’re really put off by all your friends coupling off, it may be time to shake up your own friend group and create opportunities for new friends to join your awesome squad. But if you haven’t managed to find a new friend to go out with yet, don’t forget that you can also go out solo. “Whether that be out to the local bar on a Friday, to a movie by ourselves, or on a great European adventure, doing it solo can force us to see the whole world in a new way, open us up to meeting new people, and it can be a huge esteem builder!”
7. Ask for help. “If, and only if, you want what your friends have (AKA that fabulously partnered life) don’t let the shame gremlins stop you from owning that,” Opert says. “It’s all too easy to armor up, to put on an empowered front, when we’re out with these friends.” In reality, all this does is tell your friends that you don’t want a relationship. Although we’ll be the first to say that we don’t need a partner to feel complete in life, if that is something you truly want, you should be authentic and let people know. “Shame breeds in silence and feeds on our esteem and confidence,” Opert says.
Do you have any rock-star tips for coping when all your friends are coupling off? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Michelle Wildman Photography and Getty)