5 Dating Frustrations Your Married Friends Just Don’t Understand

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Once upon a time, during those halcyon days known as your early 20s, being single was probably pretty much the norm among your friends. Finding a wingwoman for a Friday night out, avoiding the misery of Valentine’s Day, and having conversations on topics other than spouses and babies were pretty simple tasks. But as time soldiers on and, one by one, your pals go from “single and ready to mingle” to “it’s complicated” to “wifed up,” riding solo becomes trickier to navigate, mostly because the people around you seem hell-bent on making it that way. Below are five things every single woman knows to be true that, unfortunately, married people and those in serious relationships just don’t seem to understand.

Just because you’re single and so is he, doesn’t mean you want to be set up with your cousin’s fiance’s co-worker.

Paul sounds like a great guy and all, but if the sole reason your couple friends think the two of you should go out is because you’re the only single people they know, then no thanks. Just like not all gay people or all lawyers or all people from Cleveland are compatible, finding another human who also happens to be single after age 35 does not a real connection make. Sure, some single people appreciate being set up if there’s the possibility of an actual match, but nobody likes that awkward moment at the bar when you realize the only reason you’re both there is because your mutual friends feel bad for you.

Speaking of which, you don’t need—and definitely don’t want—anybody’s pity.

Being in a relationship can be wonderful and rewarding, but it’s also a lot of work, and whether or not your betrothed pals care to admit it, there are some wonderful advantages to being on your own. You’re in charge of your own space and schedule, which means if you wanna sleep until 2 p.m. on a Saturday and then spend all afternoon eating Indian food and binge-watching old episodes of “The Hills” in your underwear, you can do that, no questions asked. If you get a job offer in Japan, you can take it without having to consider how it will impact anyone else’s existence. Oh, and you never have to walk into the bathroom to find the toilet seat up or a sink full of beard hair.

Sure, there are times when you feel lonely—a natural human emotion that married people are also not immune to—but you certainly don’t pity yourself, and neither should anyone else. And while we’re on the subject, just because you’re a single girl attending the wedding of one of your friends does not mean that jealous or that you’re (necessarily) going to get smashed on vodka and end up ugly crying after a tryst with one of the groomsmen.

No, you’re not in a big rush to get down the aisle, and please, for the love of all that is good and holy, do not mention the phrase “biological clock.”

You’ve made it this far in life by yourself, and you’re in no hurry to settle for some shmuck who isn’t right for you just because it would make other people more comfortable. Also, let me remind you that it’s the year 2017, and there have never been more options for women when it comes to fertility, should she decide she wants to have a baby. Also? That’s a pretty personal conversation, one that’s typically limited to you, your doctor, and your parenting partner (should you choose to have one). You don’t need to justify your choices in that realm to anyone, whether it’s a stranger at a party, your great aunt Joan, or your married friends. So, please, people: Can it when it comes to the goings on, or lack thereof, of a woman’s womb.

You’re down to hang out with your friends’ significant others, but not all the time.

Regardless of how much you may love your BFF’s husband, that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily cool with her bringing him to every single brunch date or happy hour. There’s such a thing as friend time, and marriage should not necessitate dragging your S.O. to all social engagements for the rest of your natural life. Similarly, while you (hopefully) enjoy spending time with your friends’ partners, you’d prefer not to have a courtside seat to their mushy-gushy public makeout fest, because gross.

Your singleness is not some puzzle that needs to be solved.

When you’re single after a certain age, people often feel the need to dispense all sorts of unsolicited advice for finding a mate, from “use Hinge, not Tinder,” to “you need to stop spending so much time at work” to the ever popular (and ever nausea-inducing) “men like women who…”. There are lots of reasons why a person might be single, and while some single women may be actively looking for a partner, many aren’t.

Even if you do happen to mention that you’d like to find someone, that’s really not an invitation for people to dissect what may be keeping you from doing so. Chances are, there’s nothing wrong with you and you just haven’t met the right person yet, because—believe it or not—not everyone does so between the socially prescribed ages of 25 and 35.

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