Chatting with friends

As a single female the good friends you talk to about life in generally fall into three categories:

  1. Boys. You chat to boy mates about music, sport, what you’re up to at the weekend, work, gardening (yes we’re in our forties), and when you feel like it what’s going on in your personal life. The great thing about boys is that they let you talk about it for a while and then move any emotion on. It’s incredibly useful. Get a boy’s perspective, move on, they don’t over analyse.
  2. Girls who are attached. Likelihood is that you’ve known these girls for years. Gone through single life and relationships together, know each other inside out. Been with them when they’ve met someone, gone to their wedding, maybe even been their bridesmaid. You may have also done that and split up with said partner. You talk frequently sharing stories about everything you do with the boys but on a deeper level, allowing the time to over analyse your singledom and their relationships.
  3. Single girls. The ones you’ve probably only ever known to be single, you’ve probably met them later in your life. These are the ones where you share dating stories – the (rarely) good and most likely the bad. You tell them when you’re feeling lonely, or the steps you’re taking to get out and about – ‘getting out there.’ The ones you talk to when you come home after another evening out and feel frustrated because you didn’t meet someone even though you were in the perfect place to do so.

All these friends are equally as important as each other, but when a single girlfriend meets someone all of a sudden it changes. You’re ecstatic that they’ve met someone who will make them happy, you’re more than happy to take a back seat for a while as they enjoy the excitement of new love.

But the big difference is the conversation. You now feel a bit awkward or even embarrassed telling them that you’re heading off on holiday alone or you’ve booked to go to an exhibition alone. The comradeship of ‘single girls’ is that this is ok. Not that the boys or attached girls think it’s not but you don’t really chat about it. Now, when talking to ‘single just became attached’ girl you realise they’ve moved into another bracket – a friendship demographic if you will. They’re telling you about going out with their new love, how they’re coming round to their house and about to meet their ‘attached friends.’ All of a sudden, your conversation feels meaningless. It feels a bit ‘naf’ in comparison. And so, you feel yourself withdrawing even though you shouldn’t.

In your younger years it’s part and parcel of growing up. Years later you’re in a status quo with your three friendship groups and it’s a little strange when someone shifts into the ‘girls who are attached’ demographic. Boys will just be boys. Attached girls may become single and then they share the same conversation as you as a single person, but the conversation with single girls who become attached shifts. 

How do you manage the shift? As a single girl you carry on with life in the same way, but somehow it feels like there’s one less person to talk about it with in the way you’re used to.

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