“This Friend”

23679916.jpgPeople in relationships baffle me. They spend their lives living vicariously through singles, dragging them into their cult of couplehood, when really, what must they want other than to be back in those uncomfortable but oh so attractive shoes? It’s schaedenfreude.

They’re not happy until we’re miserable like them. They obsess over adding new couples to the guest list for charades or a round of Trivial Pursuit: the Pop Culture edition, and leave no stone unturned when seeking out converts-to-be. The most elaborate, and most obvious, baiting for information is the attempted nonchalant life inquiry. “So how are things? You know, work, your 401K…” Blah blah blah, quick segue: “You seeing anybody? Oh, really? Because I have this friend…” There is no question in my mind that every person who has been single for a minute of their lives has been hypothetically set up with “this friend.”

“This friend” gets around. Every couple known to man has tried their damnedest to set up “this friend” with a nice significant other to share in double dates and dinner party conversation, and smugly grin over such quality matchmaking they have mastered. “Well, Jenny and Matt actually met because of us. Funny story—Oh, no, you tell it, hon…”

The story is never funny. The story is a sham and you, my former favorite couple, are not the inventors of setting up friends. Nor should you strain your shoulder by patting yourself on the back. People need to hook up, it’s human instinct. You arranged sex for your friends to keep them from b*tching about the dating scene. It’s like keeping a child from screaming by shoving a candy bar in his mouth. This is not a novel idea.

But please. Go on. Tell me about “this friend.” I’m sure he’s attractive (once you get to know him) and so funny (about six cocktails into the evening). He’s just my type, if you take away all of my prerequisites and throw in some “tolerable” details. Maybe, in fact, we should just cut the awkward ‘date’ part and get down to business. Fact is, “this friend” really only cares that I’m anatomically correct, and that neither of us have gotten any in awhile. He deals with me being tall, and if I’m not his idea of pretty, he exaggerates a bit to his buddies. Everybody wins come morning.

I’m sorry, and I’m sure that my existence as a lone creature is nothing short of pathetic to you. But am I that desperate in your eyes? “This friend” is the best I can do now? Am I really there? Already? And even worse… am I that awful as just me?



  1. Anna says:

    "They’re not happy until we’re miserable like them."

    What's wrong with being in a relationship? I've been with my bf since we were 15… we're going on 4 and a half years now. I don't think that single people are miserable (unless they tell me they are and I'll take their word for it) and I sure am not miserable either.

    And my parents met on a blind date that was set up by a mutual friend. I will admit that they don't get along 99% of the time these days, but for a while, they were happy. Nothing wrong with that.

    I'm sorry you seem to have friends who won't leave you alone and set you up all the time. Just tell them to lay off maybe…?

  2. jambawamba says:

    Perhaps they are just trying to make you as happy as they are in a relationship…not as miserable.

    I've been with my boyfriend for over 2 years now (we're picking out engagement rings) and I can't imagine a happier time in my life. My personal interpretation of single people getting annoyed at constantly being set up with "this guy" is they are actually upset they aren't in a relationship. Otherwise, you would just blow them off and smile. When I've been single it was because I was happy being single and it never bothered me that people would try to set me up. I would politely decline and tell them it is not for lack of knowing men, it is just that I am not currently interested in a relationship. I sure didn't get my panties in a knot over someone trying to help me be the happiest I could be (in their mind at least)

    A relationship is not some cult we are trying to get the whole world to join. It's a joyous experience when you find the absolute right one, and it saddens me to know that people out there are so cynical they can't see the beauty in it.

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