10 Ways to Stay Busy When You're the Only Single Friend

The season of the couple has arrived. Not only is winter prime time to couple up (those who Netflix binge together stay together), but it would appear that once you hit your 20s, all of your friends decide to couple up for eternity in this weird thing called marriage.
For those of us who aren’t quite ready for marriage, or are perfectly content binge watching Netflix solo, there can be a considerable influx of free time when friends start to couple up for the long haul.
Here are 10 ways to stay busy when all your friends become couples:

1. Get a Hobby.

Sounds like common sense I realize—but I’m not sure that I had any hobbies until I left college. In college your entire free time is filled up with studying or drinking or working—so once you leave you really do have to fill those gaps of time. So, find something you love doing! Crafting, writing, painting, running, wine tasting, reading. Whatever it is, once your friends couple down, you’ll have plenty of time to throw yourself into it.

2. Join a Book Club.

If you haven’t been to meetup.com yet—go to there. The site helps you find groups of people with similar interests, and you connect with them for related activities. This is the perfect site for finding a book club that works for you! Not only will you get to meet new people, but you’ll be forced to read at least one book a month (usually books you wouldn’t have picked up yourself), and have an excuse to have apps and wine with new friends.

3. Join a Gym.

While you’re less likely to meet people at the YMCA or a Planet Fitness, more boutique gyms (yoga studios, spin studios, CrossFit) are the perfect places to find new single friends. You’ll be working your out, and committing to yourself in a totally new way. It may take a while to find the spot that works for you—but it’s worth the hunt! Trust me.

4. Volunteer.

I guarantee, no matter what city you’re in, there are endless volunteer opportunities just waiting for you. Whether you choose to do something on a monthly basis, or make a weekly commitment, there is something out there for you. Volunteering is the perfect way to meet people, while also giving back to your community. The busier you get the harder it is to carve out time for this, which makes it the perfect task to take on.

5. Get a Second Job.

This obviously won’t work for everyone, but I highly recommend it. There are so many part time jobs that will get you a little more income, and also introduce you to a completely new group of people. Check out salons, yoga studios, freelancing, bartending—the options are endless. It’s a great way to spend your new found free time, and also get some financial benefits.

6. Date!

Even if you hate online dating with all of your being—give it a try. There are too many options these days to not find something that is at least semi-decent. Sure, you probably won’t find the love of your life, but you will find someone to entertain you on Saturday nights and to buy you dinner.

7. Take a Class.

Most community colleges (or even state colleges) will let you audit classes for a pretty reasonable price. Just because you’re out of school doesn’t mean you need to stop learning. Not to mention there’s no better way to make friends than being forced into a small room for a set period of time. See also: Cooking classes, knitting classes, and even crafting classes.

8. Train for Something.

In the two years since my last relationship I have trained for two half marathons and a triathlon, and ran several small races in between. As the single friend, you have ample time that you can set aside for your training without disrupting your social calendar. And not to mention, you’re also getting that bod RIGHT.

9. Blog.

With all these new experiences in your life, you’ll need a place to write it all down (and to brag about it!) Whether you start your own, or submit some pieces to different sites, blogging will definitely keep you occupied, and it’s a great way to catalog your single life.

10. Plan a Solo Adventure.

This is on my list of things to tackle in 2016. If you aren’t comfortable just prancing around Europe or Costa Rica solo for a couple of weeks, there are plenty of group excursions offered all around the world. A friend of mine just hiked Machu Pichu solo and now has an incredible story and group of friends she met along the way. While you are solo and living life on your own—you might as well make the best of it. Now’s the time to go exactly where you want, and on your own terms!

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