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I'm the 9th wheel

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  September 5, 2012 08:34 AM

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Q: I am one of the only single people in my group of friends. We're at a point in our lives where most of my friends who have been with their significant others since college (we are in our late 20s) are getting engaged, and sometimes I feel left out of their wedding conversations.

My hooked-up friends are wonderful and know that I feel out of the loop in these conversations. I love them very much, but I think that they see my being single as a problem. They spend hours and hours trying to set me up with guys so that I don't have to be the 7th or 9th wheel anymore, and I really do appreciate their efforts. The issue is that I am not interested in dating. I don't know if there is something wrong with me, but I just don't feel like it. Any guy they try to set me up with I end up turning down, and I don't know if they are setting me up with the wrong people or if there is some other subconscious reason that I don't want to date them.

It has gotten to the point where some of my friends get angry with me for turning down the guys they set me up with. I don't want to make them mad, but I've never asked them to set me up.

Is there something wrong with me? What should I do?

– Just Not That Kind of Girl, Boston


A: There's nothing wrong with you, JNTKOG. You're enjoying life, and you just don't need a partner right now.

Please explain to your friends that you're not in a good place for set-ups. You obviously don't like blind dates and high-pressure introductions. You just want to hang out.

For that reason, they should focus on having parties and group dinners where their single friends can relax and have a good time. I don't want you to wear blinders and limit yourself with a "no dating" rule. If your friends have friends, I want you to meet them. But parties are better for mingling without expectations. Tell your betrothed pals that you'd rather socialize in a big group of couples and singles so that you can expand your community on your own terms.

Also, I understand that these friends are probably your core group, but you need to make sure that you surround yourself with some single peers. Like-minded 9th wheels make great company. Find them and stay close. They might even inspire you to want to date.

Readers? Is she really opposed to finding a relationship or does she just hate dating? Should she tell her friends that she doesn't want to meet people? Should she be giving these guys a real chance? What's happening here? Help.


– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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