I'm A Single Mom - a.k.a The Third Wheel
I'm a single mom who happens to have a circle of friends who have all managed to stay married.
Yay for them.
The problem is I feel like I’m the eternal third wheel - or I’m the one constantly getting set up so that I don't have to hang with them “alone”.
How can I keep these friends and still not feel like I’m from another planet?!
Dear Third Wheel:
In my senior year of high school, my best friend lost her mother to cancer. When it was time for my friend to return to school, I remember her turning to me and saying, "People aren't reacting to me the way I expected them to react. But then again, I don't really know what I expected either."
For my friend, the death of her mother was a new experience, but it was also new to those of us who loved and supported her. So no one (not even my friend herself) really knew where the line was between being supportive and overstepping.
Now, you're probably asking, "Ummm.... and how is this relevant?"
The point is this: Your married friends are probably just as new to having a divorced friend as you are to being divorced, and they may not be clear on on where the line is between being supportive and overstepping.
Communication is the key. Sit down and have a heart-to-heart with one or two (or more) of your closest friends in the group. Let them know how you're feeling - that you aren't ready (and don't need) to be set up right now, and that you simply want to enjoy time with the group the way you used to but without the +1.
Remember though, that communication should never go one way! It should be a dialogue. So be sure to give your friends the floor to share their thoughts on the situation as well.
It may be awkward at first, but the sooner everyone understands the expectations, the sooner everyone in the group (including you) will find that your outings haven't changed (and don't need to) at all!