Third-wheeling and thriving: Single friends find joy aside from romantic relationships

Kassidy Tsikitas | Photo Editor

By Isabelle Ruff | Intern

The time is upon us when family and friends begin to become married couples rather than just fellow classmates. Being the single friend doesn’t have to be discouraging, though. Some Baylor students say finding yourself is more important than finding a partner.

Edmond, Okla., freshman Hattie Burchfield is the maid of honor in the upcoming wedding of her twin sister. Although they are twins, their lives look vastly different, as Burchfield has never been in a serious relationship, while her sister has been in one for three years. She said this is something only other people seem to notice.

“I feel like other people treat me like the single one more than I think of myself as the single one, because I’ve never been in a serious relationship, so this just is my life,” Burchfield said. “They think that I’m sad that I’m not getting married or in a relationship.”

While Burchfield doesn’t feel like she’s behind schedule on finding a partner, she acknowledges that marriage and making a home is something she desires for her future.

“[My sister is] making a home, and that’s something that I also really desire for my life that she is already getting to step into,” Burchfield said. “She’s getting all of these things like crockpots and homemade oven mitts that I want for myself, but I’m going to have to buy them myself next year when I move into my little college house.”

Houston sophomore Hannah Jane Thompson, who is the maid of honor in the upcoming wedding of her older sister, said feeling sad and supporting a happy couple can happen at the same time.

“It’s genuinely been so fun doing all the classic wedding things,” Thompson said. “There is a little lingering feeling in me that’s like, ‘Hey, you need to enjoy this, because there’s no guarantee that you’ll get married.’ But I never let it get me too down, because at the end of the day, this isn’t about me. It’s about my sister and her fiance.”

Thompson, like Burchfield, recognizes that when marriage is something you look forward to, it can be harder to participate in a wedding as a single person. She advises allowing yourself to feel all the excitement and hurt equally.

“If getting married is something you really crave and something you’re really longing for, it’s natural to react with some level of sorrow if someone close to you gets engaged,” Thompson said. “Obviously, you’d rather react with just joy and support for the couple, but you wouldn’t be human if you only reacted positively.”

Burchfield said that along with allowing yourself to joke about being a third wheel, it is important to find who you are outside of a relationship.

“To find contentment in being the single friend is hard, and it takes a while, but I think it is absolutely vital to take the steps to say, ‘What does contentment look like for me?'” Burchfield said. “Nobody wants to marry somebody who has no personality or interests, so you may as well spend this time cultivating who you are as a person.”