The saying “This ain’t my first rodeo” annoys me, so I think I’m going to change it up a bit and say something else.
This ain’t my first wedding. (This obviously won’t always be interpreted the right way, so I’ll keep you posted.)
Weddings are not foreign events to me—I’ve been in 19 and attended plenty more as a guest only. I enjoy weddings because they’re fun celebrations of people beginning journeys together that you hope will last for their entire lifetimes.
But weddings can create predicaments for those who—whether by choice or simple reality—are flying solo.
My sister is my go-to plus-one. In fact, the only two guys who were ever supposed to go with me to weddings both bailed on two separate occasions—one lived in a different state and decided a few weeks before the wedding that he was too busy with work to be able to get away for a weekend, and the other merely changed his mind and didn’t want to go. My sister would never do either of those things, and she’s actually endured some pretty awkward and entertaining situations at weddings where she knew pretty much nobody but me. (If you ever meet her, please ask her about the chocolate balls story.)
We have a slight problemo for an upcoming wedding, though: My sister is going to be out of town for another wedding. She has a husband, so she doesn’t need me to be a plus-one. It’s fine.
Now, I’ve gone to weddings by myself before, which has always been easier when I’ve been in them, but I don’t think I’m going to know that many people other than the bride at this one. Will I survive? Yes, and I’m sure I’ll meet some great people. Even though it’s not always as fun to go stag, it can still be a fun night.
In order to convince others (and myself) of this, I’ve compiled a list of ways to turn a wedding without a plus-one into a great evening.
Dance. I cannot express the importance of this strongly enough. You should always dance, even if you don’t have anyone to dance with you. Plus, you don’t have a date to try to impress with your sweet moves, so you can really let yourself go. And when the slow songs come on, you can twirl around the floor on your own, take a restroom break, catch up on Instagram posts, or make small talk with the people around you who are not swaying with others.
Be more carefree. Even when you’re getting ready for the wedding, you can have less anxiety about how your dress looks on you or whether your hair looks better down or pinned back. You’ll likely also have less stress at the wedding, too. I mean, you don’t even have to keep track of where your date is or worry about if he’s having fun, because you don’t have a date.
Be more daring. A dateless wedding is a great opportunity to meet more people and strike up better conversations than those regarding what the weather’s been doing lately or surface-level information about your career. And if you’re really feeling bold, you can test out a joke or two without worrying about whether or not people laugh. If they don’t, you may never see them again, so who really cares? The only person who can make fun of you to you later is you, and hopefully you won’t do that.
Scout. If you’re flying solo at a wedding, there’s a chance you won’t be the only one doing so. You might meet someone who strikes your fancy whom you never would have met if you’d brought a semi-random plus-one or skipped out on going altogether.
Let’s be honest: The real reason you go to a wedding is to celebrate the union of people you truly care about, and the event isn’t actually about you and your dating status. But it’s definitely an event that can remind you of how single you are and how much you wish you had someone in your life, as well. Someone who knows everything about you and still wants to be with you. Someone who will fight for you. Someone who will endure the bad moments and celebrate the good ones. Someone who will always cheer for you. Someone who will hold your hand and genuinely care when you cry. Someone who would never intentionally hurt you.
Someone who consistently shows you what true love is and what true love does.
Being single isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it can certainly be challenging at times. It shouldn’t be something that sucks out happiness, though. Some people find their people later in life, and some never find them at all. Regardless, it’s important to find the joy even in those moments when you feel the most alone.
After all, if you look around you, you’ll realize you’re never as alone as you might think you are.