I have spent years and evenings within those years being the single person in a sea of couples. Perhaps embarrassingly, I have stopped even noticing when this is the case. It helps—perhaps counterintuitively—if you’re with couples who have been together for a long time.

Because then they are bored of themselves and interested in hanging out with the group, and the group includes you. This isn’t some corporate Hollywood depiction of how all relationships are terrible and people in them hate each other and want to die; it’s just that shiny new things eventually lose their shiny newness and then sometimes you shine ’em up again and stare at ’em for a while and then not so much anymore and it’s all fine. I’m a big believer that if you’re around couples who are miserable, everyone in that situation is doing it wrong. Part of what’s nice about about hanging out with couples is that, you know, it’s nice to hang out with people who like each other.

But either way. Foolproof tips for surviving a situation that the world seems to think is difficult and I think is fine because seriously, we’re all grown-ups here:

  1. Choose your activity wisely. Nothing that requires partnering up. As long as you don’t go ballroom dancing, tandem bicycle riding, partner figure skating, or double kayaking, you’ll be fine. Maybe not camping? IDK;  use your best judgement.
  2. Act like a human being.
  3. Hope other people act like human beings.

If they don’t, leave! Screw ’em. Buy yourself a milkshake and flirt outrageously with whoever serves it to you. That 15-year-old boy with acne working in the service industry is having a worse day than you.