Dear Carolyn: I was supposed to go on a trip with some friends that, not by design but by fate, just worked out to be a couples’ trip consisting of four pairs sharing a house. Then I broke up with my boyfriend, unexpectedly, this month.
A trip with friends is probably just what I need, but (perhaps I’m being a baby) I’m nervous about how I will feel being surrounded by all those happy couples, watching everyone go off to bed together at the end of the night while I sleep alone. What do you think — go, or bail? If I bail, I’ll still pay my share.
Part of this is about your friends, who have it in their power not to treat you as “other.” Presumably you know at least some of them well enough to project how (un)fazed they’ll be about this.
The bigger part is about you. Being the single around a bunch of couples can be liberating, if you let it. They go off together at the end of the night while you get to leave your reading light on, fall asleep watching stupid TV, eat loud snacks or do whatever else you enjoy but would be a sensory nuisance to the person on the other side of the bed.
Also, if these couples are generally happy together, their company can create a relatively tension-free environment, where you don’t have to worry about a whole lot of distracting social undercurrents.
If you’re still feeling too raw to enjoy yourself, sure, opt out — but that’s more about how you feel than who else is going.