After all my plans for hilarious single-and-starving Christmas card photoshoots and picking up doctors in NYC, something I never anticipated has happened. I’ve become that gross lovey-dovey girl in a relationship. Sure, I keep most of the cutesy bullshit behind closed doors, but love is like a virus. It infiltrates every cell, every mundane conversation, every girls night, even when you try your darndest to cast it out for a few hours or at least give it enough horse tranqs to sleep through the night. Love seems to have the constitution of an ox. Somewhat out of the guilt of what I’ve become and somewhat because the single girl at the party is something that I’m well versed in being, here are some strategies that you can use to get your friends to stop effing talking about their main squeeze! (Feel free to use them on me anytime, they will definitely work.)
Magic Mike XXXXL
Nothing unites a group like mutual attraction to someone that you’ll never actually meet! For some, especially when wine is involved, any Magic Mike film will do the trick, but your film selection should mirror your group. Example: My friend Ellen and I go apeshit over Bridget Jones’s Diary. Literally, we always scream and holler like football fans during that fight scene. We’ve watched this one several times, usually when Ellen had a boyfriend and I was dating my screenplays, and you know what? When the movie is on, other romantic interests don’t exist. For that two-hour period, the only thing that matters in the world is Colin Firth. The only stipulation for your film selection has to be a mutual, intensive love for the characters or actors onscreen. Unattainable crushes span all genders and orientations, so no matter who you’re with there’s definitely a perfect fit that will make them stop damn talking about how cute it is when SO takes his grandma grocery shopping!
There is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING funnier than Tinder after a few glasses of your fave depressant. Tinder is just plain amusing. It is like having a literal binder full of men/women/people, a binder full of weirdness and wonder. It is entertainment at its finest, and it’s something that your coupled friends probably miss giggling about on a daily basis! If that’s not convincing enough, it’ll also probably quell that bug that happily-coupled people tend to get where they try to make everyone else feel that same happiness by setting them up on (likely horrible) dates! Plus, Tinder is really well suited for drinking games. Drink every time a bearded guy has a kitten! Drink every time someone uses that same Anchorman quote! Drink every time someone holds up a fish! Tinder is the party game that keeps on giving.
Not so into/tired of Tinder? It may be time to break out the board games. When you’re playing Settlers of Catan, you’re too absorbed to gush about your anniversary dinner or to make everyone look at this picture of your SO holding a teacup piglet because it’s the best thing you’ve ever seen in your life. No, all you care about is breaking up that bitch’s road, shutting down that wheat port with a well-placed robber, and using your own diversification of assets to wipe the floor with all these second tier traders! With that kind of absorption, everyone in the room is actively sharing a moment that cannot be breached. It’s a beautiful shade of cutthroat, I think.
The Slip Jar
This one requires some good sports, like of mind and strong of will. If you plan to hang out with a group of non-singles and you really want to focus on togetherness, this strategy might be the one for you. The slip jar is exactly like a swear jar. When you bring up your SO, the group can decide to what extend, you have to put an agreed-upon sum of money into the jar. So easy! When you all agree that an SO-talk detox is needed, this is probably a good way to enforce the ruling. And what does the haul get used for? That depends on the squad and the night. Late night McDonald’s runs, ordering pizza, more beer or herbal supplements, really anything that keeps the camaraderie a’rollin’!
This one is for if your friends aren’t likely to bow to your suggestion of a slip jar and really have a problem with SO-association, like word association, but when for any conversational subject they can find a link to their SO, almost like magic! Sometimes people need a subconscious nudge, and that’s ok! Here’s how to pull it off: partner up with another friend. Have them turn their ringtone to the most obnoxious thing that they can find. Then any time that the kind-hearted culprit brings up their SO, send your conspirator a text. Do it a few times, but try not to raise suspicions. Balance is key. After a few hang sessions with carefully placed BLERRRGH BLERRRGH BLERRRGHs, they’ll probably start to limit their SO-talk to SO-talk-time.
The point of these strategies isn’t that you never want to hear about your friend’s love life, because of course you do! Sometimes! But even though they have that romantic relationship, they also have other important relationships that need nurturing, like the relationship they have with you. That’s why if you ever find yourself in this predicament, it never hurts to ask nicely for an SO-talk-free night.
Also, if you ever pull the ringtone thing with me, don’t worry, I promise to Pavlov quite cooperatively for you.