When everyone around you is seemingly getting engaged, it can feel like you’re the last single person alive. It’s a confusing time. On one hand, you’re happy and excited for your friends. On the other hand, seeing everyone pair off can bring about feelings of loneliness and frustration — making you feel like the same kind of happiness will never happen to you. These emotions can be especially strong when you’re still trying to date and dealing with everything that goes along with that — good and bad dates included. Before you slide down a rabbit hole of negativity and self-doubt, here are a few things to keep in mind when your friends start to get engaged.
- Everyone is on their own journey.
It’s cliche, but true. Everyone has a different timeline. Just because your friends are married or engaged and you’re not doesn’t mean you’re “behind.” They’re just on a different journey and you have more things to experience before you reach that part of your story. Instead of feeling frustrated by where you are, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’re exactly where you should be. Everything will happen when it’s supposed to.
- Don’t judge your bloopers based on someone else’s highlight reel.
A writing teacher once told me this and it stuck with me ever since. What you’re seeing now — i.e. your friend’s gorgeous, perfectly lit engagement photos on Instagram — doesn’t tell the whole story. Social media rarely does. Good relationships require patience and hard work. Most likely, your friends have undergone challenges to get to where they are now with their partner. Their relationship didn’t just happen magically like a fairytale or your favorite rom-com. Instead of feeling jealous, use this as an opportunity to talk to your friends about how they have navigated their love story and what makes their relationship work.
- Appreciate being exactly where you are.
“Just have fun with dating!” is probably the last thing you want to hear when your friends are getting engaged and you’ve just swiped left on your third shirtless bathroom mirror selfie of the evening — but it’s so true. Dating is fun if you let it be. Think about it: while your friends are trying to figure out how to tell Uncle Arnie he can’t wear jorts to the wedding, you get to go out, talk to new people, eat and drink delicious things and potentially meet someone you really like.
- The grass is always greener.
Which brings me to the next point — while your friends are undoubtedly happy with their current situation, I’m sure there’s part of them that’s envious or nostalgic for your freewheeling single life. Let them be! Have your feelings, allow yourself to feel what you need to feel and then get back out there and live. Your. Best. Life.
- Get excited for the wedding.
One of the best ways to stop feeling sorry for yourself is to celebrate someone else. Be excited for your friends. Show them love. Get excited for the wedding reception. Not only are weddings a fun opportunity to drink, eat and be merry, but with romance in the air, they’re also a great place to meet someone. Go in with an open mind and heart, and have fun!