All of Your Friends Are Getting Engaged: 5 (Normal) Emotions and How to Deal
Your news feed is flooded with "I'm Engaged" updates and you're not sure what to make of this influx of commitment. You're happy for your friends, yes, but then there are these other, not so bubbly feelings that surface up. According to Bela Gandhi, relationship expert for personal consulting firm Smart Dating Academy, this is perfectly normal. Gandhi analyzed some of the most common responses from real women—both single and in serious relationships—to demonstrate that you're not alone in how you feel when it comes to seeing other people's plans to get hitched.
1. I'm single and the rush of engagements makes me feel like a failure. People are moving on to new, exciting chapters in their lives and I don't even have prospects.
It's easy for us to get swept into the "woe is me" mentality this time of year. Give yourself a moment to feel the feeling of frustration-then realize that you're the one in control of your thoughts. Instead of letting negative phrases like, "Everyone else is successful in love except me" rule your brainwaves, look at life realistically. According to the US Census, around 50 percent of the population is not married-you are anything but alone in this.
2. I'm genuinely happy that my best friend got engaged, but with all the other engagements, I have to try really hard to mask my jealousy.
The fact that you are truly happy for your best friend shows that you are a genuinely good friend. It's OK to feel a little down when you're barraged with engagements, just don't let someone else's status update dictate your state of mind for too long.
Stop moping around, sign off Facebook and do something positive. It can be as simple as writing out a list of all the amazing things in your life or RSVPing "yes" to a holiday party you are hesitant to attend without a plus one.
3. I'm a year and a half into a relationship, and feel angst when I see engagement announcements. All of my relatives, and lots of my friends, keep asking if I expect him to propose in the next month. The two of us watch a lot of football and literally every commercial break includes a diamond ring ad. It's incredibly awkward. Do I look at the screen? Do I look at him? I usually pretend to be engrossed in Instagram while I'm silently willing him to "Please, just do it soon!"
As a dating coach, Gandhi recommends starting a conversation about the probability of marriage after about six months of exclusivity. You both should have clear expectations about, if and approximately when, the engagement should happen. If you've yet to broach this topic, pick a time when you're both happy and doing something cozy (i.e snuggling on the couch post your alma mater's win!) to discuss your marriage goals. Clarity and communication are vital to a happy long-term relationship.
4. All of my friends are married now, so engagement pics are typically of people who aren't super close friends. This may sound cynical, but based on my age, late 30s, and the fact that I'm seeing many marriages crumble, I can't help but feel this: "I wonder if it will last?" On the other hand, I look forward to Facebook wedding photos-the dress, colors, and cake tasting updates, and all that other good stuff.
Human nature is finicky and it's very normal to pick on the negative, especially if things haven't progressed as you would have liked in your own life. What's more, as unfortunately as it is, not all marriages work out, so asking yourself "Will it last?" is completely fair. The upside: the fact that you're still excited about all the future wedding announcements means you're not as cynical as you think. Actually, it shows optimism about your own prospects for a wedding in the future.
5. I'm only 23 and I feel like so many people I know have already gotten married and have two kids. I know I'm not ready for children, heck, I'm probably not even ready to be in a serious relationship, but seeing so many people get engaged, married and starting families makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong.
Trust your gut! If you're not ready, you're not ready. Your 20s are a great time to date and meet people from all walks of life. Now that you're out of the bubble that is college you will start to discover new interests and find out what's really important to you in life. Dating is a fun way to get a glimpse of all the different possibilities and embark on new adventures that will better shape you as a person.