The whirlwind season of weddings brings weekends of swelling love, pure joy, plenty of cake, more dresses than you know what to do with, and full-on celebration. Your best friend is getting married. Your sister is getting married. Your college roommate is getting married. It seems like everyone is getting married…except you.
In a season that celebrates a lifetime of love with your Prince Charming, it can be easy to feel like the odd woman out—especially if you’re single or in a relationship whose direction you’re unsure of. Time and time again, I see women struggle between being truly happy for friends who are getting married and feeling as though something is wrong with them.
“When will it be my turn?” To the ladies who are left wondering, I offer you a few bits of advice to help you through this should-be deliriously happy time:
1. Don’t fall into the comparison trap. The relationship you have with your partner (or potential partner) is in no way related to that of your friends’. No two relationships are the same. Feeling badly about not getting married at or around the same time as your friend is about as silly as feeling bad for not being born on the same date as your friend. You have entirely separate lives, started at separate times, working on separate timelines.
Instead of worrying about another person’s relationship (over which you have no control), concentrate on your own life and your own relationship. No matter whether you’re single or in a relationship, focusing on the positive of what you do have will help you see the beauty and individuality of your own life.
2. Know where you stand…and your man. Before you put unrealistic expectations on your relationship solely because of pressure you may feel from attending a wedding, explore what YOU want. You can’t share love if you don’t, first and foremost, love and know yourself fully.
Define what you want. If your goal is marriage, make sure it’s known. If your partner wants the same things as you, go for it, but proceed with caution. Be sure your man isn’t saying something because he thinks that’s what you want to hear. You have to be sure this is what he wants, because if he plays the waiting game with you, it will only build resentment toward him. You certainly can’t have that kind of negativity going into a marriage.
3. Turn envy into inspiration. I know the ugly emotion known as jealousy gets the best of us sometimes, but when has jealousy ever helped anyone? Change envy into inspiration. Be inspired by love, but don’t be upset over not being there yet. It will happen when it’s meant to happen. Understand that someday, you will be the bride. Wouldn’t you want your bridesmaids and guests to be happy for you?
Sometimes the white dresses and champagne are reminders of what you don’t have, but want. Use it as an opportunity to grow. There’s no use in getting party envy and ruining everything you have. I wish all of you— singles, engaged, newlyweds, and partners— much happiness.