Sometimes, when you are single and struggling to find the right partner, seeing friends, colleagues and everyone around you getting engaged can feel like a punch to the gut.
It is common and quite normal for men and women to feel as if they are being left behind when others around them are getting married or entering into long-term relationships.
In some ways, people, especially young people, put pressure on themselves to achieve certain things in order to feel they have arrived or have accomplished something.
When a marriage or long-term relationship isn’t happening, this chips away at self-worth even though it shouldn’t. It’s that feeling of not being able to achieve something tangible in your relationship.
If you feel like these feelings speak to you, here are some tips on how to cope when everyone around you is getting engaged or married and you are still single.
Stay focused on your life and your history
Everyone comes to the table with a different story to tell and perhaps your story is completely different. Different stories result in different endings. This doesn’t mean that you are any less than the person who is getting engaged and seeming to be living a good life.
Know that you are not feeling this way alone
It’s really hard feeling like you are the one who’s being left out, that your life is standing still while everyone else’s seems to be moving on.
Perusing through Facebook and Instagram and seeing post after post of shiny engagement ring photos can be really triggering, bringing up feelings of jealousy, sadness and fear that this may not happen for you.
You might feel bitter or a bad friend for feeling this way, but what you are going through is a very common experience and there are many others out there feeling the same way.
Take care of yourself if you are feeling triggered
This may mean taking a break from social media for a while so you don’t see all those engagement photos and wedding countdowns. It may also mean not attending any more engagement parties or weddings; or perhaps you will just need some solid escapist time with your favourite show, where engagements are the last thing on your mind.
If your goal is to be married, take a critical look at how that can happen
If you are trying hard to date and meet people and feel like you keep striking out, you must be clear about what a good partner looks like and if you are a good partner.
Are you engaging in behaviour that is counter to creating a long-term, lasting relationship? Perhaps your actions are mirroring someone who needs to be in a relationship instead of wanting to be in one, and you could be giving off the desperate vibe without even realizing it.
Until you are truly comfortable on your own, you won’t be able to be in a lasting relationship.”
Remember that their good moments will not always be good
Although this may sound harsh and a bit bitter, it puts things back in perspective. It isn’t your time to experience this good moment yet but perhaps that is coming sometime in the future. The person getting married will encounter some rough patches. It won’t all be positive. That’s life.
Consider the alternative
Asking yourself some key questions may help you realize you are better off single than with the wrong person. Do you think getting married is going to solve some challenge you are struggling with like your finances or helping you get away from your family? Are you ready for a lifelong commitment?
Thinking about your answers, you might actually be grateful you are still single and can focus on solving your own problems first and work on finding the right person for you.
Channel those jealous feelings into something positive
Instead of letting those feelings of jealousy and sadness make you resent others, go shopping or hit the gym and burn some calories. Use those feelings as motivation to get actionable and get back in the dating scene or work on how you date and do relationships.
Stay focused on the future
You can short-term one year and long-term two years concrete goals focused on things you want to actively seek to accomplish while you are single, free and focused.
Setting these goals keeps you accountable and focused while those around you are focused on their lives.
Stay focused on your life. In other words, enjoy the single years while you can, because one day, you won’t be anymore.
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Author: Uche Atuma