Updated: Mar 2
Friend: I'm engaged!
Me: Awww, congratulations! That's so exciting!
Also me: Waaaaaaaaaaah!
Ah, the wonderful feeling of watching all your friends get married and leave you behind to comfort yourself with vague encouraging quotes, mountains of chocolate accompanied by rivers of tea, and melodramatic songs, likely sung along to, possibly well but possibly not.
Don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise. You can be grouchy if you want to. You can be sullen if you feel like it. You can cry into your pillow if you need to. Okay, this sounds really sad. Maybe try not to do those things.
I understand wanting to though. I understand the frustration of trying and failing and trying again only to fail again. I understand having to nod politely and look suitably chagrined while bearing a speech by a relative for still being single. I understand wanting to tell the world to just. Leave. You. Alone.
And it's not like we or society make it any easier for ourselves. We scroll through Facebook, reading all the relationship-related announcements, look at all the couple pictures, and wonder at all that tagging those two seem to do. We listen to songs about relationships and see laughing couples on billboards. We watch people walk hand-in-hand, and hug, and all that warm and fuzzy stuff.
Not only do friends getting into relationships, getting engaged, and getting married make you feel bad about your lack of significant other and yearn for that glorious person, but hey, you lose your friends in the bargain too. Sure, your married friends will say that's preposterous. They're still around, just...part of team. But that's part of the problem. No offence to your friend’s partner, but sometimes you don't want to talk to your friend as if they were a conjoined twin. Suddenly conversation is endlessly peppered with references to the spouse and your friend is massively busy with all sorts of things he or she wasn't before. And there's the whole different-life-stage thing to put a damper on your previous peerage.
(Did I mention that already?)
So what to do? How to deal with it? How to bear wanting something as basic to humanity as marriage while watching your friends achieve it as you wait and struggle?
Um...I don't know.
Sorry about that.
I don't think there's a good answer to this. Certainly there isn't a good answer that doesn't come across as patronising, and I'm sure you've had your share of patronising answers.
Sometimes...sometimes you need to feel the hard.
Sometimes you just need to feel the pain and drown in it. Sometimes you need to take a long run and listen to music that makes your heart pound. Sometimes you need to hang out with similarly single friends and moan. Sometimes you need to sit and stare at your Bible or prayer book and silently beg God for what you want. Sometimes you just need to sob.
And that's okay. It's okay to be down. It's okay to be dissatisfied. It's okay to be hurting. I'd even venture to say that it's okay to feel that twinge of envy. We're human and that's okay.
No, it doesn't feel good, but denying it doesn't do you much good either. So be okay with not being okay.
What isn't okay though is letting your pain, frustration, and loneliness ruin you. It isn't okay to let your hurt get between you and your friends, between you and God, or between you and your happiness.
You don't want to be that person, no matter how much those relationship posts scar your soul and make you want to delete Facebook forever. (Not that deleting Facebook is a bad thing. Just saying.) Don't let yourself become hardened and bitter. With every relationship fail, the temptation to become that person grows. The temptation to throw up your hands and give up becomes all the more gripping.
Because. You'll never achieve what you want unless you fight for it. And fighting can simply mean praying like your entire future depends on it because...it does. Fighting can mean facing each day with a smile even if sometimes you're faking it so badly. Fighting is being there for your friends and still caring about others. Fighting is being loving to those around you.
Fighting is holding onto hope, even if that hope is that one day you'll be happy as just you, yourself, and G-d. (And maybe a cat. Cats are cute.)
Yes, it's hard. Very hard. Not going to lie.
But it isn't just you.
It's others around you.
And you'll be okay.