“All of my friends are getting married and I feel like I’m missing out on all the fun. HELP!”
Women often email me to ask me how to deal with jealousy. Being single can be tough, especially when most of your friends aren’t. And boy, can I identify with this. Boy, can I ever…
Within six months, three of my closest friends got engaged. Not only was I dealing with pain from a recent breakup, I was dealing with insane amounts of jealousy as well. I had done so much to make my relationship work and somehow, I still failed.
Not my friends, though. Their relationships succeeded. Why couldn’t I be as lucky?
I felt absolutely miserable.
I struggled to be a good friend to these women during a time they really needed me and my jealousy ended up costing me two of these friendships. (Ironically, this only added to my loneliness. And thankfully, I’m friends with both of these women again.)
At any rate, if you’re experiencing something similar right now, breathe in and breathe out. Trust me, you can get through this and someday you won’t feel so alone. Here are seven things you can do now to make sure of that.
1. Accept it. — If all of your friends are coupling up or getting married, you need to accept it. No, it doesn’t feel good to be “left behind,” but singleness hardly makes you a victim, so don’t act like one. I’m not going to tell you that one day soon you’ll get married because I’m not God. But statistically speaking, you probably will get married some day. And when you do, you’re going to want your closest girlfriends around to support and encourage you. Accept their happiness and they will certainly return the favor.
2. Grieve — No one expects you to talk about boyfriends, weddings, and babies 24/7 without feeling sad at times. Additionally, your friendships with these gals may be changing, and that’s kinda sad too. So let yourself be sad. Good friends will make an effort to truly understand and love you through it.
3. Check your worth. — Your friends are not finding relationships and getting married because they’re smarter, prettier, luckier, skinnier, or more successful than you. It just doesn’t work that way. No, your friends are finding relationships and getting married because that is how life unfolded for them. And you’re single because of the way your life is unfolding. Your self-worth is not dependent upon your relationship status. Please don’t forget that.
4. Make the most of it. — When you are married with three kids hanging all over you (because statistically speaking, that probably will happen, remember?), you’ll look back on your single days, fondly. So make the most of them. And instead of pining after what your friends have, fully enjoy what you have. Right now.
5. Own your jealousy. — If you’re feeling jealous, admit it. No, you don’t need to tell your married friends about your jealousy, unless you really want to. But it’s good to tell someone. Feelings like jealousy cause us to feel a lot of shame and the only way to break through shame is to be open about it. Find someone to talk to. It’s not a fun emotion to feel, but jealousy points to what we desire in our own lives. So be honest about your jealousy, not scared of it. And if it’s a part of your truth right now, own it.
6. Know the difference between feelings and actions. — This was my biggest mistake, folks. I thought that since I felt crappy, I was allowed to act crappy. WRONG! It’s one thing to vent your frustrations to your friends, but it’s quite another to treat them badly because you’re upset. Find healthy ways to deal with your jealousy and sadness and don’t drive all of your friends away with negativity and bitterness. No one likes hanging out with Eeyore, so if you want to throw yourself a single girl pity party, keep the invitations to yourself.
7. Find some single friends! (At least ONE.) — Every single gal needs a fabulous sidekick to journey through the bumps and joys of singleness. When I got stood up for a date, Nora took me out. When I went to my fifth wedding of the season with no date, Melissa texted me and kept me company during the down times. These ladies understood my life because they were going through similar experiences. Don’t ditch your old friends, but try to find some new ones. Sip wine, go dancing, and have fun. Be there for each other.
As your friends couple up and marry off, it may seem like you’re doomed to live a lonely life with cats. You’re not (unless you want to be). This loneliness will not last forever.
So be happy for your friends. Then make some new ones. Don’t give in to bitterness and let your life flourish.
It may feel like it, but you’re not the only single girl left.