Being a 20 something or even a 30 something will be the most challenging time during the lifespan of a normal human being. During this era of ‘growing up’ a lot of milestones occur right after another like a quick succession of strobe lights that leave viewers confused. Typically, most of the ‘big’ things concern events that usually are within reasonable control. Apartment hunting, buying furniture for the first time, paying utility bills (hot showers have a whole new dimension now) budgeting or trying not to spend the first measly paycheck after tax deductions on rounds for a whole bar.
Moving tends to be another big change for a lot of adults that crave a change of scenery and complete independence from their hometowns. Change can always be overwhelming and cause despair on many a person but from the list mentioned above, the one thing they have in common is that they probably all involved sharing those moments with the people you care about most: your friends.
Friends are there to help you move to your first apartment. You look back and laugh about the time the mattress was about to slide back down the stairs for the third time and how all you could was giggle which made the situation worse.
Creeping up on the 25 year mark, there is a trend that begins, it creeps and creeps until it bursts quickly, leaving confetti all over the newly built life that was perfect. Friends are getting engaged. Best case scenario: you saw it coming. They’ve been with the same person for more than two years, they are referred to as a power couple, no public fights have ever been sighted and they glow around each other. Sometimes it makes you happy, other times, depending on your own relationship status, your annoyed and preferably look away when they share affection. Best case scenario also includes one of your friends being the first taking the big step instead of your ‘best friend.’
Worst Case Scenario: it’s a complete shock. It was announced via social media and if you text this person constantly throughout the day, this falls under the category of betrayal. Limited to no communication with the future spouse who could be a psycho killer (probably not) and also happens to have just received a job offer in a city miles and miles away.
The key to surviving engagement posts and wedding invitations regardless of your own personal relationship status is to breathe deeply and realize that it will not stop and that unless the bride or groom have legitimate reasons to be disliked as a human being, nothing can be done at this point. Once invitations are sent, in the words of our dearly beloved Ke$ha ‘it’s going down like timber.’
Second to letting the realization sink in, it is also very important to step back and realize that your friends deserve the best and if they think this is the best step for them at this point they’re probably very happy with this huge decision. This engagement does not mean the end of your friendship, the end of communication, the end of all times is not imminent with the announcement of a wedding.
Thirdly, do not compare yourself to the recent eight engagements in the past four months. Marriage should not fall under that category of: well, if my friends are doing it, so should I! Marriage is not a Jager bomb. The after effects last longer than a miserable morning. Comparing your life to others always leads in a long, winding path down a wine bottle. Know that at the end of the day, people choose to live their lives differently, but that does mean one pace is better than the other.
Understand also that you are not expected to act like a self-encompassing tank and bury your feelings six feet under. If you had planned a trip to China with your best friend and suddenly you glance at the calendar and realize the wedding date is suspiciously close to your departure date, talk. Speak up for yourself. Sure, don’t freak out when they are jumping up and down since they found the love of their life, that might not be the best of moments to start being completely honest. But it is important to check in with your friends (long before the wedding date) and talk to them about how you feel about everything.
Breathe deeply. Don’t dash and scream in rage. Act like an adult and communicate your feelings respectfully. Plus free food is on the way!
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