Blame the booming social media industry or chalk it up to our country’s unhealthy addiction to any and all things reality TV; these days it seems like there’s no escaping weddings. For the single crowd, the holidays can be the hardest time to hide the jealous eye-rolling, as family gatherings usually invite an impending proposal or two. While it would be more than a little rude to walk away from the dinner table during the biggest moment in your sister’s life, with a little bit of preparation, you can soften the sting of engagement season—and maybe even eliminate the eye-rolling altogether.
Turn it Off
You can’t hide from the mailman, and although you can ignore your girlfriend’s calls, it’s important to keep in mind that avoiding your problems won’t solve them. However, in this day and age, it’s easy to limit the constant overflow of all-things-wedding coming your way.
We get an alarming amount of news from social media. Engagements, graduations, births—the Big Life Moments that used to require multiple phone calls are now shared with hundreds of friends in a mere matter of seconds. If most of your gossip is absorbed electronically and you find yourself twitching every time you see a new engagement announcement, your solution is simple: unplug yourself.
You don’t have to deactivate your Facebook account to help yourself feel better about your single status during the season of love (although that’s certainly a valid option). Get in the habit of signing off any time you see something that upsets you, and instead designate an activity to take your mind elsewhere. Read a book; do a puzzle; just take a walk—anything to flip that energy from negative to constructive. In addition to distractions, limit the amount of times you visit certain sites each day (and while you’re at it, consider limiting the amount of sites you visit, too).
Find a Mutual Commiserator
They say misery loves company, and while you don’t want to suck anyone else into the mopey vortex you enter every time you see another friend flashing a diamond, it’s not healthy to keep those negative feelings inside. Find a single friend who shares your cynicism to an extent; one who won’t mind the weepy phone call that comes after you’ve had three glasses of wine.
It’s important to have someone you can confide in, who will lend not only a shoulder but also an ear; someone who agrees at the right times and stays silent when you just need to vent. It’s equally important, however, that the friend knows how to pick you up. If you turn to the friend who helps dig your hole even deeper, you may never get out. Find someone who lets you commiserate, but knows when it’s time to start slinging those words of wisdom that will push you closer to your own happiness (and maybe even your own walk down the aisle).
For you single ladies who are so independent you swear you don’t even need a friend: I see through you. Sure, maybe you don’t need a girlfriend to talk to, but you must be getting tired of having that same conversation with yourself over and over again. Buy a journal. Open up your laptop. Let your feelings flow. You might be surprised what comes out once you start being honest with yourself.
Focus on Yourself
If you’re finding it easy enough to shut down your computer and turn off your TV but you can’t quell the worried voices inside your head, it’s time to face the problem head on. Are you jealous of your newly-engaged friends or is it that you just hate the deluge of details involved in planning a wedding? No matter the answer, the problem lies within you. Find the source of your unease and tackle it bit by bit. Focus on yourself and doing what makes you happy; not worrying about what your friends and family are doing (or what they think you should be doing, for that matter).
Learn to love yourself and you’ll have suitors lining up at your door waiting for their turn. Before you know it, you’ll be the one bombarding your friends with centerpieces and dress designs. (This time, though, you can give your single friends tips on how to make it through.)
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.