If you’ve opened this up, chances are you’ve got some friends who have recently gotten engaged. Maybe you’re single, maybe you’re in a relationship but there’s no ring, or maybe you’ve got a ring of your own. Regardless of where you fall on the relationship spectrum, there are million things you might feel when a friend gets engaged. Now that I’ve officially stepped over the line into #engaged, I feel qualified enough to get real with you about dealing with those sticky emotions you might come across.
There are two sides to the jealousy coin. As someone who was in a very strong, established relationship, I suffered from the green-eyed jealousy monster a lot before I finally got a ring of my own. I would routinely see yet another Facebook friend get engaged and immediately feel a bit bitter. “Why her and not me?” The chip on my shoulder was often quite large if that someone hadn’t been dating their now fiancé(e) for longer than my relationship–which was usually pretty frequently since Kurt and I have been together since high school. All you can do is swallow your pride and get over it.
The other thing that can happen (and thankfully hasn’t happened to me!) is that you can feel jealous of someone else’s engagement, even after you’ve got a ring of your own. Maybe they had an amazing photographer and the proposal photos are perfect. Maybe their ring is massive and beautiful. Or maybe they have an adorable proposal story. Jealousy is a common feeling and if you feel this way, there isn’t anything wrong with that. But if this happens to you, step back and reevaluate why you got engaged in the first place: love.
Frustration or Impatience
I think this was the most common feeling I had pre-engagement. Everyone’s life plan is different and you should not get engaged just because everyone else is doing it. Often times in the years and months leading up to my proposal, I found myself getting really frustrated. Kurt and I have been together longer than most people our age so whenever someone new got engaged, I would internally stomp my feet and ask myself “when is it finally going to be my turn?”. Is that petty of me? Ohhhh yeah.
This is a tough one. I felt it a lot. But if I could do it over again, I would want Kurt to propose exactly when he did. We had been together for almost 8 years, living together for about 9 months. No part of me wondered, “are we rushing this?” because it felt exactly how it was supposed to feel: just right. So if you’re feeling this, just know that some day your turn will come and it will feel right. And if you’re reallllly feeling impatient, do something about it. Women propose too!
Ahh…the loss of another single friend. Honestly, if you’re feeling a sense of loss over your friend getting engaged, tell them! Nobody wants to lose their friends after they get engaged and your friend likely will laugh it off, give you a hug and tell you not to worry. Just because someone gets engaged doesn’t mean they’re not going to hang out with you! In fact, the newly-engaged might be really nervous about losing YOU. Start a clear line of communication and tell your friend how much you love them and want to maintain their friendship. Engaged people need friends too!
You’ve got a lot going on in your life. We all do. Maybe it’s just a little bit too much for you to have to put on a smile and be happy for your friend. Maybe it’s just another reminder that you aren’t engaged. All I can say to this is that you have to take a deep breath, put all your stuff aside for a little bit and celebrate with your friend. Take them out to dinner and kill two birds with one stone. Everyone has to eat right?
Ideally, the first thing you feel when a friend tells you they’re engaged is happiness. If that isn’t the case, know that you’re not alone. It doesn’t make you a horrible person if you’re jealous or frustrated. Acknowledge your feelings early and do what you can to move past them. You don’t want to be the reason your friend’s excitement is diminished!
All Photos thanks to Lindsay King Photography (She’s seriously amazing y’all).