I’m about to turn 25 and I’ve just started seeing a serious domino effect.
Do you notice all your friends are getting engaged? The effect is like standing in the middle of a big ring of glamorous dominos, watching them tumble down all around, one after the other, with no chance of hitting me. As they tumble, my Facebook and Instagram feeds light up because all these carats of diamond rings are like disco balls and everyone is smiling so much I get blinded by their super-white teeth.
Huh? Oops, I didn’t realise the time! But really? Are we all already there?
It’s not jealousy (I promise I’d admit if it was) and I’m overjoyed for my friends who are so in love that they’re ready to take this next step together. But there’s a cynicism holding me back. And it’s coupled with a really deep-seated fear of being left alone. I can’t be the only woman whose ever felt this way, but I’m still pretty surprised how I seem to care.
I don’t want marriage for myself (yet), but seeing everyone else jump on the bus has me panicked! So here’s what I’m doing:
1. They’re still my mates
I have to keep reminding myself that a wedding isn’t a one-way portal to another dimension. That feeling of fear was about being left behind – but not by my partner – by them. Take a deep breath. You work together or hit the gym together or you shop together or have shared interests. Don’t panic. Unless they win the lottery, they’ll be home after the honeymoon.
2. Enjoy the parties!
Here’s the deal: engagement parties and weddings offer free-flowing alcohol and delicious food. They are the best excuse to wear all the beautiful clothes hanging in your wardrobe that never see the light of day. And finally, just soak up the positivity in the moment. People are literally throwing these parties because they love each other so much. Humanity is beautiful. Let your hair down.
3. Get to work
And then put your hair back up. Haha.
There’s a proven and direct correlation between women being more educated and getting married later in life.
Don’t let your focus shift towards other people too much. You do you! For me, that means setting myself up to kick-ass in my profession every single day. My work defines who I am like some of these marriages define some of my friends. We each make choices and I’m happy with mine.
4. Every relationship is different
This may be the most important point of all. I have a boyfriend. We’ve been together almost 4 years now. We’re not getting engaged any time soon, and that was 100% fine with me until this whole domino thing started happening. Some days, I wake up with my man and I’m so happy and loved that I wish I could freeze time.
The thing is, nothing about our relationship changed, and I don’t want it to, I had just almost let a trend ruin my style.
I don’t want anything else and that means, for now, I don’t want to be engaged. And with a little reflection and a little time, I can be totally cool remaining the last standing domino.