One morning, you’ll wake up and check your phone and see a wedding invitation from your friend and go like; “ow nooo that can’t happen!” It’s not that you’re disappointed a friend of yours is getting married. The fact is, this friend and yourself are the only ones left in your circle that are not married. Now, here is their invitation staring right in your face. What it means now is that, you’re the only one left among your circle who’s not married. It’s a lonely feeling. However strong you’re, sometimes the situation gets to you. It makes you question a lot of things about yourself. Especially when you’re a woman hitting the dreadful 30 years milestone. It’s worse when you’re always called upon to be the bridesmaid or the best man due to your over 5 years’ experience in handling that position excellently on every Saturday of the week. Then someday, you go through your wardrobe and find all the colors of the rainbow and more. Every color reminds you of whose wedding you attended. But there is no colour for your own wedding. You are not yet married! It’s never a good feeling. But there’s always something you can do when you find yourself in such situation;
Genuinely, be happy for them
They are your friends. It’s their happy moment. You can’t be anything else apart from joining in to share and revel in their moment of bliss. This is not the time to sulk or let your being single gets the best of you. There’s always someone who’s going to be the last to marry among a group of friends. It happened to be you this time. It doesn’t mean the world is over. It just means it’s not your turn just yet. Congratulate them. Be available to help them prepare for the occasion. Take active part all the way. Make the occasion your own. After all, what’s your friend’s is also yours. Don’t give them the chance to believe you are jealous of them getting married ahead of you. Keep your grace and shine.
Start questioning your priority
It’s marriage the first thing on your list of things? If it is, what in your honest assessment is delaying the process? Have you set your expectations so high that people who come your way hardly meet? You have anger issues? What feedback are you getting from your dates as the reasons they can’t go on with you? Whatever the answer is, don’t feel pressured to get married by all means. Be patient and move along with the changing times. Focus on self-improvement and work on your self-worth. If marriage is not your priority, then concentrate on what is it that you are doing. If it’s your desire to build a strong career, own a business or be self-sufficient before you walk the aisle, then keep your head up and work towards achieving those dreams. It’s better whoever comes along finds you ready. Don’t you ever make a hasty decision to be with someone just because all your friends are getting married. Maintain your standard. It’s better you find someone who ticks all the boxes on your list than to be with someone you’ll regret in the near future. Work on your priority. Improve on your self-esteem and self-worth. These two will be with you through it all.
Embrace your single-hood
It’s very ok to be single. It doesn’t mean no one wants to be with you. It only means you’re taking your time to separate the good from the bad. It’s also a sign of independence; that you can take care of yourself and be with yourself and be just fine. Being single shouldn’t be an emotional shackle. Like many other things, marriage is overrated. It’s not the ultimate measure of how happy one’s life is or will be. There are challenges in marriage just as there are in being single. Happy-ever-after is not only meant for married couples. There’s a happy-ever-after also in being single. Be happy in your single-hood. You’re going to miss it when you’re finally married. Explore life. Experiment. Travel. Take a bus that’s going nowhere and write about your experience. Just enjoy the aura of freedom you wake up to each morning and be grateful for life that you have each day. Someone somewhere is dying to be single—alas
Prepare your answer for that ultimate question
Whether you like it or not, that ultimate question is going to be asked over and over again. Friends will ask. Parents will ask. Colleagues are going to ask too. You would wish it never comes up but you don’t control what others can or cannot say. So why don’t you prepare a scripted answer to all those who will ever ask; “When are you going to settle down?” Don’t be angry when it comes up now and then. People intentionally ask to size up the level of your frustration of having to live alone. If you answer angrily, you’ve served them well. Be calm and as gracefully as you can be, answer them; “I will settle down when I’m tired of standing up.” If this answer is too cocky, find your own.
Start making new friends
When your friends marry, they begin to relate to you less and less until all they’ll have to say is nothing. Some marriage counselors usually tell will-be couples to change friends immediately they marry. It’s sad but true. They are told to relate more with people who are also married. You are single. They’ll have to do without you eventually. Don’t wait till they give you the “I’m busy with my spouse” crap. Expect it. Work your way into finding new friends who will share your interest and urge you on. It’s better if you find new friends who are also single. That way, you’re sure you’ll have someone who’s available as much as you. Not someone who you’ll plan with and will call off the plans in the last minute because their spouse wanted them around. You deserve unconditional happiness and love from friends whether or not you are single. Don’t let your married friends turn you into a loner. Go out there. Find yourself some new friends. It’s a social media age we live. It’s easier to find friends than before.
Sign off from Facebook, if you can’t handle the jealousy
Someday when you log on to Facebook, all you see are wedding pictures of different people. Many of them. It’s as though the whole world attended a wedding feast and left you uninvited. Then the honeymoon photos will follow with the usual saucy hash tags. Then minutes later, relationship statuses are changed from “Single” to “Married to something something”. The hysteria of the comments and ‘Likes’ that are showered on such photos are enough to make you question your existence. Then all you could do is look at your relationship status on Facebook and see how miserable the “Single” there looks. It’s bad day to be single sometimes. If you can’t afford the sight and comments on such photos, log off from all social media. Grab some popcorn and watch the movie “Single and Proud”. No one has the right to murder your emotions with their wedding photos.
Author: Nesta Joejo Erskine