I must have missed the memo because it now seems that the month of August has eclipsed Valentine’s Day and Christmas as the best time to propose. Or at least that’s what it seems like this year. (I can’t tell you how many photos of “bling” I’ve received on my phone in the past few weeks!)
Inevitably the Facebook status alerts follow. “Jill is now engaged to George.” This weirds me out a little and simply because of this co-dependent relationship we all have with Facebook these days. Obviously, it’s not official until it’s on your Facebook timeline. (Facebook can be a bit of a nightmare for major introverts like myself… major TMI.)
And, another inevitability are the friends who need a chick flick night (with plenty of wine) because they are depressed as a result of the above. Usually these are gals who have been in a long-term relationship with a guy who isn’t “feeling” the marriage thing or gals who tend to avoid the whole relationship thing until you see how happy your friends are. Both are a form of envy, really, to which I can’t even say I’m immune at times. Who doesn’t like being happy?
However, I do have years (and years and years) of practice being gracious to happily engaged couples under my belt. These are my three steps to keeping it that way (and not being a jerk) when someone else deserves the spotlight:
1) I tell myself: “This isn’t about you.” Because it really isn’t. These two were lucky enough to fall in love and decide to take that huge next step. Let them enjoy the moment without picking up on your little pity party.
2) Congratulate the happy couple. Even if a “thumbs up” on Facebook is all you can manage, you need to do this. You love and care about these two people and giving congratulations (and meaning it) is the opposite of selfishness. In fact, a text or e-mail would be an even better option and a great way to avoid all those follow-up comments on Facebook. (I made that mistake and woke up to 100 unread e-mail alerts this morning. Yikes!)
3) Let it go. (Sing the song from Frozen if you have to.) Stay busy, do your hobby… whatever you can to keep from dwelling on this one thought. Just don’t sit on your couch crying into a glass of Cabernet.
If you end up being part of the wedding party you’ll have to go through all three steps hundreds more times until after the big day but it will make you a better friend and a better person in general.
Just be gracious and supportive. Your time may be coming!