As published on Elite Daily on December 19, 2014.
It’s engagement season. You’ll know because your news feeds will blow up with statuses like ‘The obligatory ring picture!’ and ‘He asked, I said yes!’ just begging to be liked. I know because I work in the wedding industry and it’s actually my job to use the word ‘swoon’ daily (usually in print but sometimes, accidentally, in real life.)
Yet, here I am sitting in the bed of a guy that I have been casually hooking up with as I watch proposal videos and scroll through sparkly engagement rings… all for the sake or research, of course. Working in the industry of true love certainly has its perks – like free cupcakes and champagne. But, as a very single girl, being surrounded by sappy stories of finding the one and how he proposed gets to be a tad overwhelming. On top of that, my Facebook seems to be a never ending advertisement for couples in love. Seriously, everyone that I have ever known got engaged in the same week? This is absurd.
Am I cynical? Eh, maybe. Don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoy the freedom of my single life. And not in the way like, “Oh, she’s just saying that because she doesn’t have a boyfriend.” No. I actually love it. That doesn’t mean that when all my friends are taking the plunge into the next step of their life that I’m not sitting in my house with my two roommates, binge watching Netflix and consuming copious amounts of burritos wondering when, if ever, that will be me.
Whether it’s my friends who have been in a 5 year relationship with no ring in sight or all the so, so single girls, myself included, we are at that point in our lives when we have to come to terms with the fact that some people are just further along in their relationships. There is no timeline for love.
So before the save the dates start rolling in and your fridge looks like a shrine to other people’s happiness, you’ll no doubt go through these 7 stages.
- Shock and Denial: What? No. They got engaged?! I swear they just started dating 3 months ago. She’s probably pregnant. This is unbelievable. How did the girl known for sleeping with the whole football team in high school get engaged before I could even manage to snag a steady hookup?
- Pain and Guilt: I feel bad. She’s probably not pregnant. I’m sure that they are so in love and happy. And I’m sure it wasn’t the whole football team… just second string, probably.
- Anger and Bargaining: This is f*cking ridiculous. I swear that if I find a boyfriend tomorrow I’ll learn how to cook and clean. Hell, I might even learn how to use a crockpot. Also, I promise that I will never fight with him and will be the best. girlfriend. ever.. if only I can be sure that he will propose after exactly 1.2 years after which we will have the most beautiful wedding that everyone will be super jealous of.
- Reflection and Loneliness: What’s wrong with me? There has to be some reason why guys aren’t knocking down my door asking for my hand in marriage. It’s probably because I’d rather sit at home watching shitty reality TV and eating Chipotle than go through the awkward torture of a first date. That’s fine. I’ll just sit in this dark room sobbing quietly into my burrito bowl. (Beware of Nicholas Sparks movies during this phase.)
- The Upward Turn: Spend time with your single friends; after all, they might not be that way forever. Take those tequila shots. Dance on those tables. And forget about those girls who are cozied up by a fire with their new fiancé (you know this because of their endless Instagram photos of their socks and mugs) but, in reality, they are probably bickering about whether or not to invite creepy Uncle Pete to the wedding.
- Working Through It: This is the point where you realize that you’re glad to be exactly where you are. You’re single, you’re happy and you realize that if you were engaged right now that it would be because you settled for a mediocre relationship that you thought was love. Some things are worth the wait.
- Acceptance and Hope: Genuinely be happy for the soon to be newlyweds. Comment with a heartfelt congrats on the ring pic and start dreaming about how awesome that wedding (see: open bar) is going to be. That is, until the engagement photos get posted. Then, repeat.