It's OK to say you hate weddings if you truly hate weddings. It's not OK to say you hate weddings if you are just jealous.
It’s summer. If you’re like me, I’m guessing your Facebook feed looks like David’s Bridal vomited all over it. While not every woman is crazy with desperation to get married, a lot of women wonder if they are becoming That Girl whenever another friend gets engaged. Here are some ways to deal if you’re in that situation.
When someone you love gets engaged, own your feelings.
If you're a little -- or a lot -- jealous, own that. Yes, it's awkward and embarrassing, but just address the elephant in the room. If your 20-year-old sister who has know her boyfriend for 3 months announces she's engaged or your BFF wants you as her maid of honor, be truly congratulatory and excited. And then it's OK to say, "I am so happy for you, but your engagement brings up a lot of issues I'm not satisfied with in my own life/relationship and it's not easy for me to participate in all the traditions without feeling a little jealous. I'll still be your maid of honor/the first one to put on penis earrings at the bachelorette party/happy to go dress shopping with you [offer to do whatever is within your comfort level] but I am hoping you can please be sensitive to my situation."
And a good friend will understand.
I know it's crappy and you just want to put on a happy face, but frankly, if everyone knows how eager you are to get married, they are going to know you're faking it. And, honestly, they are going to talk about it behind your back if you don't address it. So rather than accidentally get CCd on an e-mail between all the other bridesmaids reminding them not to let you catch the bouquet because it might give you false hope when they know your man is never going to marry you...just own it and let people know what you're comfortable with.
But remember -- this is the first step toward getting over it. The goal should be to own it...and then find a way to work out your own issues so that you can be there for your friend.
Reward yourself for going to wedding showers, bachelorette parties, and weddings.
Buy the best dress, shoes, and accessories money can buy! Or get a blowout or pedicure before each event. Give yourself something to look forward to! If you're concerned about money, only buy one or two dresses to wear to all of them. Who cares if you repeat outfits? But still get clothes, makeup, or accessories that make you feel confident. Feeling good about yourself goes a long way to getting you through the small talk, dumb games, and jokes during toasts that only the family gets.
Own that maybe you just hate weddings.
...and maybe that has very little to do with your own relationship status!
Perhaps you aren't bitter; perhaps you just feel about weddings like I feel about sports. Not all weddings are fun to attend.
Here's what one of my friends said is "the perfect recipe for wedding rage:" 20 percent "Didn't I go to this wedding last week?"+ 20 percent jealousy if the wedding is actually fun and meaningful + 10 percent "I just spent how much on a gift, card, and travel arrangements?" + 10 percent "I don't even know these people" + 40 percent utter fucking boredom.
And she's right. Weddings can be really boring and uninspired. ("Eat, drink, and be married"? How original.)
It's OK to say you hate weddings if you truly hate weddings. It's not OK to say you hate weddings if you are just jealous. But whether you love them or hate them, try to focus on the couple and their love and let that give you hope and happiness; ignore the stupid monogrammed napkins.
In Part II of this series, I talk about how to handle the effect the barrage of weddings has on your own relationship.