Most of us have experienced relationship envy before. The friend in your circle who everyone swore would be the last to get married just got engaged. Your girlfriends always plan social hangouts in pairs now. It isn’t that you aren’t happy for those around you absorbed in romantic relationships. But if you are single it may be putting a serious damper on your current single social life. Furthermore, you might be a bit frustrated that it still isn’t your turn yet. And if you’re in a relationship the realness of it might not feel so great against the idealistic imagery of the perfect couples around you. So how can you avoid relationship envy?
#1 Don’t be a bitter b*tch! Sounds harsh, but seriously, don’t be.
A friend of mine recently got engaged and began co-habitating with her fiancé. She also moved across the country and started an awesome new job. In true hater fashion, some of her long-time girlfriends expressed nothing but cynicism for her new life changes. It was really hurtful that after years of supporting them and being happy for them, that they couldn’t share in her new happiness. It turns out her girlfriends were having marital and relationship problems of their own. They were secretly finding solace in her being the last single one in the group. No matter how bad their relationships were, at least they “had a man”, unlike her. Now that she was engaged, they could no longer feel as if their situations were better. This is the true definition of a bitter b*tch, don’t be one. Be happy for those around you even if your situation isn’t what you want yet. There will be no room in your life for good things to enter if you fill your voids with bitterness and jealousy.
#2 Be thankful of what you have.
Last week a friend of mine, discovered how much her friend’s husband’s salary was. She felt some type of way about the constant good fortune this couple seems to have. It’s natural, especially if we are struggling, to feel envy of those who have more than us. In those moments, we should pause and be thankful that those we love and care about are experiencing good fortune. We should also be thankful for what we do have, and mindful that it could be so much less. A friend of mine used to say, “Get excited when those around you are experiencing good fortune, because it means good fortune is near.”
#3 Know that you DON’T know the whole story.
Social media has definitely given us more fuel to experience relationship envy. Since college my timeline has been filled with honeymoon pics, cute babies, and couple selfies. There were always those model couples who couldn’t seem to take a bad picture and were always whisking away to Cancun or Maui. “How Sway? How?”, I would ask myself. How do they have it so good when I’m super single, super broke, and super struggling to get my 20 something life together? But social media only shows the highlights. Now that I’m married, I have plenty of my own couple selfies and vacay pics to share. What I won’t take photos of or post about is our marital disagreements, or the everyday really realness that is marriage. Remember, people only show what they want you to see. Don’t think too much about what you see on social media.
#4 Believe in your heart that the universe has a plan for you.
If you are single and want to be in a relationship, then you have to believe that the universe or God wants that for you and has a plan for you to have that. In my years of dating I suffered a lot! I made bad choices, and had my heartbroken lots of times. Through it all I knew somewhere deep in my heart that marriage and a family were two things the Universe had planned for me. That faith helped me to work harder to date with a purpose, and ask myself what things I required in a spouse. As I discovered myself and narrowed my focus dating became easier and I eventually did find my spouse. I now realize that so much of the prior pain was necessary to my growth and development.
If you are having marital problems, the same rule applies. Decide in your heart if you truly believe the marriage is meant to last, and then commit to working through challenges.
#5 Live in the current moment.
Whether you are single or in a relationship, enjoy the stage you are in. Three years ago, I was living in my dream apartment equip with outdoor balcony and awesome neighbors. I had a boyfriend but the relationship was newer so he wasn’t around all the time. I spent weekends sitting on my balcony with my neighbor or walking to the local froyo spot. On holidays or just because I threw parties and packed the house with music and friends. I enjoyed most of those moments, but sometimes I spent a moment too many wishing for the future. Three years later I’m married, pregnant and living half way across the country far from friends and family. I’m grateful for this future that I once dreamed about, but I miss sitting on my balcony with my neighbor. I’m sure in three years I’ll write that I miss being pregnant, and wish I’d enjoyed this moment more. It’s tough to be present and not absorbed in the future or past, but we must try. One good way to live more in the moment may be to limit social media hours and get out and about more. 10 Things I Miss About Single Life
Have you ever experienced relationship envy? In what ways, did you cope with it? What advice can you share? Sharing is caring, so post below!