So here we are: it is the prime engagement-announcement time of year and normally this doesn’t warrant more than the raising of an eyebrow from me. However, this year has been different. Not because I wasn’t happy for the various couples in question (completely the opposite – I love them all and I cannot wait for their respective weddings), but because of the questions it made me ask of myself.
Involuntarily, I started to worry that people might think that there is something lacking in our lives if we didn’t get married – and that’s what I found completely unbearable. The constant badgering by friends and colleagues of when it will be “our turn” (including texts on Christmas day!) has impacted me more than I realised. It was the idea of their pity that I couldn’t stand and I was feeling incredibly blue until I read a fantastic article on The Pool by Caroline O’Donoghue. Breakthrough.
No wonder I am a serial comparer – this negative and cerebrally-toxic behaviour is encouraged! It is expected that we should be getting engaged because that’s what other people do. I finally managed to explain to Mr M why I was feeling this way (with help from said article), and he was genuinely sympathetic, “Huh.. that’s tough. Men don’t get that.” And ain’t that the problem! Here we have women being made to feel inadequate by the lack of a proposal, whilst men are tootling along as before!
So wouldn’t it feel wonderful if we could really be comparison-free? What if we could feel whole-heartedly happy for other people without any left over feelings of deficiency, and have exactly the same in return?
Link to the sanity-saving article: