My best friend of almost ten years got engaged last week on her birthday. As her friend, my immediate action was to be thrilled for her and I was. We had spent the last few weeks talking about how her significant other was behaving more oddly than usual. I was happy, I told her I was happy, and I even told myself I was happy, but in reality I wasn’t and the more I said it the more I knew how irritated it actually made me. Then I started thinking: why not me? Why did everything ALWAYS go right for her, like it always had the last ten years of her life?
I started to feel as though the significance of my four-and-a-half-year relationship was nothing compared to her two-year relationship. I started questioning my own partner and his feelings for me, twisting them around to try to find some logical reason as to why we were not engaged as well.
After finding out the big news, I spent the next twenty-four hours psychoanalyzing my relationship, my boyfriend, myself, every single detail from the moment we met until the last time we spoke. It didn’t help that the news of the new engagement was everywhere; Facebook, snapchat, iMessages — every social media site you could think of — I couldn’t escape the pictures and the incoming flood of congratulatory messages she was receiving, and second by second, it began to gnaw at me.
There was nothing significant or life changing that snapped me back into reality and pulled me away from being that one jealous friend everyone has. I did realize, though, that it doesn’t matter how long you have been dating someone, there’s no rush to get engaged or to make any big commitments for that matter. Society pressures young adults to find that one person, to get engaged, and to be settled down by 25.
But getting engaged should not be taken lightly; it’s a lifelong commitment you have to be ready for. You’re agreeing to spend the rest of your life with just one other person. To be able to go through the worst things life throws your way and the most joyous moments life has to offer with this one special person by your side. To be able to confidently say, “This is the person I will spend the rest of my life with.” Getting engaged isn’t something you can half-ass; you have to be prepared always.
I don’t want to feel pressured to get engaged too soon. I don’t want to make my partner feel pressured into something he may not be ready for. The basis of a healthy relationship is two people who are mentally, emotionally, and financially committed to one another — and this part can’t be faked. I want to know that when I get engaged, whenever that may be, I can confidently say I am ready for this, and proudly show off my partner as the one I am going to spend the rest of my life with.
I’ve realized that time has nothing to do with it, despite what society, family, and friends may tell us. Being ready comes at different stages for everyone and I have finally realized that there is nothing wrong with that. I know there is nothing less significant about my relationship in comparison to others, and while I congratulate my friend, stand by her, and am truly happy for her, I will not let it make me bitter.
When the time comes for me, I know it will be perfect — whether that time is a month from now or a year from now.