Dealing With Engagement Season Comparisons
As the owner of a bridal-forward company, everyone knows that I love weddings, engagements, and all my Beautini brides. And seeing as it was just peak engagement, it’s safe to say my schedule was just booked and busy. (Which I love!)
That said, I know this time can also be less than fairytale-like for those who have yet to begin their bridal journey. If you’re considering marriage in the future, this might mean you’re looking at friends and colleagues who have rocks on their fingers and comparing your timeline to theirs. But as someone who has seen it all when it comes to weddings, trust me that this can be an unhealthy outlook!
“Comparing your relationship timeline to other peoples is unhealthy,” explains sex and relationship therapist Kendra Capalbo. Why? It adds a pressure that can create resentment. “Every relationship is different, and each couple has had different experiences that either move them quickly to engagement or more slowly. Comparing your relationship to someone else’s is like comparing apples and oranges,” she explains.
Seriously though: There are many factors that make other couples’ relationships unique, so there’s no use in fretting over it. That said, ditching the comparison trap is easier said than done. The following are a few tips for doing so, per experts…
First, do a quick self-eval!
For starters, ask yourself why you are comparing your relationship to someone else’s in the first place, explains Lyndsey Murray, an AASECT-certified sex therapist and owner of Relationship Matters Therapy. Oftentimes, the reason you’re comparing comes from a place of your own insecurities about the relationship instead of having something to do with your peers. For example, do you feel your partner is taking too long to propose? Do you feel insecure that you won’t find someone to marry? “The comparison is telling you something, and I'd find out what that is,” Murray explains. K?
Second, stay off socials.
Put your d*mn phone down. Get off social media if the comparison game is really playing you. And remember: “Social media engagement announcements are not always evidence of a fairy-tale romance,” Murray says. It’s not as simple as “they’re luckier than me” or “my partner doesn’t care about me because they haven’t proposed as quickly.” Every relationship timeline is different, Murray says. Looking at social media will only make you spiral if you’re already insecure about yours, so stay off.
Third, think about what actually matters.
“In the larger picture, it is the marriage that is most important, not the engagement or the wedding,” Capalbo explains. “Before getting engaged, both partners should be 100 percent sure that they want to spend their lives together,” she says. This means that it’s better to take longer on getting engaged if it means you’re more sure about the decision. “I have worked with so many couples where the proposal felt pressured and as a result, there was resentment because the partner proposing hadn’t quite felt ready,” Capalbo explains.
Basically, starting off the marriage with timeline pressure isn’t cool, okay? Stay true to what’s real for you both, and know that you will be all good in the end.