As isolating as it can feel to be in a different season of life than many of your relatives and friends, know that you're not alone if you're starting to feel like you're living out the first half of the movie 27 Dresses. Being the last of your inner circle to get engaged and married is tough, but there's no reason not to find joy in your life. Here, five things every perpetual bridesmaid (and hopeful bride) needs to hear.
It's okay to feel jealous.
If you feel jealous or bitter when you hear another relative or friend is getting married, you're not an awful person. It's okay (and total normal) to feel both happy for someone else and a little sad for yourself. There, we said it! Dealing with the reality of what happens when all your friends get married can be tough for so many women, and it's understandably worrisome for a single person to wonder if their friendships will be permanently altered because you're currently in different phases of life.
You can grieve the change, but also take time to remember what won't be different.
If you feel as if you're grieving the loss of a season of life—the staying out late season and the next-day brunch with friends season—you're in the same boat as many other women. It's okay to feel sad about the changes, but it's also important to remember that not everything will be different. Your married friends will still want to spend time with their best girls, and your relationship won't be different just because there's a "Mrs." title in front of her name.
Be accepting of your new role.
Maybe you were the friend everyone came to first with a problem. Once your closest pals get married, they'll probably confide in their new husbands first. The hardest part about accepting your shifting role is that you know you shouldn't feel upset or isolated—because, in reality, it's the sign of a healthy marriage that your friends turn to their spouses first—yet you still do. Take time to process this change, but remember that your role as a friend will evolve, too, and you'll never be left by the wayside just because you're in a different stage of life than your pal.
There's nothing wrong with reminding yourself why you're happy for your friends.
If you're feeling down, there's no harm in reminding yourself why you're happy for your engaged or married pals. Their significant others are wonderful people and you're so happy your friends and relatives have found partners who fit them incredibly well. Remembering why you're happy—and even taking some time to understand why you're feeling a little sad—can be hugely beneficial.
Whether you're in a serious relationship or not, it's important to maintain a healthy, happy outlook on your life. If one day becoming the bride is something that's important to you, be hopeful that it will happen. And when it does, all of those friends who were fortunate enough to count you as their bridesmaid will gladly return the favor. For now, invest in the other aspects of your life that you are happy with. Travel, read, cook, pick up and move across the country—you really can do anything you want.