October 14, 2016 at 5:45 AM #1467
Next month I’m attending my cousin’s wedding (she’s 7-years-younger than me). And today I actually found out my little sister is engaged! She’s 5-years-younger than me.
First, I want to clarify that I’m excited and happy for both of them. I believe they’ve found wonderful partners (I couldn’t have picked them better myself).
I’m just feeling strange emotions regarding myself and my current situation. I feel like somewhere in my life I took a “wrong turn.” I can’t shake the feeling that I should be at a different place in my life (like settled down in mutual love with an amazing partner-in-crime by my side). I’m so ready for a through thick and thin relationship. A let’s set out and accomplish our dreams together type of relationship.
But the last couple of dozen guys didn’t like me enough to give this a shot and the guy I’m currently dating is still too new. The kind of new where the person could leave at any point and it wouldn’t be particularly surprising.
Anyone else watch younger siblings and relatives get married and while feeling happy for them also feeling not quite right about where you’re at in your own life?October 15, 2016 at 1:40 PM #1468
Yes and yes. OMG yes.
My younger brother has been married for a few years and almost everyone on both sides of my family is married. The only unmarried female cousin on my mom’s side is 18. I am the only female cousin unmarried on my dad’s side (and maybe even only unmarried cousin).
I have stood by and watched family members and close friends get married. When I was younger, I just believed my turn would come and it wasn’t as big of a deal. Now in my mid 30s, it’s been really tough, especially now that the “new wave” of 20-something marriages are happening. I attended two weddings this summer, but was invited to 4 or 5. Recently I promised myself “no more weddings’ in an attempt to be kind to myself; I can be happy for them from afar. Then I found out about a very good friend’s (21) engagement and my friend’s bridal shower (her wedding is overseas). -_-;; The former was really mature about it and even wished it was me that was married first, and was really understanding about me possibly not coming to her wedding.
I know that everything is in its due time, and there is no real timeline for life’s big events – they happen when they happen. It’s still challenging, though, when literally everyone around you is married or getting married. I’m trying to find coping mechanisms to handle the feelings of jealousy (the “I want it too” kind) and prevent feelings of resentment. I do believe feelings of happiness and sadness can exist at the same time…while happy for the other person, there is a sadness for yourself. Acknowledging it and not judging it are important, I think (Sara talks about this in her book, too, IIRC).
Thanks for starting this conversation, Courtney. I do understand that longing and aching, and how hard it is to watch others obtain (sometimes so easily) what we want so badly.October 21, 2016 at 3:22 AM #1486
Oh I can sooo relate to this!! I’m the oldest of my siblings/step-siblings and also the oldest cousin on one side of the family (all early 20’s to mid 30’s so it’s prime time for weddings and babies). I know that complicated set of mixed emotions well, feeling happiness, sadness, jealousy and resentment all at the same time. It’s something I really struggle to navigate, and the question of “What’s wrong with me?” is one I ask myself in this situation more than any other. I know everything happens in it’s own time, but it’s so hard not to take it personally when one person after another keeps finding the one thing I want most in life. And like LoneStar wrote, I have a habit of judging myself for those negative emotions, which I know just makes everything more difficult. I’m trying not to do that so much, but it’s still a work in progress.
The one thing I will say though, at least for my siblings, is that those relationships eventually brought me my nieces. And while that’s complicated too in it’s own way, because I still hope to have kids of my own, it’s also one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. If I had known at the time that they would exist and how much I would love them and love being their aunt, I think it would have made it a little easier to get through. I know that isn’t everybody’s path, but maybe it’s something to think about if you’re having a hard time at certain points in this process with your sister, Courtney.
Thinking of you both. I hope it helps, at least a little bit, to know you’re not alone.October 24, 2016 at 4:52 PM #1489
Oh yes. My sister has been married now for 12 years. I just turned 40 and she’s 37. She also has two boys that are 6 and 3.
Yesterday, I found out a good friend of mine is pregnant for the second time (she’s 35) and another friend got engaged.
It’s super easy for me to go into somewhat of a spin when I hear of wonderful life occurrences happening for friends and family….when I’ve been yearning for such things for my own life for way too long now. I too want to get married and have a family. Moreso, I want that fantastic relationship with a guy who will stick with me through thick and thin.
When I hear of these occurrences, I have to remind myself everyone’s journey is different, but that DOES NOT make it any easier. In fact, 9 times out of 10, I have to talk myself through it so that I don’t go into the gutter emotionally. It all can be so difficult.
October 24, 2016 at 5:08 PM #1491
- This reply was modified 10 months, 4 weeks ago by alisenj.
I also forgot to add (that if it may make you feel any better), I have a cousin who married several years ago, for the first time at 47. In many ways, she’s my inspiration that love can happen at any time – there is no time frame.
And you have not done anything wrong or made a wrong turn. I think we can all make good choices and decisions for ourselves in relationships, and sometimes it just boils down to life unfolding in its own ways.October 24, 2016 at 11:11 PM #1492
Thank you all so much for your helpful responses! People who find love later in their lives ARE an inspiration because it shows that sometimes the cards do fall in our favor. You never know what the next day, week, month, etc… will bring.October 26, 2016 at 9:37 PM #1503
Also, I briefly saw your ask about The Law of Attraction. While I do believe there is some truth to this, I also believe that it simply comes down to timing and luck. And the trite responses we get from girlfriends who have found their partner is also similar to that line “everything happens for a reason”, of which, I am not a fan.
The Universe/God knows that we have a deep desire to be partnered…and I do believe that in time, it will come to fruition. I also believe that we have to do our part in getting out there to make it happen.
Admittedly, I do struggle with the “what if it never happens for me” scenario….but that seems to get me down very easily, so I have to go with the positive!November 14, 2016 at 6:41 PM #1526
Solidarity here. My younger brother just got married three weeks ago. I love his new wife and the wedding was so much fun, but also hard in its way. They’re 28/29 and all but one of their close friends have gotten engaged and/or married in the last 2 years, too. I wonder how it must be to go through a milestone like this at roughly the same time as your closest friends. I overhear them talking at parties about buying houses, staying away from Zika zones because what if they get pregnant, and I just feel so isolated, alone, and pathetic. I know it isn’t true but sometimes it’s so hard to feel like I haven’t missed the boat.November 28, 2016 at 12:52 AM #1555
As on only child, this discussion is really eye-opening. I definitely don’t feel external pressure to be married and have children from family, but I’d definitely want to have a companion and family of my own in the future if it’s meant to be. Once I was talking to my mother about her dating history and she shared that my father was literally her first long-term partner (they met when she was 27). Otherwise, she was single for most of her teens and twenties. So I wonder if my perpetual singlehood is partially inherited.
For me, it’s seeing couple photos, engagement and wedding announcements, and babies on social media that make me feel like an outcast in the relationship realm. I don’t communicate with these people regularly in real life, but to see them reach these milestones while I stay single is discomforting. I do remember that once I told my mother how I didn’t like being single, she was upset and acted like it was the last concern I should have. I can only imagine how it feels to have younger close relatives find love before yourself when you want a romantic relationship.
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