Surviving Engagement Season


So there you are, thinking “engagement season” occurs between the last two weeks of the year because a lot of people lack imagination and/or feel it’s convenient to combine one of the most important questions they will ever ask with winter holidays and the start of a new calendar. Once January comes, you think you’re safe.

But then spring arrives. The birds start chirping, the leaves start appearing, and suddenly boyfriends everywhere pull rings out of hiding places, arrange surprise engagement parties, and interrupt your “ladies only” brunches to announce they’ve just asked your friends to marry them.

It’s a thrilling time, no doubt—for the engaged. But how do you, as a woman who’s been single so long you’re beginning to wonder if it’s become a permanent trait like having brown eyes, make it through the spring engagement season?  How do you navigate the parties and announcements and endless wedding talk without seeming like a bitter, jaded, pitiful person?

You could move back to your hometown where everyone from high school is already married so you won’t have to worry about this kind of thing. Or you could just keep the following points in mind:

1. Engagement stories get better with each retelling.

Of course, it helps if you institute a drinking game. Each time your engaged friend starts telling the proposal story within earshot, take a shot. Every time she repeats a line because someone has interrupted her, drink half a beer. For every pause to show her ring to a listener, drink until the viewer is done examining the diamond. For an embellishment to the story that wasn’t in the original tale, finish your drink.

2. Engaged people speak a different language.

Engaged women can’t comprehend a reality other than one in which a woman is either engaged or wants to be engaged. When you announce you’re okay with the idea that you may never have a husband, your engaged friends have no choice but to reply with, “Don’t say that!” and “You can’t predict the future!” and “You’ll find someone!” They can’t see that coming to terms with the possibility of never getting married is a healthy thing and not a signal of defeat. So save yourself from insisting that you’re not saying you’ll never find a husband—just that your life won’t be a waste if you don’t. Instead, smile and simply say, “I hope one day I have what you have.” That’s speaking a language they understand.

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