/u/luxorcairo on /r/relationships writes…
I [22F] am a successful young woman who is going to grad school at a uni that is in the top 50 in the world. I don’t really have a lot of friends, but I keep in touch with old friends on Facebook. I have noticed in the past 1.5 years a lot of them have gotten engaged, married, pregnant, etc. One of my friends who is also living abroad in the same country as I am, got engaged yesterday. I am happy for her, but very very jealous.
Seeing all of this, a voice in my head asks me why don’t I have those things? Am I even worthy enough for it? I’ve lost 35 lbs so I could get a boyfriend, but no bites. I am dating someone I truly adore but I doubt we will make it past next fall, and he won’t marry me. I’d probably say yes if he proposed now (we’ve been “dating” for 2.5 months but I’ve known him for 2 years). I am not even sure we will be bf/gf. So, I am trying to lose more weight so that if we fall apart I can get back into dating straight away and find the man of my dreams easier.
I get sick of the “your time will come rhetoric”. It is always by someone who already has a relationship or is married. I know I am only 22. However, I live abroad, and have before. I will do some more minor travelling in my life. I am ready to settle down with a man. No kids yet, but in 5-10 years that would be ok. I am just ready to have a life partner. I have worked hella hard these past 5 years for my education and am ready to share life with someone. Is this too much to ask? In the meantime, how can I stop getting jealous over these engagements? Its becoming envy, where I wish they’d break up so I didn’t have to see it so much on Facebook. Thank you.”
Dear Luxor Cairo,
It is really interesting to read you ask some of these questions – difficult questions to which you’ve already provided really great answers to. All you have to do is read through your post and recognize all the amazing and incredible things you have accomplished in just twenty two years of your life. You’ve been doing some intense self-excavation and mindful identification in just this post alone, that I have no doubt that you also approach your life with intent and purpose that which your friends might be very envious of on their own.
You’d be surprised to hear how many things people do not post on Facebook. Social media allows us to display the best versions of ourselves. Our greatest accomplishments, our most favorable pictures, and our third Which Hogwarts House Do You Actually Belong In Pottermore test result all live in this impossibly perfect bubble of our social media persona. It is neither a truth nor lie, a simple different version of ourselves we all aspire to be. When your friends are posting about their life accomplishment, realize that they’re doing so to celebrate and share their joy with others. So instead of being envious about what you don’t have (yet), why not choose to partake in their own happiness and love their lives as you love your own? What do you have to lose by effusively celebrating their successes as they would yours? Their own happiness does not detract from your own. It is distinctly their own world that they all live in, much like your own world is of your own.
Since this is a relationship advice column and all, I will also discuss your current dating life here as well.
It is easy to get caught up on that ideal “man of your dreams.” I have personally been in some really … questionable relationships with people who were not great fits for the worlds I was envisioning, people who were not ready to be with me quite yet. I’ve also been in some relationships that quickly outpaced my expectations – hurricane romances that tore all my ships on my shores asunder.
And sometimes, love will find you at the weirdest, most unexpected places. I met one of my partners not three days after my last relationship fell apart. I met another in 4chan of all places.
So this person that you are currently dating isn’t ready to discuss or formulate what kind of commitment he is ready to make with you. Maybe this person is not the best fit for the world you are envisioning, perhaps not ready to be with you quite yet. But instead of projecting where this relationship might be heading by next fall, I encourage you to be bold and enjoy the now. Instead of considering how you’d say yes if he proposed now, you should aim to be more courageous and recognize that good enough is still good enough. You don’t always have to aim for home runs, but you always deserve better.
I am so envious of your bright positivity and enthusiasm for your eccentric future. Your best might be yet to come. I am the most curious to see what kind of incredible and amazing journeys that you’ll take on in the meantime. The you tomorrow will be one step closer to that best version of you.
Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org!