You could almost set your watch to it: Within months of a friend saying yes to a proposal, all the others follow suit and get engaged, making the next year of your life The Year of Weddings. At the outset, that may sound like whole lot of fun. But as Christine Arylo, motivational speaker and author of Choosing Me Before We says, "as wonderful as they are, weddings can bring up a lot of challenging emotions," especially when you're faced with back-to-back brides. So here's what could happen to during that trying-but-super-special time, and how to survive it.
For starters: "A single woman can feel like she's been left behind," says Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., psychologist and creator of The Friendship Blog. "She'll no longer have single friends with whom she can travel or go to a bar on a Friday night. And she may worry that her friends will have less time or abandon her entirely, which can leave her feeling sad and lonely." It might be difficult to look past your present, but try to focus on the future: Your friends' happy days and the different but no-less-exciting memories you'll make.
Another odd side effect? "Weddings may become so routine that they lose their luster and feel like obligations," warns Levine. "In getting caught up with the rituals, you may lose sight of the bonds of friendship underlying them." Worse yet, you could "start to feel stressed, exhausted and put upon, and inadvertently take your feelings out on the people around you."
Then, there's the challenge of being a potential bridesmaid to your bevy of engaged friends. As much as you might like to be a bridesmaid to every friend who asks, "you have to be cognizant of the demands that participation can extract — think: money, time, energy — and set priorities," says Levine. That doesn't mean you love one friend more than the other. It simply is being responsible, for yourself and the slew of brides.
Before you commit to anything during The Year of Weddings, ask yourself this important question, Arylo says: "'What is mine to do?'" Arylo says. "You don't have to do everything — you can choose what feels most in alignment to what you would love to do and what you are best at doing."
If friends' events conflict and you have to miss one, "send her flowers that day, call her on the phone, or leave a special something for her, just so she knows you care and she can feel your presence with her," suggests Arylo. "Don't stress yourself out or overextend your resources." Your friends — your true friends — will get it.