It happened in the blink of an eye one random morning when I signed on to Facebook. I got on the site, only to see everyone I graduated from high school with sharing posts about their engagements.
It was strange. Here I am, a 20-something woman seeing her former classmates sharing their fantastic, blinged-out rings with captions that read "I said yes."
At first, I thought this was what happens when you grow up — one or two people you know start their grown up life sooner than others. But that wasn't the case.
The engagement flu spread like wildfire, one post after another. I started to feel angry, confused and questioning the entire relationship I am in.
My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly seven years. We spend every waking moment together, and yet, there was no ring for me or even an idea of when we would get engaged.
I started to obsess. I scrolled through their pages like a middle school stalker, analyzing every detail of the rings and the relationships behind them.
I started to feel like mine was different, that maybe he didn't want to be with me. Thoughts raced through my mind at night; I wanted to know when it would be my turn.
So, I questioned my boyfriend. At first, it was subtle hints, like showing him the pages of people getting engaged. Then it turned into me showing him what kind of ring I wanted.
When months went by and there was no progress, I started to hammer him about wanting to him to propose to me. He said now wasn't a good time, and I felt as if maybe there would never be a good time.
That is when it turned for the worse. I questioned every fiber of the relationship. When he said he loved me before going to bed every night, I began to think it was a lie.
I started searching for articles about why he didn't want to marry me — articles that fed me information that wasn't true.
Most of the articles I read said if he didn't propose now and didn't show signs of ever wanting to, it would never happen. But how could those articles know what kind of love I had in my relationship? Regardless of the irrationality of it all, I believed every word I read.
I freaked out. I felt angry at my boyfriend all the time for no reason, and only when I blew up at him and told him I wanted to leave did I realize what I was saying was insane.
I was pressuring my boyfriend into doing something he wasn't ready for. I felt sick with myself at the thought of forcing my love into a premature decision.
My obsession had become evil and vile. I had to question why I wanted to be engaged so badly. And why now? Why did it matter so much all of a sudden?
That is when I came to the truth: I wanted the ring more than I wanted to spend the rest of my life with someone I loved. I wanted to join the crowd on Facebook boasting about the ring and making others jealous.
I apologized to my boyfriend (and to myself) for convincing myself I should be engaged and rush into a new life, when in all honestly, I barely have my life together now.
We talked about how we're still young adults trying to figure out our place in this world, and planning a wedding now would be crazy.
As for all the other people who were getting engaged, sure, maybe they had their lives figured out and are ready to tackle big, new, adult decisions. But I sure will not be ready for that anytime soon.
So, don't rush adult decisions. Forget what your friends are doing, and focus on you and your relationship.
Do not compare your life to other peoples' because it can cost you what you already have, and what you already have is something really beautiful.
When the moment is right, ask yourself this: Do you want the ring more, or the person holding it?