3 Ways To Deal With Jealousy If Your Younger Sister Gets Engaged Before You Do
by Jamie Kravitz

From graduating high school to going off to college, if you're the baby of the family, you're probably used to being the last one of your siblings to cross major milestones when growing up. And if you're the oldest sibling, you've likely gotten comfortable being the first one to experience all the exciting achievements of coming of age. So if your younger sister gets engaged first, it's natural to feel a little envious. Yes, those initial pangs of jealousy will eventually dissipate to make room for feelings of excitement and joy. But in the meantime, if you can't help but be bummed out, know that you're not alone.

Not everyone wants to get engaged young, and some women don't wish to get married at all. If you are planning on getting married at some point, though, having your younger sister get engaged before you can be difficult to process. Of course you're going to be happy for her, but it's also OK if you need some time to sort through your more complicated emotions.

I spoke to real women who are going through this right now, and their honest insights might surprise you. Here's what two ladies have to say about how to deal when your younger sister gets engaged first. Heed their advice, and it will help you to get a handle on this tricky situation.

Keep your priorities in perspective.
Stocksy/Mauro Grigollo

Women finally have the option to prioritize their lives in different ways, so you can bet they're taking advantage of this luxury. Some choose to focus on building their careers when they're young, while other women are more eager to settle down and start families.

23-year-old Dana* just got engaged, while her older sister Tracy* is not engaged or married. Tracy* isn't jealous, because she simply doesn't have the time to focus on pursuing a long-term relationship right now.

I'm too busy with my career to get married!

— Tracy*, 27

Remember that not everyone's timeline looks the same.
Stocksy/Natalie JEFFCOTT
My younger sister actually just got engaged (she's two-and-a-half years younger). I'm 27, have been with my boyfriend eight-and-a-half years, and we're not engaged yet.
Having lived in a major city for nearly 10 years, I've never felt an expectation to get engaged to my longtime boyfriend. Many of my city friends have also been dating since college, and it feels completely normal to be approaching a decade together without the firm commitment. Life in the city is first and foremost extremely expensive, so it's never been practical to shell out thousands on a ring and a dress when we're scraping by in a studio apartment. On the other hand, my younger sister is a teacher living in the 'burbs, and though she's been with her boyfriend for a shorter amount of time, they're settled in a house and pretty set in their careers. (Not to mention, he's 10 years older).
So, when I found out that he was going to pop the question, the small twinge of jealousy I felt (because, hello, that's my baby sis!) quickly dissipated when I stopped to think about our incredibly different lifestyles.

— Rebecca*, 27

Think of it as practice for your own special day.
Stocksy/Leah Flores

Rebecca* is very involved in the planning for her younger sister's big day, and she is able to see this as an opportunity to get inspired for her own someday wedding.

Though it's only been a week, we've already picked the venue. If anything, it's giving me great practice for my special day — whenever that may be.

— Rebecca*, 27

If your younger sister's big day is taking place before you've even begun to think about your own, try to keep calm. Remember that the two of you may be at different stages in your lives, and that your priorities aren't always going to line up. Whatever happens, what matters most is that both of you are happy with where you are.

*Name has been changed.

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