You know you've officially reached adulthood when you can't seem to go five seconds without hearing about a friend or acquaintance's new engagement. Usually, the celebratory revelation is accompanied by an unbelievably choreographed photo that not-so-subtly shows off some serious bling. If you've reached the point in your life where it seems like all of your friends are getting engaged, well, welcome.
Of course, it's important to be "happy" for the soon-to-be newlyweds, and even if you're feeling like "when is it going to be my turn?" the truth of the matter is that everyone's timeline when it comes to their love life is different. Not only that, but you're only seeing the best highlights of everyone's life on social media! Before you know it, every other picture you see will be of a slobbering baby held by your middle school BFF who's feigning a smile while trying to use her mini-human to cover up the crusty barf stains on her maternity sweater.
This bizarre shift toward major life events can be particularly exasperating when you are still single, but actively seeking a relationship. But thankfully, it doesn't have to be. For those of us who don't reject the idea of spending the rest of our lives with the same person, getting engaged is something that could very well be on the horizon at some point. But until then, here are some things to remind yourself to help you stay calm when you come across your millionth engagement post on Facebook.
After all, in western societies, roughly 90 percent of people tie the knot by the time they hit 50, according to the American Psychological Association. That means the likelihood of you getting caught in a never-ending cycle of sleep, work, Netflix, repeat with no one to keep you company is only about one in 10.
For most people, finding someone to nest with eventually isn't really the issue. With the current divorce rate in the United States hovering somewhere between 40 and 50 percent, it seems like getting married is nowhere near as hard as staying married. So even if you're dying for a relationship, take comfort in the fact that you haven't rushed into anything that might end badly later.
Instead of stressing yourself out or rushing to the altar in a race to keep up with your peers, taking your time and holding off on marriage could actually result in higher levels of marital satisfaction later down the line. According to a study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, researchers found that people who married "on-time" (meaning women between ages 23 and 27, and men between ages 27 and 30) or "late" (meaning women over age 27, and men over age 30) reported fewer symptoms of depression later on in life than those who married on the earlier side. Basically, rushing to tie the knot with someone you're not 100 percent serious about is actually one of the worst things you could do for your future self.
Worrying about ending up in the small pool of unmarried 50-somethings takes up way too much of your energy and headspace that could be more productively spent on evolving into the best version of you — one that makes you feel happy and confident. And if you end of sharing the best version of yourself with someone forever, then great! And if not, that's totally fine — you still get to spend forever with an awesome person: you. So take a deep breath, don't panic, and enjoy your life.
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