7 Ways Every Girl Deals With Being Fake-Happy For Her Friends

single lady

What it's REALLY like to be the last one standing.

There's something special about being the "first" in your group of friends to do something: get married, buy a house, have a baby. But what about when you're the last one? The last one to get married, buy the house, have a baby, etc? What then?

If you're like me, you've probably spent a lot of time being the best friend ever during these exciting times. You've given advice. You've been the bridesmaid. You've purchased baby shower gifts. Afterall, being there for the women that I love and share deep-rooted friendships with is an honor. I've listened to them worry in the early stages of pregnancy. I've listened to them debate what jewelry to wear with their wedding dress. They, in turn, have praised my new shoes and daydreamed out loud about my life full of no children and no inconveniences. Their favorite? my ability to just get up and go.

But rarely do they realize that being the last one standing isn't fun—and it certainly isn't easy. And while you want to be happy for your friends (because you genuinely are), sometimes its hard to be supportive for your mind is racked with questions like, Why her and not me? Why not me at all? When will it be my turn? Am I being punished?

Growing up, I was the beauty queen and captain of the cheerleading squad. Post-college, I've led a very successful corporate career, and I was the first of us to earn a master's. On any given day, you can see me zipping around town in my convertible luxury car, pulling up to my empty four-bedroom house with 19-foot ceilings. I give to many charities. And the vacations? Anytime and anywhere I choose.

I seemingly have everything, but in retrospect, I realize I was being ungrateful because I've had numerous professional blessings but lacked the personal milestones I so desperately craved. I'm patient that my time will come. But before I got to that place of peace, there were are a few things I learned that I want to share with you should you find yourself in a similar situation.

1. You will question your past.
Among my friends, one of the most popular observations when acquaintances started getting married was that some of the more promiscuous women were the first to get rings. This was contrary to what we'd always been taught in our conservative upbringing that being the "good girl" would get the guy in the end. But as I got older, I realized that women who date a lot of men have something other women don't: options. And on top of options, they have the ability to call the shots in those relationships because they're not waiting around for anyone.

2. You will question your present.
WHY NOT ME? The answer is simple: it isn't your time. And quite frankly, temper tantrums don't get us anywhere in life. I've wondered many times why God wasn't giving me the same blessings he was giving everyone else. What lessons was I not learning and what skills was I lacking? But sometimes it's not that complicated. Sometimes the answer is as simple as, 'It's not the right time'. And there's nothing worse than marrying/having a baby with the wrong man.

3. You will question your future.
It's natural to worry about the future but chances are, you'll get exactly what you want/need in due time. If you're like me, you'll develop a neutrality to marriage over time, in the sense that tying the knot no longer becomes the be-all and end-all to the perfect picture of what your life will look like. Now, my mindset is more: if I get married, great, but I want it to be for the right reasons. There is no time to focus on the negative here because the more you allow yourself to become bitter, the more friendships you'll ruin. You might even run decent prospects away.

4. You will have some sort of meltdown that you'll laugh at later.
By the time the sixth girlfriend in one year told me she was pregnant, I'd had it. There was a teary call to my mother and wine to go with my annoying whine. I also threw a pity party that had all the pomp and circumstance of many a wedding I'd been in. In retrospect, it was a very stupid, childish thing to do. When you're dealt a blow, it's best to meditate and connect with why you're feeling this way. But do not dare take a moment away from your friend, like I did, to host your own pity party.

5. You'll wonder if you can support your friends the way they deserve to be supported.
Can you support your friends the way you want to? Absolutely. You can be happy for them and a little disappointed for yourself—these emotions are not mutually exclusive—and you should still attempt to attend their special events and support them without fail. (Unless you're suffering from depression and feel that it's detrimental to your health to attend a wedding or baby shower, in which case, you should seek help.) Otherwise, you should put on your big girl panties and get it together, girl.

6. Your friends may not get it.
If I had a dollar for every time a friend sent me a video of her ultrasound or asked me to help plan her baby shower or wedding, I'd be able to afford a decent steak dinner. The bottom line is, sometimes your friends say (and do) all the wrong things when they don't mean to. Sometimes their gleefulness about their wedding or tangent about why you should be happy you don't have a husband or kids just comes across as inconsiderate. Accept that they come from a good place, but but don't be afraid to explain why it hurts your feelings.

7. Remember: There are plenty of positives to being the last one.
For instance, your friends will pay you back ten-fold when it's your turn. (And if they don't, at least you've learned who your real friends are.) There are also the endless babysitting possibilities by friends who have older children. You also get the chance to see what you truly want without feeling forced into a situation. Learning from your friends triumps and failures is a huge perk to not having to go first. Also: you'll get tons of advice. (Don't take all of it.)

Being the last one standing isn't such a bad thing. There's so much beauty in enduring the race. Remember, life—like anything else—is a marathon, a test of strength and endurance. It's not a sprint.

And afterall, the tortoise wins in the end, doesn't he?


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