Wedding season is a whirlwind and can bring up all the feels if you’re single and don’t want to be. Watching a couple share their vows in front of family and friends can be a reminder of what you want; of what you think you’re missing. And seeing other wedding guests side-by-side with their partners –smiling, posing for pics, dancing it up, arm and arm, hand in hand, feeding each other – might cause you to get lost in what I like to call The Spiral of Shame.
This is where you get lost in a slew of unreasonable thoughts — often based on comparisons — and it’s where you can singlehandedly convince yourself that you’re “any negative thought your mind sets out for you to be.” That you’re: not good enough/not worthy enough/going to be alone forever/insert negative thought of choice here, etc.
Whether or not you’re actually even at a wedding, thanks to social media, we can follow all the action surrounding a couple’s forthcoming nuptials (and all events leading up to it), one hashtag at a time!
But whether you’re at a wedding IRL or just observing one from a distance (vis a vis your Instagram stories), the same feelings of loneliness may arise, triggered from seeing a constant stream of love scenes playing out on your feed.
And you’re not alone, but I doubt that will make you feel any better. What might, however, make you feel better is knowing that you can reframe your thoughts to realistic ones.
Yes, you’re single. And sure, summer and wedding season is the perfect combined trigger to feel lonely. But, honour the journey you’ve been on and why you’re here, single in this moment.
Did you get out of a not-so-great relationship finally? Congrats! You’re stronger now because of it.
Did you get dumped and can’t find yourself moving forward because they won’t give you closure? That is the closure. They ended things. And you’re here. You’re alive. And now you’re at a wedding (or watching a very sweet and lovely one on your phone,) so use this teary-eyed moment to accept the demise of your once-relationship and move on.
Use this wedding as the opportunity for you to outline what you do want in a partner and what a healthy relationship looks like for you and then take the steps to get there.
For example, if you’ve been hibernating since you and your ex split, but you want the love that you deserve, it’s good to realize that so you can make plans to start going out again and putting yourself out there. Tell people you’re back on the market. Download a slew of dating apps. Chat people up. You have no excuse because you can Bumble to your heart’s delight in an air conditioned space!
Awareness brings change. Catch yourself when this happens and let it go. Realize these are just stories stemming from insecurities and aren’t accurate. But look at where they stem from so you can map out what you want (i.e.: a loving, respectful partner).
If you don’t want to be single, a wedding is surprisingly the perfect opportunity for you to be aware of what comes up for you and tackle it so you can be your best full self to meet the best match for you.
Going to a wedding sans plus one is a great opp to show off your single status. When we get dumped or break up with someone, we often don’t want to tell people right away because we don’t know how it will pan out, or we don’t want to look weak if we go back to them (whether for a hook-up or otherwise.) But with a wedding on the horizon, you can get dolled up and get back out there, even if you’re the only single person at your table. Befriend the other couples sitting at the table. Enjoy your time celebrating mutual friends and let loose knowing you don’t need to babysit your ex who would likely be ignoring you in favour of the open-bar anyways.
When you’re on your A-game, feeling good and having fun, you’ll attract like-minded people. And these likeminded people likely have friends. Friends that are potentially single and also looking for an amazing person like you. Ask them if they “know a guy.” Flirt with the non-wedding-ring-wearing bartender. Ask a babe who is also seemingly alone to dance with you. This isn’t grade 8 anymore. It’s not even high school. It can’t hurt if he says no, but will feel oh so good if he says yes. See? Aren’t you happy you’re no longer with what’s-his-name?
It all comes down to reframing, being aware and then making a plan of action. This is a much better summer plan than fretting and comparing yourself to others’ experiences. Oh, and if you’re debating checking that yes box confirming you’ll be bringing a TBD date with you, fight the urge and check no. Go solo. A new season is all about moving forward, not backwards. No need to bring a random hook-up or an ex to a fete for friends or family you really care about. No one needs that guy in wedding pictures. You can see him after the wedding, if you must.