Your cousin. Your college roommate. Your best friend. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's, someone you know is bound to get engaged. This is one of the most popular times to pop the question; and it's no wonder really, since everyone feels a little mushier around the holidays.
It happened to me, too. The transition into 2014 was one of the hardest times for my relationship. I watched at least 15 of my closest friends and family members get engaged. Weekly, sometimes, daily, pictures of glittering rings and teary-eyed proposal pictures popped up in my newsfeed. It seemed like everyone was getting engaged.
That feeling of disappointment can be difficult to contend with, but it won't last. Whether you're single and looking, or have been in a long-term relationship for longer than you'd like, here are some ways you can stave off "engagement enragement":
Find a way to be happy for your friend. The hardest thing I thought I'd have to say was "Congratulations!" but in the end, it proved to be pretty easy. Why? Because unless I knew the relationship was a complete disaster, I genuinely felt happy about the news.
I had to recognize that I wasn't upset at the couple who got engaged -- I was upset that I wasn't engaged. When you realize that they are two different scenarios, it's easier to channel positive vibes in your friend's direction.
Distract yourself. The more free time you have, the more you're likely you'll dwell on your emotions. Don't even give your brain the chance to picture all those happy couples -- challenge it instead. Learn to code, train for a half marathon, try out some new recipes or start watching those indie movies you've been queuing up on Netflix.
Appreciate the relationships you do have. It might feel like no one cares about you, but there are so many people in your life that truly do. They might not all be "marriage material," but your close-knit group of friends, or the aunt who always has your back, even the coworker you get lunch with every Wednesday, are happy you are a part of their lives.
Sad no one has taken you out on a date? Take a pal out for beers. Bummed no one special has texted you in a while? Pick up the phone and call your grandparents (you'll make their day).
Turn off social media. A Facebook detox never hurts, trust me. Take a break by deactivating accounts that cause you to feel blue. It might feel weird at first, but you may find it refreshing to not stare at a screen all day.
If you're in a relationship, try not to question it. It's easy to think, "He/She doesn't love me" when the holiday season comes to a close, and you're still... single. But not everyone's idea of a romantic proposal includes doing it over the holidays. My husband didn't pop the question around Christmas because he had a plan to propose a few months after that. The best proposals come when you least expect them anyway, so keep the element of surprise in mind.
This can also be a time to communicate with your partner about your hopes and expectations. "Do you think we're ready to take the next step?" is a revealing conversation starter.
Worst case scenario, you will be able to reflect on what commitment means to you (Do they seem excited about the possibility of marriage? Are you okay with being together but not being married?) and start making some decisions. But in the best case scenario, your partner will assure you that he/she has it in mind, they are just waiting for the right moment.